Artificial Limbs (Income Tax Relief)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons on 8th September 1942.

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Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the increasing number of working people who have to provide themselves with an artificial limb or surgical boots at their own expense; and whether, as no allowance is made at present in relief from Income Tax for renewals or repairs, he will consider the hardship of those people and make a provision for relief from Income Tax where such expense is found necessary by those who have to incur such expenses to enable them to carry on their occupation?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

I fear that I cannot undertake to propose an amendment of the Income Tax law to afford special relief in case such as those to which my hon. Friend refers. Suggestions have been made from time to time in the past for special allowances in respect of expenses arising out of illness and disability, but however much sympathy may be felt with such cases it has been necessary to adhere to the principle that the Income Tax cannot be adjusted so as to take into account the varying circumstances of individual taxpayers.

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

Is it not the case that men who lost a leg in the last war are now being charged Income Tax on the amounts they need to spend to renew their artificial limb to enable them to earn the income on which they are paying the tax, and will he not reconsider the matter, because I am confident that he will have the support of this House?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

I appreciate the case my hon. Friend puts forward, but I do not think it can be met through Income Tax.