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Volume 33: debated on Monday 6 December 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the Official Report a table comparing the disposable income of a single retired person and a married retired couple, as a proportion of the disposable income of a married couple in receipt of average earnings, for each year since 1974.

The annual family expenditure survey provides information about the average disposable income of different household groups for years up to 1980. The following table sets out the available figures from that source, together with information about net income from national average earnings set out in table 6.3b of the Department's annual abstract of statistics for index of retail prices, average earnings social security benefits and contributions.


Average normal weekly disposable income—retired households, United Kingdom

Net income from national average earnings after deducting tax and National Insurance contributions

Retired one person households £

Retired two person households, 1 man, 1 woman £

Single person £

Married couple no children £

Mainly dependent on State pensionsOther retiredMainly dependent on State pensionOther retired

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the number of pensioners (a) receiving rent or rate rebates, (b) receiving help with housing costs from supplementary benefit, (c) who own their homes outright and (d) who are buying their homes on a mortgage; and if he will express these figures as a percentage of the total pensioner population.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many, or what proportion of, pensioner households are excluded from calculations of the general index of retail prices; and what has been the annual change in this number or proportion.

I have been asked to reply.Pensioner households excluded from the coverage of the general index of retail prices are those in which at least three quarters of income comes from national insurance retirement and similar pensions including benefits paid in supplement to or instead of such pensions.These pensioners have accounted for about two-fifths of all retired people in recent years; for 1982 the figure was 38 per cent. and for 1981 it was 40 per cent.