HC Deb 21 March 1991 vol 188 cc180-1W
Mr. Meacher

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if, pursuant to his reply of 6 March,Official Report, columns 170–71, he will provide a breakdown of the figures for the cost of incentives in the years 1987–88, 1988–89 and 1989–90 between people opting into (a) personal pensions or (b) schemes, giving the numbers involved in each case.

Miss Widdecombe

The Government Actuary's estimates are as follows:

Great Britain
Year Incentives to personal pensions Schemes Number eligible for incentive in personal pensions Schemes
£ billion million
1987–88 0.3 3.1
1988–89 0.35 0.06 3.1 0.5
1989–90 0.5 0.1 4.0 0.75
The amounts paid are shown against the year to which they relate rather than the year in which payment was made.

Mr. William Ross

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what it would cost to raise the state pension of(a) a single person to £60 per week and (b) a married couple to £96 per week; and by how much the basic rate of income tax would have to rise to produce the sums required.

Miss Widdecombe

It would cost an extra £3.6 billion to increase the basic state retirement pension from the 1991–92 levels to those suggested. State retirement pensions are paid from the national insurance fund and not by general taxation, so a rise in these pensions of this amount would imply an increase in national insurance contributions of £2.50 per week for an employee on average male earnings and the same amount for his employer.