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Child Benefit

Volume 127: debated on Thursday 11 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the cost of increasing child benefit in line with the projected rate of inflation.

Increases in the rate of child benefit are not statutorily linked to movements in the retail prices index, but even for those benefits which are, the calculations are made on a "historical" and not a "projected" basis. If the current rate of child benefit were to be increased from April 1988 in line with the prices movement—over the 12 months to September 1987—used for uprating other benefits, the net additional cost for a full year would be £120 million.