§ Sir Adam Butler
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the amount by which the married couple and the single person currently drawing the full, appropriate state pension have changed their standard of living, measured by the percentage increase in pensions over the increase in retail prices, since May 1979.
§ Mr. Newton
At November 1985, when social security benefits were last increased, a pensioner couple receiving £61.30 had improved their standard of living by some 5 per cent. in real terms—about £3 a week—over the levels at November 1978, the last benefit increase prior to May 1979. A single pensioner receiving £38.30 is about 5.3 per cent.—or over £1.90 a week better off.
§ Mr. Gordon Brown
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what would the single pension and married pension be if they had kept pace with the rise in average earnings since 1979; how this compares with the actual level of pensions in 1985–86 and 1986–87; and what would be the first-year and full-year costs of an increase in pension so as to restore the link with earnings (a) net of the cost of indexation and (b) net of the cost of indexation and savings on other benefits as a direct result of restoration of earnings-pension link;
(2) what would be the first-year and full-year cost of increases in the single and married pensions in 1985–86 and 1986–87 by £1, £5, £8 and £10 per week (a) inclusive of the cost of indexation, (b) net of the cost of indexation and (c) net of the cost of indexation and savings in other benefit payments as a direct result of these pension increases.603W