§ Mr. Thomas Cox
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, before the next increase in the State retirement pension takes place, he will introduce a cost-of-living index code, on which any future pension increase will be based.
§ Mr. Thomas Cox
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give the cost-of-living index for each of the quarters since June 1970 for a single and a married couple pensioner household, and the rate of State pension being paid.
§ Mr. Dean
Following is the in formation:
Index for pensioner households Standard rate of retirement pension* Year and quarter One-person house hold Two-person household Single person Married couple £ £ 1970: 2nd 139.3 139.4 5.00† 8.10† 3rd 140.3 140.6 5.00 8.10 4th 144.1 144.0 5.00 8.10 1971: 1st 148.5 148.4 5.00 8.10 2nd 153.4 153.4 5.00 8.10 3rd 156.5 156.2 6.00‡ 9.70‡ 4th 159.3 158.6 6.00 9.70 1972: 1st 162.5 161.8 6.00 9.70 2nd 164.4 163.7 6.00 9.70 3rd 167.0 166.7 6.00 9.70 4th 171.0 170.3 6.75§ 10.90§ * For persons who have not attained 80 years of age. † Rate from 3rd November 1969. ‡Rate from 20th September 1971. § Rate from 2nd October 1972.
§ Mr. Dell
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will supply information additional to that in Command Paper No. 5143, paragraph 43, as to his method of estimating that by 1975 there will be about 17½ million employees in the United Kingdom who will have to be covered for earnings-related pensions; and in particular whether he will give his estimate as to how many employees will be outside the age limits 298W of the reserve pension scheme and how many will have earnings below the minimum qualifying level; and how many of the 17½million will be women.
§ Mr. Dean
As indicated in table 6 of Cmnd. 5143 it is estimated that there will be about 21.7 million employees in Great Britain within the scope of the new scheme in 1975–76. This total includes nearly one million who it is assumed will on average be unemployed or long-term sick at any time and a further 3½million outside the age limits for reserve pension scheme membership leaving something over 17 million who would have to be covered for earnings-related pension. Adding about 0.4 million in Northern Ireland gives the total of 17½million for the United Kingdom of whom 5½million would be women.
§ Mr. Dean
No estimate has been made of the number of recognised occupational pension schemes there might be, but the Government Actuary has estimated that the membership of such schemes, within the age limits for the reserve pension scheme, might initially be of the order of 10½million. This estimate assumes a general movement towards recognition among most employers with schemes already at or near the recognition level and some expansion of occupational scheme cover among manual workers, though the Government Actuary has emphasised that in view of the uncertainties involved any estimate must be largely conjectural.
§ Mrs. Castle
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the 299W gross annual cost of increasing flat-rate retirement pensions to£12 for a single person and£6 for a dependent wife; how much of this would be recovered in income tax; and what would be the saving in supplementary benefit and in other means-tested benefits.
§ Sir K. Joseph
The cost of increasing retirement pension to this level would be about£1,850 million a year, if other national insurance benefits were left unchanged. The income tax yield on the extra pension would be approximately£200 million at 1972–73 rates. If supplementary pension rates remained unchanged, the cost of supplementary benefit would be reduced by about£200 million a year. In the personal social service for which my Department is responsible, increased income from charges for residential accommodation provided by local authorities in England might be of the order of£22 million, and there would be small increases in receipts from charges for other health and personal social services.