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Child Benefit

Volume 978: debated on Wednesday 6 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services by how much the value of the £4 child benefit has fallen in real terms since it was increased to that amount.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the present value of child benefit in real terms compared with £4 in April 1979; and at present rates of inflation, what he estimates will be the real value in November 1980 and April 1981.

Compared with April 1979 the value of child benefit at December 1979 was £3·58. On the basis of the Industry Act forecast of the movement of prices from quarter 4 1979 to quarter 4 1980 of 14 per cent., the value would be about £3·16 in November 1980. In the absence of any such forecast to April 1981, I cannot speculate as to the value at that date.