§ Mr. Bob Dunn
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the approximate reduction in revenue if all retirement pensioners, whose income, whether single or joint, was £3,500, £4,000 or £4,500 per year were exempt from direct taxation.
§ Mr. Peter Rees
Estimates relating to those in receipt of a retirement pension could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. The information readily available relates to all persons aged 65 or over who qualify for the age allowances. If these allowances were increased to £3,500, £4,000 and £4,500 the costs in a full year at 1979–80 income levels would be £560 million, £680 million and £770 million respectively.
The figure for an increase to £5,000 was given at 1978–79 income levels to my hon. Friend on 11 June.—[Vol. 968, c. 146–7.] Consistent with the figures above at 1979–80 levels the cost for this increase is now estimated as £850 million.