Skip to main content

Benefits And Pensions (Rural Areas)

Volume 928: debated on Friday 18 March 1977

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will seek powers to increase the level of social security and pension payments to residents in rural areas where the cost of food and transport is substantially higher than in urban areas.

No. The national insurance scheme is a contributory one, and I can see no reason to depart from the well-established principle that people in all parts of the country pay contributions and receive benefits on the same basis. I do not think it would be possible to quantify price and other cost of living variations in different parts of the country—some of which would be counterbalancing—and reflect them in the supplementary benefits scheme in a way which would be both equitable and workable.