Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on War Pensions on 18th June 1986.
Mr. Alfred Morris Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services by what percentage the war pensions budget has been reduced in each of the last five years due to the deaths of war pensioners and war widows; and if he has made any estimate of the likely reduction in 1986-87.
Mr. Major There have been no reductions in the war pensions budget over the last five years. Although the number of war pensioners and war widows has been decreasing – by 18 per cent. over the period 1980–81 to 1985–86 – this has been more than offset by the effect of annual upratings and by real improvements to the structure of the benefit. Expenditure per beneficiary was 19 per cent. higher in real terms at the end of the period than at the beginning.
On the assumptions underlying the 1986 public expenditure White Paper (Cmnd. 9702, Vol. II, part 3.15), expenditure on war pensions will be 2 per cent. higher in 1986-87 than in 1985-86, despite a 3.4 per cent. fall in the number of beneficiaries.