HL Deb 30 April 1996 vol 571 cc139-40WA
Baroness Castle of Blackburn

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, following their statement to the House on 29th November 1995, (H.L. Deb, col. 593), that social security is costing the average working person £15 every working day, they will provide information on how that figure is composed; what services and types of pensions and benefits are included in the term "social security"; what is the wage of the "average working person" and how many days per week are included in the term "every working day".

The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish)

The information is set out in the table.

Grand total of Social Security spending 1995–961 £92.5 billion
Working population (workforce in employment)2 24.8 million
Working days per year 252
Calculation for the equivalent cost of Social Security per working person per working day is: (rounded to the nearest £1) £15
The average weekly wage of working female adults in 1995–963 £275.70
The average weekly wage of working male adults in 1995–963 £382


1 Departmental Report March 1996 (Table 3)—Grand total of social security spending is made up of; total Department of Social Security expenditure, plus rent rebates in England and Wales financed within housing revenue account and the difference between specific grants paid by the Department of Social Security and total local authority spend on housing benefit and council tax benefit and administration of these benefits, including benefit and administration expenditure financed by the local authorities.

2 Employment GazetteJuly 95 (Workforce in Employment).

3Inland Revenue.