HC Deb 22 March 1976 vol 908 cc10-1W
Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will list the contributory benefits to which a self-employed married woman is entitled in her own right, assuming that she opts out of paying Class 2 contributions, but pays Class 4 contributions to the full value of £160 a year.

Mr. O'Malley

The effect of her choosing not to pay flat-rate Class 2 contributions is explained in detail in Leaflet NI 1. In addition to residual rights derived from standard rate contributions paid before she exercised her option, she continues to have cover, based on her husband's contribution record, for maternity grant, retirement pension, widow's benefits, child's special allowance and death grant. Her Class 4 contributions on profits or gains over £1,600 a year, like the earnings-related contributions she would have been required to pay if she had been an employed earner and had exercised her option to pay at the reduced rate, are a contribution towards the general cost of the scheme, including the cost of those benefit rights of married women and widows which are derived from the contribution record of the husband.