§ Mr. Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what the cost would have been of increasing basic pension in line with earnings since 1 May 1997; what the value of such an increase would have been to a single pensioner; what the actual increase in basic pension has been since 1 May 1997, and what the cost has been; and what the cost of the winter payments to pensioners have been in each year since 1 May 1997. 
§ Mr. Timms
[holding answer 15 March 1999]: The information is in the tables.
Estimated cost (net of means-tested benefits) of uprating basic state pension by prices from April 1997 level £ million Excluding linked benefits Including linked benefits 1998–99 770 920 1999–2000 1,520 1,790
Estimated additional cost (net of means-tested benefits) of uprating basic state pension by earnings from April 1998 onwards £ million Excluding linked benefits Including linked benefits 1998–99 100 120 1999–2000 510 600
Value of category A pension (100 per cent. rate for a single person under 80) £ Actual rate Rate if uprated by earnings from April 1998 onwards 1997–98 62.45 62.45 1998–99 64.70 65.00 1999–2000 66.75 68.20
Estimated cost of winter fuel payments £ million Cost 1997–98 200 1998–99 200
1. Table 1 shows the estimated cost of uprating the basic State pension by prices compared with a situation where no uprating takes place after April 1997. Table 2 shows the extra cost, over and above uprating by prices of uprating by earnings from April 1998 onwards.
2. Estimates of total costs in first two tables are rounded to nearest £10 million and are cash figures.
3. Contributory benefit effects have been provided by the Government Actuary's Department
4. Means-tested benefit offsets were estimated using the 1995–96 and 1996–97 Family Resources Survey and the May 1997 Income Support Quarterly Statistical Inquiry.