HC Deb 25 June 1928 vol 219 cc51-3W

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he will state for 1926 and 1927 the cost of administration, in percentages of income, of old age pensions, workmen's compensation, national health insurance, unemployment insurance, industrial insurance, Poor Law relief, War pensions, and the benefits paid under the provisions of the Old Age Contributory Pensions Act?


Particulars of the cost of administration for the lastest available year in respect of old age pensions, War pensions and Poor Law relief, the cost of which is met, as and when required, out of moneys voted by Parliament or local funds, will be found in House of Commons Paper No. 108 of 1927. The following figures of costs of administration expressed as a percentage of income for the year 1926 are given for the remaining services mentioned in the question, but the conditions of these services differ so widely that no useful comparisons can safely be made between the figures as they stand. Corresponding figures for 1927 are not yet available:

Per cent. of total income.
Workmen's compensation (1) 32.4
National health insurance 13.5
Unemployment insurance 13.0
Industrial assurance (2) 29.8
Contributory pensions (3) 2.9

(1) These figures are based on returns of employers' liability insurance business made to the Board of Trade by insurance companies established within Great Britain. They do not cover mutual indemnity associations or employers who carry their own risks. The costs of administration represented by the percentages given do not include legal and medical expenses incurred by the companies in connection with the settlement of compensation claims. The amount of such payments is not available.

(2) The costs of administration represented by the above percentages include payments made, by appropriations of surpluses disclosed on valuation, in respect of staff bonuses and staff superannuation funds. These payments were equivalent in 1926 to 1.8 per cent. of the total income of those years respectively. The per centage of management expenses to premium income is given separately for each incorporated industrial assurance company and registered collecting society in the annual reports of the Industrial Assurance Commissioner.

(3) Inclusive of old age pensions paid by virtue of the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, 1925. The period covered is from 4th January, 1926, to 31st March, 1927.