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Social Security Benefits

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 14 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average weekly amount of benefit was for an (a) single pensioner, (b) married pensioner, (c) single person under pensionable age, (d) married couple under pensionable age and (e) married couple with children (i) in 1997 and (ii) at the latest available date. (128541)

[pursuant to the reply, 18 May 2007, Official Report, c. 941W]: The available information is in the following table.

Average (mean) weekly benefit payments to claimants in Great Britain




Single pensioner



Married pensioner couple



Single non-pensioner



Married non-pensioner couple



Married non-pensioner couple with children




1.Data for 1997-98 were collected between April 1997 and March 1998 and data for 2005-06 were collected between April 2005 and March 2006.

2.The Family Resources Survey (FRS) is a nationally representative sample of approximately 28,000 households.

3.Pensioner couple is defined as a couple where the head of the benefit unit is over pension age, defined as 60 for women and 65 for men.

4.Married couples include Civil Partnerships in 2005-06.

5.The estimates are based on sample counts that have been adjusted for non-response using multi-purpose grossing factors which align the FRS to Government Office Region populations by age and sex. Estimates are subject to sampling error and remaining non-response error.

6.Figures are mean-averages of weekly benefits received by claimants only (i.e. excluding non-claimants) and have been rounded to the nearest £1. Figures for couples are average weekly benefit amounts per couple.

7.Figures for weekly benefits include both income-related and non-income related benefits but exclude tax credits.


Family Resources Survey: Great Britain 1997-98 and 2005-06.