§ Mrs. Winifred Ewing
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the cost of supplementary benefits to retirement pensioners; what is the total number in receipt in Scotland, Wales and England; and what would be the reduction in the total sums disbursed if many pensioners wanting to earn in a part-time capacity had more incentive to do so by the exemption of such earnings from tax.
§ Mr. O'Malley
The estimated cost in 1975–76 of paying supplementary benefit to some 1,583,000 claimants also in receipt of retirement pension is £307 million. The provisional, and rounded, analysis of numbers at December 1975 shows that some 1,346,000 of these claimants lived in England, 148,000 in Scotland and 90,000 in Wales. Information is not available on which to base an estimate to answer the last part of the hon. Member's Question.