§ Mr. Critchley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the cost to the Exchequer of lowering the pensionable age for males from 65 to 60 years and from 65 to 64 years.
§ Mr. Whitney
Estimates provided for the Social Services Committee indicated that at 1981–82 benefit rates, the net costs to central Government funds were £2½ billion a year and £0.4 billion a year respectively. Details of the underlying assumptions are in the third report from the Social Services Committee, Session 1981–82 (HC 26 — II) pages 14–16, 407–409 and 457–461. These estimates are currently being updated.