HC Deb 04 March 1983 vol 38 cc244-5W
Mr. Austin Mitchell

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are his estimates of (a) the gross cost in 1983–84 of making every unemployed person between the ages of 60 and 65 years eligible for unemployment pay regardless of the period of unemployment, providing in the case of females that they are not entitled to a state pension and (b) the additional yield in tax and the saving in other benefits.

Mr. Rossi

The estimated gross cost in 1982–83 of paying unemployment benefit to persons between the ages of 60 and 65 whose benefit is exhausted, or who are currently disqualified because their contribution record is inadequate would be some £175 million—excluding females who are entitled to a state pension. The saving on other benefits and additional yield in tax would amount to some £100 million. An estimate for 1983–84 could be provided only at disproportionate cost. It is not possible to estimate how many additional claims to unemployment benefit would be made if there were no contribution conditions.