§ Mr. William Clark
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what would be the estimated cost to the Exchequer if the earnings rule for retirement pensioners were increased from £3 10s. to £4, to £4 10s., and to £5 weekly, respectively.
§ Mrs. Thatcher
On the assumption that no changes were made in respect of widows and widowed mothers, I estimate the cost of a 10s. increase in the earnings limit for retirement pensioners as about £½ million a year. This would fall on the National Insurance Fund. I regret that it is not possible at present to give even approximate figures in respect of the further increases mentioned in my hon. Friend's Question.