§ 62. Sir J. BUTCHER
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be 1776 the increased annual cost to the State if, retaining the existing qualifying age of 70, universal old age pensions, irrespective of means, were granted; and what would be the increased annual cost if, retaining the existing qualifying age, the limit of means were increased to the limit fixed for the total exemption of Income Tax?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
A rough calculation, based on the latest available population figures, gives the additional cost of universal old age pensions as £17,000,000 a year. As was stated in reply to a question by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Salford West on the 6th, the Committee of 1919 estimated the additional cost for the United Kingdom, with a 10s. pension, of the adoption of the Income Tax exemption limit at £14,500,000 a year. As the Committee also came to the conclusion that the adoption of this limit was impracticable, I have not had these figures revised.
§ 73. Mr. L. THOMPSON
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, seeing that 93.2 per cent. of the recipients of old age pensions receive the maximum amount of 10s., he will consider making provision for the remaining 6.8 per cent. on the same basis, seeing that it would only incur an extra charge of some £730,000 per annum?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Barrow-in-Furness (Mr. D. Somerville) on the 6th instant, of which I am sending him a copy.