§ Mr. David Atkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give the percentage increase in the state retirement pension, the pensioners' price index, and 66W the retail price index since (a) 1983, (b) 1979 and (c) 1974 taking into account his statement on benefit upratings on Wednesday 22 October.
§ Mr. Lyell
Figures have been given from November 1982 and November 1978 to reflect pension rates prevailing throughout most of 1983 and 1979 respectively. Since pension values can only realistically be compared when an uprating is implemented, the percentages in each case have been taken to July 1986.
Percentage increase since: November (a) 1982 November (b) 1978 July (c) 1974 State retirement pension (single person) 17.8 98.5 287.0 Pensioners price index1 16.9 84.8 263.9 Retail price index 17.9 90.0 250.7 The percentage increase in the state retirement pension to April 1987 in each case will be: (a) 20.2, (b) 102.6, (c) 295.0. 1 Final quarter indices used for 1982 and 1978, second quarter indices for 1974 and 1986.
§ Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he intends to take to inform pensioners of their entitlement to supplementary benefits and heating allowances.
§ Mr. Lyell
The Department already makes considerable efforts in this respect. A leaflet about supplementary benefit is issued to everyone making a claim for state retirement pension. The pension order book also includes information about the supplementary pension scheme. In addition, the Department provides an advice and information service which includes leaflets, posters and a freephone service.
An age-related heating addition is payable to a householder whose family contains someone aged 65 or over. The claim form also asks for information to enable entitlement to other heating additions to be considered.