§ Mr. Flynn
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for North Tayside (Mr. Swinney) of 27 October 1999,Official Report, column 876, on the state pension, what rates of increase in average earnings were assumed in calculating the cost of uprating the basic pension in line with earnings. 
§ Mr. Rooker
The assumed annual rate of increase in average earnings is 4.3 per cent. throughout the period.
Average earnings growth is based on a DSS assumption which is broadly consistent with the average of independent (non-Government) forecasts.