HC Deb 12 June 1992 vol 209 cc314-5W
Mr. Quentin Davies

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assessment he has made of the cost to public funds of merging the social security and tax systems; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Burt

There are many different options for merging the social security and tax systems; for example through a basic income guarantee, tax/credits and negative income tax schemes.

We have made no assessment of the cost of detailed options, but it is clear that such schemes could be very expensive. For example, a basic income guarantee around the level of retirement pension, could easily cost in the region of £200 billion per annum and yet still be unlikely to eliminate all need for income-related benefits.