asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, in the current tax year, he has carried out a review as required by section 21 of the Social Security Pensions Act 1975 for the purpose of determining whether earnings factors have maintained their value in relation to the general level of earnings obtained in Great Britain.
Yes. I have carried out such a review and have concluded that earnings factors have not maintained their value. As required by section 21, I shall therefore be making an order to provide for them to be increased. In accordance with clause 3(3) of the Social Security Bill at present before Parliament, this order will be subject to the negative resolution procedure and will be made as soon as possible after the Bill receives the Royal Assent.The order will provide for a revaluation of earnings factors for 1979–80 by 19·7 per cent., the amount by which the Department of Employment's monthly index of average earnings—new series—increased between December 1978, the end of the period on which the 1979 review was based, and December 1979, the latest date for which a firm figure is available. The order will also provide for a consolidated increase in earnings factors for 1978–79 of 35·6 per cent., a figure which takes account of the increase in those earnings factors provided for in the Social Security Revaluation of Earnings Factors Order 1979, SI 1979, No. 832.