§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, in the interests of equality of treatment, he will take steps to amend the Social Security Benefit (Computation of Earnings) Regulations 420W 1974 in order to provide that in years in which the earnings limit for pensioners is raised, self-employed pensioners will be allowed to have their "assessable period" for taxation purposes divided into two periods for earnings rule purposes, and that average earnings in the period up to the increase in earnings rule can be treated separately from the period after the increase.
§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to allow self-employed pensioners to have a 15p per day "meals allowance" in addition to the earnings-rule limit on their income, so that they may be treated on a par with employee pensioners in relation to the earnings rule.
§ Mr. Meacher
When a self-employed pensioner's earnings are immediately ascertainable the cost, up to 15p, of each meal taken, during the hours of his employment can be deducted from his gross earnings for the purpose of the earnings rule. If his earnings are not immediately ascertainable they are calculated by reference to the amount of profit for the assessment period concerned, as determined for income tax purposes. This arrangement is in accordance with the recommendations of the National Insurance Advisory Committee.