Treasury Committee press notice no.43

30 April 2008: For Immediate Release

Treasury Committee invites written evidence for inquiry into Budget Measures and Low-Income Households

The Treasury Committee invites written evidence as part of its inquiry into Budget Measures and Low-Income Households. The Committee announced its inquiry into Budget Measures and Low-Income Households on Tuesday 22 April. It is now inviting written evidence which should reach the Treasury Committee by 12 noon on Wednesday 14 May 2008.

The Committee will consider the effects of the abolition of the 10 pence rate of income tax and measures that might be taken arising from that abolition in the broader context of the tax, tax credits and benefits systems. The Committee would welcome written evidence, including such evidence in response to the specific questions set out below.

1. The effects of the abolition of the 10 pence rate of income tax in the context of other Budget and Pre-Budget Report measures

The Committee will consider the effects of the abolition of the 10 pence rate of income tax in the context of other measures announced in the 2007 Budget, the 2007 Pre-Budget Report and the 2008 Budget. The Committee would welcome written evidence on this topic, particularly such evidence containing an analysis of:

• The number of individuals and households who have gained or lost as a result of the abolition of the 10 pence rate of income tax combined with other measures announced in the 2007 Budget, the 2007 Pre-Budget Report and the 2008 Budget; (i)

• The amount in tax year 2008–09 by which individuals and households gain or lose as a result of the abolition of the 10 pence rate of income tax combined with other measures announced in the 2007 Budget, the 2007 Pre-Budget Report and the 2008 Budget; and

• The impact of the abolition of the 10 pence rate of income tax on marginal deduction rates.

In relation to analysis of the preceding matters, the Committee would especially welcome evidence containing data—

• segmented by income group, household status (including the number of children in a household), work status, benefit and tax credit recipient status, gender and age, and all combinations of such variables;

• distinguishing the proposed effect on the number of winners and losers and the extent of their gains and losses in tax year 2008–09 of (a) measures announced in the 2007 Budget, (b) measures announced in the 2007 Pre-Budget Report, (c) measures announced in the 2008 Budget, and (d) other changes in the tax and welfare support systems expected to come into force during tax year 2008–09.

2. Possible future measures in this area

The Committee will consider possible future policy measures arising from the abolition of the 10 pence rate of income tax. The Committee would welcome written evidence on specific options, particularly such evidence containing, in relation to an option, an analysis of:

• The number of individuals and households who would benefit or lose from the option if implemented, indicating where possible or appropriate the amount of the gain in a single tax year or another specified period, and, where possible, containing data segmented by income group, household status (including the number of children in a household), work status (including varieties of employment status within those in work), benefit and tax credit recipient status, gender and age, and any relevant combinations of such variables;

• Possible timetables for the implementation of the option, including whether it would be possible or appropriate to (a) implement the option in the current tax or financial year, and (b) give it backdated effect to the start of the current tax or financial year;

• The likely cost to the Exchequer of implementing the option in the current financial year and in any subsequent financial year where appropriate;

• The ease of implementation and duration of the option if implemented, including whether it is appropriate as (a) a one-off measure, (b) a measure for a specified period, or (c) a permanent feature of the tax and benefits system;

• The overall advantages and disadvantages of the option.

The options on which the Committee would welcome written evidence include, but are not confined to:

• Options for assistance for pensioners aged 60 to 64 using the mechanism that already exists to pay the Winter Fuel Allowance;

• Options for those eligible to receive tax credits;

• Options that involve changes to rates and bands of income tax and personal allowances (ii)  and their effect in the context of the overall simplicity and progressiveness of the taxation system;

• Options that would involve changes to the National Minimum Wage; and

• Any other options (whether or not previously canvassed), including options that, if implemented, would benefit those not currently eligible for or in receipt of tax credits.

3. The broader context

The Committee wishes to consider the preceding matters in the context of the overall operations of the tax, tax credits and benefits systems and the relevant wider Government objectives and would welcome evidence in that context on:

(1) The operation of Working Tax Credits, and in particular-

• The operation of the taper system for Working Tax Credit;

• Eligibility for Working Tax Credit, including rules relating to hours worked and earnings;

• Reasons for the low take-up rate of Working Tax Credit among eligible households without children;

• Possible measures to increase the take-up of Working Tax Credit among such households;

• The likely cost to the Exchequer of increases in the take-up of Working Tax Credit among such households by specified percentages.

(2) The effects of options for future policy measures arising from the abolition of the 10 pence rate of income tax on-

• progress towards the Government’s targets for reducing and then eliminating child poverty;

• progress towards the targets set by the Government and the devolved administrations for reducing and eradicating fuel poverty;

• marginal deduction rates;

• progress towards the Government’s ambitions to promote the move from welfare to work and to move those in work out of poverty.


NOTES:
Written evidence should be in Word or rich text format-not PDF format-and sent by e-mail to [email protected] The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from. The deadline is Wednesday 14 May 2008 at 12.00 noon.

Submissions should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. Further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/witness.cfm.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or by making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.


(i). On 18 October 2007, HM Treasury issued certain information relevant to these figures: see HC Deb, 18 October 2007, cols 1266-1269, available at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmhansrd/cm071018/text/71018w0017.htm#07101846000018

(ii).  On 24 April 2008, HM Treasury issued approximate estimates of the cost of certain increases in personal allowances for 2008-09: see HC Deb, 24 April 2008, col 2185W, available at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080424/text/80424w0004.htm#08042476000075