§ Mr. Nellist
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what would have been the cost in each year to public funds at 1992 prices to have maintained since November 1980 the system by which statutory up-rating of pensions was required to increase by whichever was the higher of prices or earnings.
§ Miss Widdecombe
The annual cost to the national insurance fund (at 1991–92 prices at £ millions) of uprating basic retirement pensions each year by prices or earnings whichever was higher in each year starting in November 1980 for each financial year is given in the table:
Financial Year Cost £ millions 1980–81 127 1981–82 552 1982–83 747 1983–84 833 1984–85 1,509 1985–86 1,679 1986–87 2,581 1987–88 3,769 1988–89 4,571 1989–90 5,430 1990–91 5,884 1991–92 6,271
There would be some offsetting savings in expenditure on income-related benefits.
The cost to the national insurance fund of these extra costs in 1991–92 would mean an increase of £8.70 per week in the combined national insurance contributions of a man on average earnings and his employer.