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Clause 2 - Personal allowance for 2013-14 for those born after 5 April 1948

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 23rd April 2013.

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Photo of John Cryer John Cryer Labour, Leyton and Wanstead 3:15 pm, 23rd April 2013

I am sorry, Mr Crausby. I was about to move to the introduction of age-related allowances by Winston Churchill, and then go back to the 18th century, but I will leave that to one side.

The hon. Member for Spelthorne said that there are many more pensioners around today, yet pensioners in Britain have a life expectancy that, depending on how it is judged, is between the fourth and seventh worst among the 23 most developed economies. Pensioners are therefore not doing all that well in Britain today, and there is a lot of evidence that they tend to become poorer once they get over 80 because of their fixed incomes. If we follow the logic of his argument that there are many more pensioners around and therefore we have to unify the age-related allowances with the normal personal tax allowance, why not introduce an age-related allowance for the over-80s, the over-85s or the over-90s? The Government, however, are not doing that; they are just abolishing all the age-related allowances with what we call the granny tax, a term to which they take great offence. Each week and almost each day, many of us are seeing, as a result of such policies, an explosion of poverty and unemployment.