§ Mr. Higgins
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the extra cost to public funds of increasing the national insurance pension to pensioners who have no other source of income by £1 per week.
§ Mr. Major
No estimates are available of the number of pensioners with no income other than the basic pension. Most pensioners without income from other sources would qualify for supplementary benefit in addition to their basic pension, and for housing benefit if they were householders. The cost of increasing the basic pension by £1 for all single pensioners and by £1.60 for a married couple in 1987–88 would be about £450 million. This estimate does not take account of any savings on supplementary benefit or housing benefit.