§ Mr. Willetts
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many pensioners(a) received the Minimum Income Guarantee premium for those aged between 75 and 79 years and (b) how many received the premium for those aged 80 years and over broken down into single people and couples, and prior to the changes in April. 
§ Mr. Rooker
[holding answer 3 May 2001]: The position on premiums for the earnings related Minimum Income Guarantee prior to this April's changes is given in the table. The two lower rates of the Minimum Income Guarantee were abolished on 9 April and all claimants now receive the highest rate of £92.15 for a single person and £140.55 for couples. The number of pensioners claiming are expected to increase by 140,000 as they become newly entitled to the guarantee because of these increases and increases in the lower and upper capital limits.10W
Income Support claimants aged over 60 with premiums, November 2000 Thousand Premium All claimants Single claimants Couples Higher Pensioner Premium Claimant/partner aged 80 or over 635.3 590.8 44.5 Claimant/partner aged 60–79 494.5 354.6 139.8 Enhanced Pensioner Premium Claimant/partner aged 75–79 142.6 130.4 12.3 Pensioner Premium Claimant/partner aged 60–74 354.9 286.6 68.3
1. Figures are based on a 5 per cent. sample and are therefore subject to a degree of sampling error.
2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred and quoted in thousands.
3. Pensioner Premiums are paid at three rates depending upon age or disability and are paid in respect of either the claimant and/or their partner.
Income Support Quarterly Statistical Enquiry, November 2000.