§ Mr. Swinney
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the annual cost of reinstating the link with earnings for the state pension from 1 October. 
§ Mr. Rooker
[holding answer 26 October 1999]: Social Security benefits are uprated in April each year.
The net costs of uprating the basic state pension in line with the average earnings index from 1 April 2000 Million (1999–2000 prices) Year Excluding linked benefits Including linked benefits 2000–01 730 850 2001–02 1,040 1,210 2002–03 1,510 1,750 2003–04 2,060 2,390 2004–05 2,610 3,040
- 1. As annual costs are not constant over time the first five years are shown.
- 2. Costs are in 1999–2000 prices and are rounded to the nearest £10 million.
- 3. Net costs are estimated using gross costs provided by the Government Actuary's Department, together with income-related benefit offsets produced by the Policy Simulation Model and PENSIM in the Department for Social Security. Overseas cases are included.
- 4. Costings assume the Minimum Income Guarantee continues to be uprated in line with earnings. No allowance is made for introduction of the State Second Pension or the measures in the Welfare Reform Bill.