§ Mr. Chris Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what would be the cost to the Exchequer of(a) increasing the lump sum widow's payment to £1,500 and (b) thereafter uprating this new payment annually in line with the retail price index.
§ Mr. Heald
The extra cost of increasing the widow's payment to £1,500 would be approximately £21 million in 1996–97 and £22 million in 1997–981.
Uprating in 1997–98 would cost approximately £650,000 per 1 per cent. increase.
Note:1Source: Government Actuary's Department. Figures rounded to nearest million.