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National Insurance Contributions

Volume 889: debated on Wednesday 26 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what national insurance contributions will be payable from April by a person with an income of £5,000 a year if the income (a) includes £3,600 from his own employment and (b) is entirely from a salaried post; what will be the difference in percentage terms between the contributions and between the benefits to which he is entitled; and why the difference exists;(2) what national insurance contributions will be payable from April for a person with an income of £6,000 a year if the income (

a) includes £3,600 from his own employment and ( b) is entirely from a salaried post; what will be the difference in percentage terms between the contributions and between the benefits to which he is entitled; and why the difference exists;

(3) what national insurance contributions will be payable from April by a person with an income of £7,000 a year if the income ( a) includes £3,600 from his own employment and ( b) is entirely from a salaried post, what will be the difference in percentage terms between the contributions and between the benefits to which he is entitled; and why the difference exists.

It is not possible to given a general answer to these Questions because much would depend on the individual circumstances in each case —for example, the incidence of earnings during the year and whether payment of self-employed contributions can be deferred. I will write to the hon. Member.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what estimate she has made of the effects of the new contribution tests under the Social Security Act 1973 on the numbers totally disqualified and eligible for only reduced benefit, respectively, because they fail to satisfy the contribution test in respect of the following benefits: (i) retirement pension, (ii) widow's allowance, (iii) unemployment benefit, (iv) sickness benefit, and (v) invalidity benefit.

Since the contribution conditions for these benefits are being eased from 6th April 1975 fewer claimants will be adversely affected by being unable to satisfy them, or satisfy them in full, but I regret that no estimates can be made of the numbers involved.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what would be the cost of setting earnings-related national insurance contributions at the following levels, over and above the scheme due to come into force in April 1975: 1½ per cent. on earnings from £11 to £21, 2½ per cent. on earnings from £22 to £32, 3½ per cent. on earnings from £33 to £43, 4½ per cent. on earnings from £44 to £54, and 5½ per cent. on earnings above £55;(2) to what level would the upper earnings limit in the scale of earnings-related national insurance contributions have to be raised to introduce the reform at nil cost to the Exchequer.

A full year of these contributions, if they were payable in respect of all employed earners, would increase the contribution income in 1975–76 by about £1,040 million on the assumptions about earnings and unemployment in the Government Actuary's Report on the Social Security Benefits Bill (Cmnd. 5788).The additional contribution income would attract a Treasury supplement of 18 per cent. If however, the law were changed so that the Treasury supplement were limited to what it would have been on the rates of contribution due to come into force in April, the loss of income to the National Insurance Fund could be met by a contribution in respect of employed earners of 19·5 per cent. of earnings between £69 and about £76 a week.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many men and women, respectively, of retirement age are currently receiving no retirement pension because of a deficient contribution record.