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Supplementary Benefits And Prices

Volume 415: debated on Tuesday 16 December 1980

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether increases in supplementary benefits for 1979 and 1980 have matched the prices for these years.

In November 1979 the ordinary supplementary benefit scale rates were increased by about 17·5 per cent., and the long-term scale rates by more than 19 per cent. The increase in the long-term rates took account of the shortfall in the previous Administration's uprating in November 1978. The increase in the retail price index (RPI) between November 1978 and November 1979 was 17·4 per cent. Details of the increase in the RPI between the November 1979 and November 1980 upratings are not yet available, but the movement in prices is expected to be about 1 per cent, less than the 16·5 per cent, by which the ordinary supplementary benefit scale rates were increased in November 1980. The long-term scale rates were increased by a slightly lower amount—14·5 per cent.—in order to bring them into line with the corresponding national insurance rates as part of the reform and simplification of the supplementary benefits scheme.