§ Mr. Corbett
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the estimated number of staff required to administer a fully earnings-related contribution and benefits scheme for the self-employed; and what is the estimated annual cost of salaries and administration at current levels.
§ Mr. Orme
As my right hon. Friend explained in reply to a Question from the hon. Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Clarke) on 4th August 1976—[Vol. 916, c.852–3]—we estimate that a net increase of at least 1,500 civil servants would be needed to administer a system of fully earnings-related contributions for the self-employed. The additional cost, at current levels, in salaries and administration would be of the order of £8½ million a year. In the absence of a study of the implications of fully earnings-related contributions for the arrangements for benefits, no estimate can be made of the additional annual cost which would be incurred in paying benefits to the self-employed on the basis of such contributions.