Written Answers. - Tax Allowances.

Trevor Sargent

Ceist:

90 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Finance when he will remove the anomaly in relation to the £3,000 allowance agreed after budget 2000 as a support for spouses working in the home where a non-married partner who works in the home is not entitled to the allowance where a family arises from adults who are not formally married. [10293/00]

The home carer's allowance is a new tax allowance of up to £3,000 per annum at the standard rate of income tax, 22% for 2000-2001. It may be claimed by married couples, who are jointly assessed and where one spouse, the "home carer" cares for one or more dependent persons which includes children, the aged or incapacitated persons. Full details of the new allowance are set out in the Finance Bill, 2000.

The new allowance was brought in the context of the changes to single and married persons income tax bands in the budget. Couples who are not married are not eligible for married treatment under the income tax code, therefore, they are also not eligible for the new allowance. I have no plans to change the allowance in the way suggested by the Deputy.