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Retirement Pensions

Volume 523: debated on Monday 1 February 1954

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40.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what he estimates would be the saving in Government contribution to the National Insurance Fund and to the National Assistance Board if there were a separate fund for retirement pensions maintained directly by the Exchequer, and assuming the basic retirement pension to be £2 10s. per person, per week.

:The annual Exchequer payments at present made in respect of National Insurance contributions and National Assistance would be reduced by sums of the order of £35 million and £30 million, respectively. The Exchequer, however, would incur a direct annual liability in respect of retirement pensions of about £560 million immediately, rising to £1,080 million in 25 years' time; these sums would be larger if the equivalent of the existing contribution conditions could not be maintained.

41.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what reduction he estimates would be possible in the employed persons contribution to the National Insurance Fund if there were a separate fund for retirement pensions maintained directly by the Exchequer.

The reduction would be nearly half the employed person's contribution for National Insurance benefits.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will give an estimate of the increase that would be possible in the basic rate of the retirement pension if the Exchequer contribution were increased at the same rate, per cent., as that of the employed person.

I am not clear what contribution increases the hon. Member has in mind, but I must point out that even at present rates of retirement pension there will be an increasing excess of expenditure over income to be provided for.