§ Mr. Hannam
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the net cost of increasing noncontributory invalidity pension to £17.50 per week, with equivalent increases for a wife.
§ Mr. Alfred Morris
The gross cost of increasing the personal rate of non-contributory invalidity pension to £17.50 a week for men and single women, and of raising to £10.50 the increase which may be paid for a wife, would be about £24 million a year for present beneficiaries. It is not possible to estimate the net cost. There might also be a further gross cost of up to £37 million for personal rate benefit for new beneficiaries, with an unknown additional amount for increases paid in respect of their dependants. However, the net cost of these new awards would be relatively low, because of savings of supplementary benefit.