§ 15. Mr. Ross
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what is the aggregate weekly disbursement to all recipients of National Insurance benefits for the latest available date; and what would require to be added to that sum to give it the real value that that sum had on the day when the last announcement of National Insurance benefit increases was made.
§ Mr. Ross
Does the hon. Lady agree that this gives an idea of the extent of the robbery of the poor as a result of the Government's failure to keep down the cost of living? Will she invite at least one Minister whom we know will be in his place for at least a week, namely, the Prime Minister, to attend to this matter?
§ Mrs. Thatcher
As the hon. Member knows, retirement pensions are paid to all people who have contributed, regardless of their means, and therefore it is not fair to say that this is robbing the poor. If we were to make good the 6 per cent. decrease since April, 1961, it would mean immediately the expenditure of an extra £13 million by the Exchequer and an extra 6d. a side on the weekly stamp.
§ Mr. Thatcher
And therefore the contribution which the ordinary taxpayer and contributor would have to make. There would be, for the hon. Member's date, an extra £16 million to be paid by the Exchequer to the Fund and there would be an extra 8d. a side on the weekly stamp.