Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Pensions on 18th February 1986.
Mr. Wigley Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish a table showing the weekly rate of retirement pension on 1 December of each year since 1956, in actual and in real terms at current prices; and what proportion the figures represented each year of average industrial wages for adult men.
Mr. Major The available figures are contained in table 5.1 of the “Abstract of Statistics for Index of Retail Prices, Average Earnings, Social Security Benefits and Contributions”, a copy of which may be found in the Library. The dates for which comparisons are shown are those on which retirement pensions were uprated, which is the most meaningful basis for real value comparisons.
Mr. Wigley Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the annual cost if the state retirement pension for single persons were increased from the present level to £56 per week, and for married couples from the present level to £84 per week.
Mr. Major The estimated annual additional cost of this proposal to public expenditure is £6,250 million in a full year, allowing for savings on supplementary benefit and housing benefit.