HC Deb 30 November 1953 vol 521 cc764-5
49. Mr. Gower

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the estimated annual cost of granting such increases to old age pensioners as would increase the basic rate of all retirement pensions to a weekly sum of £2 10s. in the case of an individual and to £5 in the case of a married couple; what would be the consequential savings in National Assistance payments; and what increase would be needed in the weekly contribution of each contributor to National Insurance.

The Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (Mr. Osbert Peake)

It is estimated that the additional cost would be about £220 million a year now, rising to reach £400 million in 25 years' time. The additional weekly contribution required from insured persons on the present actuarial basis would be about 2s. 6d. for men and 2s. 8d. for women, but in the case of employed persons one-half of this additional contribution would be payable by the employer. The extra contributions would produce about £130 million a year, leaving the Exchequer to find the balance of the extra cost.

The consequential saving on National Assistance might, in present circumstances, be of the order of £30 million a year.

Mr. Gower

As these figures constitute the target of the national organisation of the old age pension movement, will my right hon. Friend say whether he has discussed these figures with them and, if so, with what result?

Mr. Peake

I think that the organisation has been informed of the consequence of its proposals.