HC Deb 29 July 1997 vol 299 cc250-1W
Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she will estimate the cost of raising the addition to the basic state pension for those aged 80 years or over from 25p to(a) £3 per week and (b) £5 per week, assuming no change in the thresholds for means-tested benefits. [9320]

Mr. Denham

We believe that all pensioners should share fairly in rising national prosperity and are committed to examine the means of delivering more help to the poorest pensioners—many of whom are over 80. We will retain the basic state pension as the foundation of pension provision, increasing it at least in line with prices.

The estimated net cost of increasing the 25p age addition paid to those pensioners aged 80 years and over is £200 million and £350 million a year respectively.


Figures are rounded to the nearest £10 million.


Gross costs provided by Government Actuary's Department. Net costs taking account of income related benefit offsets have been calculated by the Department of Social Security Analytical Services Division.

Mr. Garnier

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the cost of the extra 25p to pensioners over the age of 80 years; what was the cost of its administration in each year since 1992; and what estimate she has made of the cost of each in each of the next five financial years. [11072]

Mr. Denham

We have announced a wide-ranging review of all aspects of pensions. Our long-term objective is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to build up an adequate pension to guarantee security in retirement.

We aim to build a society in which there is a wide consensus on the future for pensions, both now and tomorrow, and to provide dignity in retirement for the whole nation.

The 25p age addition is paid automatically to all those in receipt of a state retirement pension when they reach age 80; administration costs are therefore minimal.

The cost of the age addition paid to pensioners over 80 since 1992 and for the next five years is given in the table.

Year Estimated expenditure on age addition £ million
1992–93 29
1993–94 30
1994–95 31
1995–96 31
1996–97 32
1997–98 32
1998–99 31
1999–00 31
2000–01 32
2001–02 33

1. Estimates have been prepared by the Government Actuary's Department. Recipients of retirement pension, non-contributory retirement pension and industrial industries death benefit are included. Estimates for past years are based on the actual numbers over 80 on each benefit in question.

2. Estimates are in cash prices and rounded to the nearest £1 million. They relate to the gross cost of the addition, i.e. any income-related benefit effects of not paying the addition are not taken into account.