§ 8. Mr. McKay
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what were the average earnings of men, women, and youths in October, 1946; what percentage of such earnings was paid to single man pensioners in 1946: what were the average earnings of men, women, and youths in April, 1956; what percentage rise this represents over the 1946 earnings; what would the single man's contributory pension under National Insurance be today if the pension had the same percentage relationship to the 1956 earnings; and what would the married couples pension be if related in the same way to the earnings rise.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
The average earnings including overtime, bonus payments etc. of all classes of manual wage earners was £5 1s. per week in October. 1946. The single rate of retirement pension which had at that time just been introduced was at a rate approximately 26 per cent. of that figure. The comparable figure for earnings in April, 1956, was £9 17s. 9d. a week. This represents a rise of about 96 per cent. over the October, 1946, level. The application of a similar percentage rise to the single retirement pension rate produces a figure of £2 10s. 10d. A similar calculation applied to the 1946 married retirement pension rate of 40s. produces a figure of £4 2s. 3d. I gave the hon. Member on78W 19th November the result of similar calculations applied to increases in wage rates.