§ Mr. Rendel
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how she will protect the benefit entitlement of the low paid following the aligning of the starting point at which employees pay national insurance contributions with the single personal allowance. 
§ Mr. Denham
In his Budget Statement, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor announced that future reforms will ensure that no one pays National Insurance contributions on the first £81 of their weekly earnings. He added that all employees earning between £64 and £81 will have their benefit rights protected. We shall be considering how best to provide this protection and will bring forward proposals in due course.
§ Mr. Webb
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she will estimate the effect on revenues from employee NICs in each of the next 10 financial years if the upper earnings limit for employee NICs were to be indexed to earnings rather than prices, with the lower earnings limit continuing to be indexed to prices; and what would be the level of the UEL in each year. 
§ Mr. Denham
[holding answer 13 March 1998]: The information is set out in the table.
Estimated upper earnings limit and net additional revenue from class 1 national insurance contributions paid by employees in Great Britain in each year from 1999–00 to 2008–09 if upper earnings limit indexed to earnings from April 1999 Year Upper earnings limit (£ a week at 1998–99 prices) Net additional revenue from employees' (£b at 1998–99 prices) 1999–00 492 0.1 2000–01 500 0.2 2001–02 507 0.3 2002–03 515 0.5 2003–04 522 0.6 2004–05 530 0.8 2005–06 538 0.9 2006–07 546 1.1 2007–08 555 1.2 2008–09 563 1.4
These estimates assume that earnings will increase by 1.5 per cent. a year in real terms throughout the period covered by the table.
Government Actuary's Department.