§ 55. Mr. Foulkes
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what percentage of average male earnings, sickness and unemployment benefit constituted for a married couple with two children at the last date for which statistics are available.
§ Mrs. Chalker
In November 1980 the weekly benefit for a married couple with two children was £59.87, which amounted to 55 per cent. of average net weekly earnings. For the purposes of this calculation, the benefit taken into account includes child benefit and earnings-related supplement, the amount of the supplement being that payable on the assumption that, throughout the relevant earlier tax year, the beneficiary's earnings were at the rate of average weekly earnings in October 1978. The average net weekly earnings for November 1980 are the estimated average gross weekly earnings of all full-time adult male employees, derived by extrapolation from the April new earnings survey estimates, with tax and national insurance contributions; at the non-contracted-out rate deducted, and with child benefit added.
§ 56. Mr. Hooley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the current value of child benefit for one child, expressed as a percentage of average industrial earnings; and what was the comparable percentage in April 1979.
§ Mrs. Chalker
The current value, expressed as a percentage of estimated average gross weekly earnings in December 1980, is 4.1 per cent.; the comparable percentage in April 1979 was 4.5 per cent. The estimates of average gross weekly earnings relate to manual men—aged 21 and over—in full-time employment in the United Kingdom and are derived from the Department of Employment's regular inquiry using the seasonally adjusted index for average earnings—older series. The December 1980 percentage is based on the latest figure available and is provisional.