HC Deb 19 February 1990 vol 167 cc519-20W
Mr. Ian Stewart

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what items of public expenditure are subject to uprating by reference to the retail prices index(a) by statute and (b) by current policy commitment.

Mr. Norman Lamont

A large number of public service pension schemes are increased in line with the retail prices index under the Pensions Increase Act 1971 and are specified in schedule 2 of that Act. The main schemes are as follows:

  • Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme;
  • Local Government Superannuation Scheme;
  • Police Pension Scheme;
  • Firemen's Pension Scheme;
  • Judicial Pension Scheme; and
  • Overseas Pensions administered by the Overseas Development Administration.

The Government are also committed to increase armed forces pensions in line with the RPI, although this is not required by statute: the increases each year are paid under regulations (Order in Council for the Navy, royal warrant for the Army and Queen's regulations for the RAF: the powers to make regulations are provided under three separate Acts of Parliament).

The following Department of Social Security and Northern Ireland Department of Health and Social Services benefits are uprated by statute by the movement in prices, for which this Government have used the retail prices index:

  • Retirement Pension (Basic RP, and SERPS, Pension Increments, and Graduated RP);
  • Widow's Benefits (excluding Widow's Payment);
  • Industrial Death Benefit;
  • Industrial Disablement Benefit;
  • Invalid Care Allowance;
  • Attendance Allowance;
  • Invalidity Pension;
  • Severe Disablement Allowance;
  • Guardian's Allowance; and
  • Child's Special Allowance.

There is no statutory requirement with respect to war pensions but these are uprated by the RPI by current policy commitment.

There are also a number of contracts between Government and other bodies which are subject to uprating by reference to the RPI.