Finance Bill — New Clause 5 — Transfer of personal allowances between spouses — 28 Jun 2011 at 22:45

The majority of MPs voted against a proposal to allow people to transfer their unused personal income tax allowance to their spouse(s).

The first portion of someone's income is not subject to income tax, the amount of income which is tax free is known as the personal income tax allowance.

Had the proposal been accepted it would have been a move away from taxing people as individuals.

The proposal would have benefited those who would be in a position to give an unused personal tax allowance to a spouse who would be able to reduce the income tax they have to pay by using an additional tax free allowance.

Edward Leigh (Gainsborough, Conservative) moved the rejected new clause which stated[1]:

"“37A Transfer of personal allowances between spouses

  • (1) This section applies to an individual who is entitled to a personal allowance under sections 35 to 37 for a tax year if—
  • (a) the individual is a person whose spouse who is living with the individual for the whole or any part of the tax year, and
  • (b) the spouse meets the requirements of section 56 (residence, etc).
  • (2) If—
  • (a) the allowance exceeds the individual’s remaining relievable income;
  • (b) the individual makes an election, and
  • (c) the individual’s spouse makes a claim, the individual’s spouse is entitled to an allowance for the tax year equal to the amount of the excess.
  • (3) The individual’s remaining relievable income is found by—
  • (a) taking the amount of the individual’s net income, and
  • (b) subtracting any personal allowance to which the individual is entitled for the tax year.”

The amendment contains no definition of "spouse"; and does not mention civil partners.

During debate Edward Leigh (Gainsborough, Conservative) said[2]:

  • if the new clause is defective, I am happy to withdraw it and for the Government to bring back a new clause that includes civil partnerships. I make it absolutely clear that we have nothing against civil partnerships.

A HMRC definition of "spouse" for use in relation to inheritance tax includes parties to a valid polygamous marriage.

Debate in Parliament | Source |

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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
Con229 (+1 tell) 13 (+2 tell)080.1%
DUP0 7087.5%
Green1 00100.0%
Lab188 3074.3%
LDem49 (+1 tell) 0087.7%
PC2 0066.7%
SDLP2 0066.7%
SNP2 0033.3%
Total:473 23078.0%

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

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Peter BoneWellingboroughCon (front bench)tellaye
Fiona BruceCongletonCon (front bench)aye
Douglas CarswellClactonConaye
Christopher ChopeChristchurchCon (front bench)aye
Philip DaviesShipleyCon (front bench)aye
Nadine DorriesMid BedfordshireCon (front bench)aye
Gordon HendersonSittingbourne and SheppeyCon (front bench)aye
Philip HolloboneKetteringCon (front bench)tellaye
Edward LeighGainsboroughCon (front bench)aye
Karl McCartneyLincolnConaye
David NuttallBury NorthCon (front bench)aye
Matthew OffordHendonConaye
Mark RecklessRochester and StroodCon (front bench)aye
Andrew TurnerIsle of WightCon (front bench)aye
Martin VickersCleethorpesConaye
Jim DobbinHeywood and MiddletonLabaye
Frank FieldBirkenheadLab (minister)aye
Kate HoeyVauxhallLab (minister)aye

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