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Pensioners (Benefits)

Volume 113: debated on Wednesday 1 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the cost in a full year at 1987–88 rates of (a) increasing the state pension by £5 per week for single and £8 for married persons, respectively, and (b) increasing supplementary benefits for pensioners between mid-December and the end of March by £5 per week to cover fuel bills.

The estimated cost (a) of increasing the state pension (retirement, invalidity and widow's pension, supplementary pension and the linked needs allowance for housing benefit) by £5 a week for single and £8 a week for married persons would be £2·7 billion in a full year, (b) of paying £5 a week between mid-December and the end of March to those pensioners currently receiving supplementary benefit would be £150 million; there could also be a substantial extra cost in respect of other pensioners who would then become entitled to supplementary pension during the winter months.