§ Mr. Squire
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has yet taken a decision to increase short-term national insurance benefits and invalidity benefit, and whether this will be by 5 per cent. less than inflation as permitted under the Social Security (No. 2) Act 1980.
§ Mr. Prentice
These benefits will be increased again in 1981. It is not proposed to make use of the power in 337W section 1 of the Social Security (No. 2) Act 1980 to abate the increase in those benefits by up to 5 per cent. The amount of the increase will be decided later.
However, as my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer told the House on 24 November, legislation will be introduced to recover at the 1981 uprating an amount of not more than 1 percentage point to take account of the fact that, between the 1979 and 1980 upratings, prices increased by less than was allowed for when the benefit rates introduced last month were decided.