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Benefit Recipients (National Insurance Contributions)

Volume 984: debated on Thursday 15 May 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if it is his intention that recipients of national insurance benefits should be liable for national insurance contribution;(2) if it his intention that recipients of supplementary benefits should be liable for national insurance contribution.

I have no plans to impose liability for national insurance contributions on either type of benefit. Such liability would in any event require major changes in the social security system. In order to protect entitlement to contributory benefits, credits are available for weeks of incapacity or unemployment provided that the relevant conditions, such as providing evidence of incapacity or proving availability for work, are met. If credits are not available and there is a shortfall of contributions necessary to protect entitlement, recipients of benefits may, like anyone else, pay voluntary class 3 contributions.