Dáil Éireann - Volume 531 - 22 February, 2001

Written Answers. - Tax Free Allowance.

91. Mr. J. Mitchell asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost in a full year of increasing the tax free allowance of a couple with only one income by £11,000 to restore equality with couples with two incomes. [5359/01]

Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): The position is that the difference of £11,000 between one earner and two earner married couples arises from the Government's policy of band widening to provide each income earner with his or her own standard rate band. In the 2001 budget, I increased the standard rate band for married one earning couples to £29,000 and the combined standard rate band for married two earning couples to £40,000, with up to £29,000 transferable between the spouses.

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners increasing the band for married one earning couples by £11,000 and allowing full transferability between spouses of the £40,000 band available to married two earning couples would cost approximately £290 million in a full year. This estimate assumes the enactment of the changes announced in the 2001 budget and is based on 2001 incomes data.