§ 18. Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the percentage change in real terms in the value of the state retirement pension since 1979.
§ Miss Widdecombe
My hon. Friend will be pleased to learn that the average real value of the state retirement pension in the year ending April 1990 was 5 per cent. higher than in the year to November 1979, although its value decreased by 3 per cent., if one merely compares its worth on the dates in 1979 and 1990 when it was uprated. My hon. Friend will, of course, agree with me that what really matters to pensioners is their total income which, as a result of the Government's successful economic strategy, increased by 31 per cent. in real terms between 1979 and 1987.