§ Mr. Willetts
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much it would cost a pensioner to purchase an annuity that provides an income covering the gap between the basic pension and the minimum income guarantee at current annuity rates for(a) a single man and (b) a single woman. 
§ Mr. Rooker
The answer would depend upon the relative movement in future years between the value of the basic State Pension and of the minimum income guarantee, as well as upon detailed decisions on the form of the pension credit which will replace the minimum income guarantee, about which we are currently consulting.
§ Mr. O'Hara
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate (1) the number of additional retirement pensioners who will become eligible to receive Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit in consequence of the measures announced in 2000; 
(2) the average additional income which retirement pensioners will be eligible to receive in April in consequence of the most recent changes (a) to the Minimum Income Guarantee, (b) Housing Benefit and (c) Council Tax Benefit, distinguishing between (i) single pensioners and pensioner couples and (ii) pensioners already in receipt of benefits and pensioners newly entitled to benefits; 683W
(3) the number of additional retirement pensioners who will become eligible to receive the Minimum Income Guarantee in April in consequence of the measures announced in 2000, distinguishing between the effects of the increases in income and capital limits. 
§ Mr. Rooker
[holding answer 15 January 2001]As a result of all the measures announced in 2000 (increase in capital limits, equalisation of the three rates of the Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) and protection of the retirement pension increase), the additional number of pensioners and pensioner couples estimated to receive the MIG is 100,000. The total number to benefit from the capital limits change across the three income-related benefits is estimated to be 500,000. The additional number who will receive MIG in 2001 as a result of the capital limits change is estimated to be 50,000.
The number of additional pensioners and pensioner couples who will receive Council Tax Benefit as a result of all the measures announced in 2000 is estimated to be 50,000. The additional number estimated to receive Housing Benefit is negligible from the survey data.
Average additional income which retirement pensioners are modelled to receive, for newly entitled and existing cases as a result of the measures announced in 2000 £ per week Benefit Newly entitled Existing Minimum Income Guarantee 14.00 3.50 Housing Benefit 6.00 1.50 Council Tax Benefit 1.50 0.50
1. The figures provided have been calculated using the Policy Simulation Model (PSM). This models the benefit system in 2001–02 and is based on data from the Family Resource Survey (FRS) for 1997–98, uprated to 2001 prices.
2. The effect of earnings uprating the MIG has not been included. The latest changes to the MIG assume equalisation and protection of the rise in the retirement pension only.
3. Figures for floaters are due to capital changes have come from the PSM and are therefore based on data from the FRS. The FRS questions relating to assets and savings are a sensitive section of the questionnaire and have the lowest response rate; Capital holdings are often under reported. Therefore figures should be treated with some caution.
4. Figures for floaters and gainers have been calibrated to administrative records and historical take up assumptions. Floaters have been rounded to the nearest 50,000 cases. For average gains the figures have been rounded to the nearest £0.50.