§ Miss Widdecombe
The administrative complexities of changing the level of payment for several million beneficiaries receiving a wide range of different benefits means that a considerable period of time is required between the announcement and payment of uprated benefits.
§ Mr. Jack
The Government are now spending more on social security, in real terms, than ever before. Expenditure increased by £14–5 billion in real terms at 1990–91 prices between 1979–80 and 1990–91, a real increase of 35 per cent.
Taking the period since 1979 as a whole, all weekly benefit rates have been uprated in line with inflation, or better in some cases, with the exceptions of child benefit, statutory sick pay and sickness benefit. These have been uprated but not always in line with inflation.