§ Mr. Wareing
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress is being made towards a social security convention with the Canadian Department of Health and Welfare to enable pensions payable to British pensioners residing in Canada to be uprated; and what the annual cost of such uprating would be.
§ Mr. Lyell
The Government have accepted the case in principle for a social security convention with Canada which would include uprating United Kingdom pensions in Canada.
Officials of the Department and of the Canadian Department of Health and Welfare have held discussions on the preparatory technical matters. Such a convention, however, would involve extra expenditure for the United Kingdom to which we cannot at present be committed. The cost of paying full index-linked United Kingdom pension to pensioners in Canada at November 1985 rates is estimated to be over £35 million a year. The cost of paying only the pension increases due after any convention came into effect is estimated at about £4.8 million in the first year, rising year by year until all British pensioners are being paid at full United Kingdom rates. Consequently, we cannot say when we shall be able to make further progress towards a new social security convention with Canada.