HC Deb 18 January 1996 vol 269 cc717-8W
Mr. Redmond

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will consider making a substantial increase in the additional state retirement pension paid to pensioners over 80 years of age; and if he will make a statement. [9152]

Mr. Heald

We have no plans to uprate the 25p addition which is paid to all pensioners from the age of 80. The income support scheme also provides from that age a higher pensioner premium which is increased regularly.

the percentage yearly change in each case and the overall cumulative change (i) net of community care and (ii) including community care. [8888]

Mr. Moss

[holding answer 17 January 1996]: It is not possible to provide the information exactly in the form requested, as the provision of community care in Northern Ireland is the responsibility of health and social services boards rather than local authorities. The chart shows the estimated level of the financial support paid by the Department of the Enviornment for Northern Ireland, by means of general Exchequer grant, to each of the 26 district councils in Northern Ireland. Other Northern Ireland Departments also make specific grants to district councils to assist both capital and revenue programmes relating to such matters as the arts, sports and tourism.

This premium, we believe, is of far more help to pensioners on low incomes, and a more effective use of resources, than increasing the existing 25p age addition for all pensioners aged 80 and over regardless of individual need.