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Canada (Reciprocity)

Volume 951: debated on Tuesday 13 June 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress he is making with the Canadian Government in negotiating a comprehensive reciprocal agreement on social security between the United Kingdom and Canada.

Officials of my Department met a team of Canadian officials last year to explore the possibility of concluding a reciprocal agreement on social security with the Canadian Government. A number of options were discussed.Any agreement which might be concluded with the Canadian Government would involve the United Kingdom in additional expenditure, the amount being dependent on the scope of the agreement. The case for an agreement must therefore be considered in the light of the current constraints on public expenditure and within the framework of the Government's overall financial strategy. It may well not be possible to reach a final deci-

YearNumber of families receiving benefit at November or December of each yearCost of payments to families in regular receipt of benefitAverage number of recipient of regular weekly payments each yearEstimated number of families eligible for but not receiving benefitEstimated value of benefit unclaimed by families in (e)Take-up ((d) as percentage of (d)+(e))
Thousands£million per annumThousandsThousands£million per annum
Supplementary Pensions (head of family over pension age)19761,6874611,6405808074
Supplementary Allowances (head of family under pension age)19761,2531,0651,260340*170*79
* Included in these figures were 110,000 single persons who were neither sick nor registering for work, with an apparent unclaimed benefit entitlement of £50 million.