§ Paul Flynn
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what would have been the value of the basic pension for a single person and a married couple in each year from 1998–99 to 2002–03 if it had been increased each year in line with the average earnings index for(a) the previous September and (b) May to July; and what would have been the additional costs in each year compared with the actual pension rates. 152W
§ Mr. McCartney
In 2001–02 alone, the Government will spend around £4½ billion more in real terms on help for pensioners than was spent in 1996–97. That is almost £3 billion more than would have been spent through earnings uprating of the basic state pension. Of this extra spending, £2 billion is going to the poorest third of pensioners—five times more than an earnings link would have given them.
The information requested is shown in the tables.
6(a) September (b) May-July Single Couple Single Couple 1998–99 £65.00 £103.90 £64.95 £103.80 1999–2000 £68.40 £109.30 £68.65 £109.70 2000–01 £71.60 £114.40 £71.90 £114.90 2001–02 £74.60 £119.20 £74.80 £119.50 2002–03 £78.05 £124.70 £78.25 £125.00
1. Figures are in cash terms, £ per week.
2. Part a uses the September whole economy, seasonally adjusted annual percentage change in the average earnings index.
3. Part b uses the May to July whole economy, seasonally adjusted headline rate from the average earnings index.
The extra cost of uprating the basic state pension by the average earnings index in (a) the previous September and (b) May-July would have been:
£ billion (a) September (b) May-July 1998–99 0.2 0.1 1999–2000 0.8 0.9 2000–01 2.1 2.2 2001–02 1.1 1.2 2002–03 1.2 1.3
Figures are in constant 2001–02 price terms, rounded to the nearest £100 million.