To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what would be the current levels of child benefit if it had been uprated since April 1979 in line with (a) the retail price index and (b) the single person's tax allowance; and what would be the net costs after allowing for benefit savings elsewhere in the system, of uprating it to those amounts now.
The levels would be (a) £8.66, (b) £10.32.The net costs of uprating to these levels would be £660 million and £1,440 million respectively.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, further to his reply to the right hon. Member for Chesham and Amersham, Official Report, 5 March, column 532, what would be the cost of restoring the combined 1979 value of child benefit plus long-term national insurance addition for children of widows, invalidity and retirement pensioners.
It is estimated that the cost would be approximately £56.7 million.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what has been the saving in public expenditure from the freezing of child benefit each year since 1987 and cumulatively, at current and 1990 prices.
The sums involved for each of the years are as follows:
On a cumulative basis this would be about £1,125 million in cash terms and £1,185 million at 1990–91 prices.
Over the same period the following extra help was channelled to the least well-off families—those in receipt of income support or family credit—who do not gain from an increase in child benefit:
The cumulative figures on the same basis as above would be around £800 million and £850 million respectively.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much it would have cost his Department to increase child benefit by double the level of index in 1989–90.
About £645 million.