HC Deb 10 December 1990 vol 182 cc305-6W
Mr. Harry Greenway

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what would be the cost of uprating the basic state pension by £13 for a single person and £20 for a couple.

Miss Widdecombe

The cost of uprating the retirement pension in this way would be approximately £6 billion. There would also be an additional loss to the national insurance fund of £1 billion as a result of the consequential rise in contribution thresholds and limits. Such an increase implies a rise in the national insurance contributions paid by an employee on average earnings of approximately £2.78 per week and £5.34 for his employer.

Sir Ian Gilmour

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, further to his reply to the right hon. Member for Chesham and Amersham,Official Report, 21 November, column 131, if he will now tabulate figures for basic retirement pension applications and awards in 1989 and in 1979, showing how many applications were received in each year; and how many were (a) turned down and (b) awarded at less than the full rate of basic retirement pension, due to (i) insufficient contributions, (ii) receipt of another benefit, (iii) deferral and (iv) other reasons.

Miss Widdecombe

The information requested is in the table. Figures are not available on the number of instances where there was no entitlement to retirement pension, where the claimant chose to defer his award or where the award was later reduced because of an overlapping benefit.

Date (6 months to) Total claims Total awards Number at less than full rate
November 1979 371,938 347,000 39,520
March 1989 317,011 244,940 50,340

Note: Instances where the payment of retirement pension was reduced because of an overlapping benefit are included as full awards in column C.