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Volume 884: debated on Tuesday 21 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what percentage of average weekly earnings of male industrial workers with £2 earnings disregard for supplementary benefit represented when it was introduced in November 1966; what it represents now; and what equivalent percentage the £4 earnings disregard proposal in the Social Security Benefits Bill will represent.

The £2 earnings disregard represented 9·9 per cent. of the average weekly earnings of male industrial workers in November 1966, and 4 per cent. in October 1974, which is the latest month for which estimates of average industrial earnings are available. A disregard of £4 would represent 8·1 per cent. at October 1974. It is not possible to say what the percentage would be at any later date.