Finance Bill — Married couples allowances — 18 Jul 2000

Brought up, and read the First time.

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

The new clause, which has been tabled by my right hon. Friend the Member for Wells (Mr. Heathcoat-Amory), my hon. Friend the Member for Arundel and South Downs (Mr. Flight) and myself, refers to marriage. I do not know whether you have received the married couples allowance, Mr. Deputy Speaker. If so, like millions of people in the country, you will have been sent a document in the past few weeks which consists of explanatory notes and a form that must be filled in if one is to claim children's tax credit. It states:

The Children's Tax Credit is replacing the Married Couple's Allowance and the Additional Person Allowance.

Are you likely to have a child under 16 living with you during the tax year starting on 6 April 2001? If yes, you may be able to claim Children's Tax Credit.

We have increased substantially support for families with children through the working families tax credit, through the increase in the children's premium income support and through child benefit.--[ Official Report, Standing Committee H , 23 May 2000; c. 333.]

If you are likely to have a child under 16 living with you during the tax year--

you may be able to claim the Children's Tax Credit. If not, please throw this form away and accept our apologies for troubling you. Do not return blank forms to us.

Dear Sir,

Please find enclosed my claim form for Children's tax credit returned as my wife and I do not meet the criteria required. Like millions of similar couples, i.e. children grown up and gone, and not 65 before 5th April 2000, we feel that you have, dare I say, stealthily, removed the acknowledgement by the Government of the merits of being married.

How you have the audacity to claim that that Children's Tax credit replaces the married couple's allowance and Additional Personal Allowance amazes me. I will be 65 in December this year, and as a result of your 1999 Budget changes, I, since April of this year, now pay approx. £20 per month tax on my modest company pension, and when I reach 65 I will be further taxed on my old age pension, unlike my elder brother, who is one of the privileged pensioners that you have created, i.e. 65 before 5th April 2000 who still retains the Married Couple's allowance.

I find that as a lifelong socialist, an ex Labour party member, with a son who is a Labour councillor, that your new Tax changes are totally unacceptable, and unless some revision to these Fagin-like measures is made in this year's Budget, then my vote will go elsewhere.

Everyone knows that families have suffered most in tax terms over the lifetime of the Conservative Government.--[ Official Report, Standing Committee A , 22 February 1994; c. 345.]

600,000 people reach retirement age in a typical year . . . only a third of them exceed their personal allowances . . . There will be quite a lot of rather cross people about when they realise they are affected, having planned on receiving the existing allowances.

Whereas the Chancellor has been saying that he has lifted many older people out of paying taxes in previous Budgets, this could have the effect of putting many of them back into paying tax. This is very unfair because it is so arbitrary and it will squeeze the older generation. They are going to take a bit of a hammering.

We welcome the fact that those already 65 will not lose the allowance . . . ,

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:--

The House divided: Ayes 157, Noes 289.

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Con0 120 (+2 tell)076.3%
Independent0 1033.3%
Lab288 (+2 tell) 0069.7%
LDem0 29061.7%
PC0 2050.0%
SNP0 2033.3%
UUP0 3033.3%
Total:288 157069.6%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

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no rebellions

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