§ Mr. Dean
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what estimate she has made of the financial effect if, under the National Insurance Bill, earnings-related sickness benefit started after a person had been ill for a period of one month and continued indefinitely while the illness lasted, instead of, as the Bill is at present drafted, starting from the 13th day of illness and ceasing six months thereafter.
§ Mr. Pentland
Taking into account a saving of about £14 million a year from the longer waiting period, amendment of the Bill in the way specified (assuming that those who had already been ill for over six months at the start of the scheme would not qualify for the supplement) would reduce the cost by some £4 million230W in the first full year; but would involve net extra expenditure of some £21 million in the fifth year rising to about £37 million a year ultimately. These figures assume that the higher rate of sickness benefit ceased to be paid at minimum pensionable age. These estimates are on the level earnings assumption specified in the Government Actuary's Report on the Financial Provisions of the Bill. (Cmnd. 2884.)