§ Mr. Meacher
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the cost to the national insurance fund of allowing(a) employees and (b) employers to contract out of national insurance contributions for receipt of unemployment benefit at the current contracting out rate for occupational and personal pensions, assessing the take-up rate as (a) 10 per cent., (b) 20 per cent. and (c) 50 per cent.
§ Mrs. Gillian Shephard
Such estimates cannot be made on the basis of the assumptions provided. The net cost to the national insurance fund of introducing a system of contracting-out in respect of unemployment benefit would depend on the extent to which expenditure was reduced and the size of the rebate given. The rebate for occupational and personal pensions is based on the cost to pension schemes of providing guaranteed minimum pensions. It would not be appropriate to use that rebate as a basis for producing the estimates requested.