Pensioners (Housing Benefit)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th June 1985.

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Photo of Mr Andrew Bowden Mr Andrew Bowden , Brighton, Kemptown 12:00 am, 27th June 1985

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the implications for tax policy of the proposals for housing benefit for pensioners in the Green Paper on the reform of social security.

Photo of Mr John Moore Mr John Moore , Croydon Central

The implications of all the proposals in the social security Green Paper for tax policy will be kept under review.

Photo of Mr Andrew Bowden Mr Andrew Bowden , Brighton, Kemptown

Will my hon. Friend accept that it is ludicrous that some people who are receiving housing benefit are also paying tax? Will he further accept that many pensioners in receipt of housing benefit have had the purchasing value of their non-inflation proof occupational pensions reduced by 86 per cent. in the last 12 years? Is it not true that housing benefit is some small compensation for that section of the community?

Photo of Mr John Moore Mr John Moore , Croydon Central

With regard to the specific tax aspects of the question, my hon. Friend is right to say that the inability of Governments in the past properly to raise the tax threshold has created problems; and I know that he will welcome the Government's moves in the last few years to raise real thresholds by 20 per cent. He is also right to say that the prime victims, among the many victims of the evil of inflation, are those who are elderly and those who are seeking to live on the thrift that has produced a modest amount of capital for their old age. I know that he will join me in supporting the Chancellor to make sure that we eradicate inflation, which affects such people more than any other section of the community.