§ Mr. Madden
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the most recent advice he has received from the Government Actuary as to the minimum target balance of the national insurance fund as a proportion of annual benefit expenditure.
§ Mr. Portillo
The Government Actuary stated in 1983 that the national insurance fund's minimum target balance should be one sixth of the year's estimated benefit expenditure. (Report on the draft Social Security Benefit Up-Rating Order 1983. Cmnd. 8969.) This has never been a fixed target, but a prudent limit below which the balance should not be allowed to fall.