§ Mr. Webb
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many (i) single men, (ii) single women and (iii) married couples aged(a) 65 to 69, (b) 70 to 74, (c) 75 to 79 and (d) 80 years or over are failing to take up their entitlement to income support; and what amount is unclaimed by each group. 
§ Mr. Keith Bradley
The position under the previous Administration when up to 1 million pensioners did not claim the income support to which they are entitled cannot be allowed to continue. We are commissioning research to find out whey they did not claim income support.
The number of benefit units with a head over 60 not claiming the income support to which they are entitled is estimated to be between 810,000 and 1,100,000. The total amount unclaimed is estimated to be between £590 million and £800 million.252W
Estimates for the age groups specified for 1994–95 are in the table.
Numbers not claiming their entitlement to income support (rounded to the nearest 10,000) Age Single men Single women Couples 65 to 69 10,000 70,000 30,000 70 to 74 20,000 150,000 40,000 75 to 79 20,000 170,000 40,000 80 and over 40,000 310,000 40,000
Amount of income support unclaimed (rounded to the nearest £10 million) Age Single men Single women Couples 65 to 69 Less than £10 million £30 million £40 million 70 to 74 Less than £10 million £80 million £30 million 75 to 79 Less than £10 million £90 million £30 million 80 and over £30 million £240 million £40 million
1. It should be noted that the true figures may be higher or lower.
2. Estimation methods are described in "Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up in 1994–95", a copy of which is in the Library.
3. The estimates for single men and for couples should be treated with particular caution as they are based on small samples.
4. All estimates relate to 1994–95.
§ Mr. Flynn
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the value of income support for a single pensioner aged 80 years or over as a percentage of average earnings; and what it will be in(a) 2000, (b) 2010, (c) 2020, (d) 2030 and (e) 2040, assuming real earnings growth of (i) 1.5 per cent., (ii) 2 per cent. and (iii) 2.5 per cent. and upratings in line with the retail prices index. 
§ Mr. Keith Bradley
[holding answer 24 July 1997]: The policies of the previous Administration have created real poverty, growing inequality and widespread insecurity for pensioners. We believe that pensioners should share fairly in the increasing prosperity of the nation. Our review of pensions is looking at the central areas of pensions insecurity for elderly people. Pensions are of key importance to people's lives and it is vital to build a sustainable consensus on the way forward so that everyone can look forward to a secure and dignified retirement.
The information requested is in the table:
Single pensioner's (over 80) income support as a percentage of estimated average earnings Real growth of average earnings per year Date 1.5 per cent. 2.0 per cent. 2.5 per cent. April 1997 20.6 20.6 20.6 April 2000 19.7 19.4 19.2 April 2010 17.0 15.9 15.0 April 2020 14.6 13.1 11.7 April 2030 12.6 10.7 9.1 April 2040 10.9 8.8 7.1
1. April 1997 data based on current benefit rates and the estimated gross weekly earnings of full-time employees from the Office for National Statistics.
2. The estimates for the future are based on the assumption of no growth in real terms in the value of income support for a pensioner over 80.