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Sickness Benefit

Volume 888: debated on Friday 14 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the difference in the weekly entitlement to sickness benefit of men normally earning £2,000, £2,500, £3,000 and £3,600 a year who are (a) employed, and (b) self-employed ; and what relationship this difference bears to the difference in their contribution.

The amount of sickness benefit differs between the employed and the self-employed only because the self-employed are not normally entitled to earnings-related supplement. Based on annual earnings of £2,000 in the relevant tax year the current weekly rate of earnings-related supplement is £8.17 ; based on the other earnings level in the Question the weekly rate of earnings-related supplement is £9·37.It is estimated that the costs in 1975–76 of the benefits to which the self-employed are not entitled and the corresponding costs of administration will be met from a contribution in respect of the employed of 1·6 per cent. of their earnings up to £69 per week, together with the Treasury supplement that those contributions attract; about 0·3 per cent, is for earnings-related supplement to sickness benefit.For those with the earnings levels referred to in the Question the total contribution in respect of the employed is 14 per cent, of earnings and that for the self-employed about 8 per cent, of earnings.