HC Deb 26 January 1970 vol 794 cc253-4W
Mr. Donald Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will state the weekly retirement pension of the average industrial worker who retires in 1992 having reached the normal retiring age on the assumption that the average weekly earnings will have made progress from the present level to £100.

Mr. Ennals

If the average earnings of adult male industrial workers increase to £100 a week in 1992, a person who has earned the average wage since the start of the new scheme will be entitled under the Bill now before Parliament to a retirement pension of £42 10s. a week.

Mr. Lomas

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will state, taking October 1964 as 100, what the purchasing power of the retirement pension was in March 1965, March 1966, March 1967, March 1968, March 1969, and the present date, respectively.

Mr. Ennals

The following is the information asked for:

Man or woman on own insurance Married couple on husband's insurance
October, 1964 100 100
March, 1965 116 117
March, 1966 112 112
March, 1967 108 109
March, 1968 117 118
March, 1969 110 111
December, 1969 119 119

Mr. Hooley

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the additional annual cost of raising the basic retirement pension for a married couple to 40 per cent. of the current average industrial earnings, and pro rata for a single pensioner, and of the additional payments needed to meet it from employees, employers and the Exchequer, respectively, on the basis that the cost was apportioned on the existing system.

Mr. Ennals

The cost of such an increase taken by itself would be about £370 million a year at the outset. If this cost were divided proportionately to present contributions it would mean about £150 million a year extra from insured persons (including self-employed and non-employed), £160 million from employers and £60 million from the Exchequer supplement. The increase in weekly payments would depend on the way in which the extra money was raised but would average over 3s. a side for employers and employees. Consequential alterations to other benefits would increase the cost substantially.