HC Deb 22 April 1986 vol 96 cc134-5W
Mr. Frank Field

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the annual cost of (a) raising the single retirement pension by £5 a week and the married couple's pension by £8 and (b) raising child benefit by £3 a week; and if he will give the cost in both gross and net terms, together with a detailed breakdown of the savings on supplementary benefit, housing benefit and family income supplement which would result from these increases.

Mr. Major

If the rates of retirement pension and child benefit due to come into force in July 1986 were futher increased by the amounts stated, and if no corresponding adjustment were made to supplementary benefit and to housing benefit needs allowances, the gross and net effects on expenditure in 1987–88 would be:—

Retirement pension

  • Gross increase—£2,260 million
  • Net increase— £1,650 million (after taking account of a reduction of £400 million in spending on supplementary pension and £200 million on housing benefit).

Child benefit

  • Gross increase—£1,900 million
  • Net increase—£1,450 million (after taking account of a reduction of £350 million in supplementary benefit, £50 million in housing benefit and £50 million on child dependency additions).

There would be no effect on expenditure on family income supplement.