§ Mr. RichardsTo ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the additional cost of linking state pensions to average earnings in Wales during the last five years. 
§ Mr. Heald[holding answer Thursday 27 February]: The information is in the table.
£ Year Gross additional cost of uprating basic retirement pensions by average earnings in Wales Net additional cost of uprating basic retirement pensions by average earnings in Wales 1992–93 49 36 1993–94 85 61 1994–95 87 62 1995–96 119 86 1996–97 109 80 Sources:
1. The numbers in receipt of basic retirement pension and the average amount received have been estimated based on a 5 per cent. sample of live cases—10 per cent. in 1992–93 and 1993–94.
2. Earnings growth in Wales has been estimated by the Office for National Statistics, using the new earnings survey.
1. Estimates are rounded to the nearest £1 million.
2. The NES is calculated in April each year and the figures have been adjusted to provide figures for September allowing a comparison with the September retail prices index that is used for uprating RP. The NES figures have been adjusted by taking the ratio of the NES increase from April to April and the average earnings index April to April increases and multiplying this by the AEI increases from April to September. The headline AEI whole economy figure is used.
3. The gross expenditure is estimated by calculating the percentage increase in standard basic RP and then applying this percentage increase to the actual total expenditure on RP in Wales.
4. The net expenditure takes account of income related benefits that would otherwise have been paid. The offset ratios have been calculated using the policy simulation model which is based on information from the family expenditure survey. For 1992–93, the 1993–94 offset ratio has been applied.