HC Deb 20 April 1959 vol 604 cc11-2W
92. Mr. McKay

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if employers' contributions to the National Insurance Fund had been 5 per cent., employees' 3 per cent., and self-employed 8 per cent. for the year 1958, with income as shown on table 2 of Command Paper No. 712 and Exchequer supplement assumed as one-sixth of total contributions, with prevailing interest of £50 million, what would have been the balance if total benefits as stated in Command Paper No. 712, less Health Service and industrial injuries benefits, had been increased by 30 per cent. giving single pensioners £3 5s., and married pensioners £5 4s., other benefits rising in the same proportion.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

About £200 million.

Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will give an estimate of the average annual cost on the present numbers and expenditure if those who receive unemployment and sickness benefits after receiving four weeks' benefit were given an additional payment from the Exchequer which would increase their incomes by 25 per cent., 50 per cent., 75 per cent.. and 100 per cent., respectively.

Miss Pitt

It is estimated that the annual cost of increasing unemployment and sickness benefits after the first four weeks in the proportions suggested would be about £30 million, £60 million, £90 million and £120 million respectively. These estimates make no provision for corresponding increases for widow or retirement pensioners who may be sick or unemployed.

Mr. Lewis

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether, as the Government is anxious to increase the spending power of the people, he will take the necessary action to increase all National Insurance benefits, including unemployment benefit and National Assistance grants.

Miss Pitt

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which my right hon. Friend gave on the 13th April to the hon. Member for St. Helens (Mr. Spriggs) in reply to similar Questions.

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