HC Deb 16 July 1962 vol 663 c12
18. Mr. Millan

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will state as a percentage the relationship of the basic pension to the average weekly male earnings in 1946, 1955 and the latest available date in 1962, respectively.

Mrs. Thatcher

For a single person, 21½, 18½ and 18½ and for a married couple, 35, 30 and 30. The latest available figures are for October, 1961.

Mr. Millan

Do these figures not demonstrate that the percentages are lower than they were in 1946 and that the claims made by the Government that pensioners would share in rising standards have not been substantiated? Is not this the real test that we should apply to National Insurance benefits?

Mrs. Thatcher

The actual erosion from 21½ per cent. to 18 per cent. for a single person and from 35 per cent. to 30 per cent. for the married couple took place during the years 1946 to 1951, but since then the relationship has remained constant.