HL Deb 08 December 2004 vol 667 cc40-1WA
Baroness Greengross

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the estimated cost in 2004–05 of (a) the winter fuel payment; (b) free TV licences to those aged over 75; (c) the age-related payment to help meet council tax bills; (d) the pension credit for savings; and (e) the pension credit for income; and whether they will estimate by how much the basic full state pension would have increased on a weekly and annual basis if this sum had been spent on state pensions. [HL121]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham

The information is provided in the table below:

£ millions
(a) Winter fuel payment 1,957
(b) Free TV licences to those aged over 75 412
(c) The age related payment to help meet council tax bills 502
(d) Pension Credit—Savings Credit 923
(e) Pension Credit—Guarantee Credit 4,807
Total 8,601

Source: 2004 DWP forecasts

It is estimated that if the total amount was spent on the basic state pension the weekly basic state pension would increase by £17.15 and the annual basic state pension would increase by £892. However, it is estimated that over 1.6 million pensioner benefit households who are currently on pension credit would lose out, as the reduction in their pension credit entitlement is worth more than the gain from the increase in the basic State Pension.


1. Figures are for GB in 2004–05 price terms, rounded to the nearest £1 million. Based on DWP forecasts for the 2004 Budget.

2. Figures do not include reductions in expenditure on other income-related benefits or changes in tax revenue.