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Tax policy and intergenerational fairness

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The Lords select committee on intergenerational fairness and provision took evidence on 11 September from government officials responsible for taxation and employment policy. The witnesses, representing HM Treasury, DWP, BEIS and the Department for Education, faced questions on areas including:

  • whether there are policy areas where the impact on different generations appears particularly uneven and what the government can do to address such imbalances;
  • assessments the government has made on the possibility of greater differentiation in the tax system by age, such as taxing retired higher rate taxpayers on age-related benefits they receive;
  • the impact of the ageing society on the tax base and the tax burden on different generations;
  • the impact of stamp duty on home ownership among different generations;
  • the government’s industrial strategy and how it can boost skills for different age groups; and
  • the role of in-work training and enabling people to stay in work longer as a response to the ageing society.

One committee member took issue with the fact that individuals in receipt of the state pension who remain in employment are not required to pay NICs. HM Treasury’s view was that, besides the fact that those in receipt of the state pension no longer accrue rights to state benefits, continuing liability for NICs after retirement age would act as a disincentive to carry on working (particularly the employer contribution, from the employer’s perspective). The Treasury’s representative gave a broad illustration that the revenue contribution from each additional 1% of people above retirement age remaining in employment was approximately £600m.

There was also discussion around SDLT, IHT relief for lifetime gifts, and the potential for tax relief for work-related training. The Treasury’s representative drew the committee’s attention to recent reforms moving SDLT from a ‘slab’ to a ‘slice’ system and the introduction of relief for first-time buyers, as well as the current OTS review of IHT and the government’s consultation on self-funded work-related training, which closed in June. 


Issue: 1412
Categories: News