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Column 383

scheme since its location in the City tends to make it warmer than the area covered by the Department's local offices in the Hexham constituency. The weather station at Leeming, in the Vale of York, though further away, experiences temperature more representative of the Hexham constituency.

Invalid Care Allowance

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what action he is taking to trace the women who are entitled to back-payments of the invalid care allowance in consequence of the decision by the European Court of Justice in the case of Lucy Mabel Hood of Horsham :; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Scott : The case of Mrs. Hood's claim to invalid care allowance has not been before the European Court of Justice. She was however recently awarded benefit by a Social Security commissioner. We are now considering carefully the wider implications of the commissioner's decision.

Income Support

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he intends to implement the recommendation in the report "I can't go back to Mum and Dad", published by Barnados of a premium payment for care leavers ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : We are monitoring the impact of the reformed benefit on all income support recipients, including the young people covered by the report. Once that exercise has been completed, we shall consider what, if anything, needs to be done.

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Retirement Pension

Sir Ian Gilmour : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the basic national insurance pension in 1958 (a) as a percentage of average earnings in 1958 and (b) in 1988 prices and as a percentage of average earnings in 1988.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : In January 1958 the full basic national insurance retirement pension was 19.8 per cent. of the average earnings of all male manual workers. In April 1988 it was 20.5 per cent. The full basic pension in 1958 at 1988 prices was £21.75.

Mortgage Interest

Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what would be (a) the overall varying and (b) benefit to the Exchequer for 1989-90 from calculating benefit increases on the retail prices index calculated without the inclusion of mortgage interest payments.

Mr. Scott [holding answer 6 December 1988] : Between September 1987 and September 1988 the retail prices index excluding the cost of mortgage interest payments rose by 5.2 per cent. If the April 1989 uprating has been calculated using this figure the cost would have been reduced by around £160 million, as shown in the table :

Benefit                   |£ million          


Retirement pension        |- 137              

Widows benefit            |- 6                

Unemployment benefit      |- 6                

Invalidity benefit        |- 26               

Attendance allowance      |- 8                

Mobility allowance        |- 5                

Other benefits            |- 13               

Income support            |+ 32               

Rent rebate and allowance |+ 10               

Total                     |- 159              


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