§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many women pay reduced rate Class I National Insurance Contributions; what estimate he has made of their level of earnings; and what their percentage increase in national insurance contributions was in April. 
§ Dawn Primarolo
An estimated 50,000 women will pay the reduced rate of Class 1 National Insurance Contributions in 2003–04 and their estimated average earnings is £290 per week. These estimates have been provided by the Government Actuary Department and are consistent with Budget 2003.
The married women's reduced rate was increased by 1 percentage point in April this year.