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Disability Benefit

Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what have been the annual savings to his Department in constant prices of ending the link between disability benefit and average earnings. [1417]

Mr. Burt: The link between invalidity benefit and earnings was broken in 1980 to ensure that long-term provision of benefit based on incapacity should be sustainable.

The additional costs which would have been incurred had invalidity benefit been increased by average earnings are set out in the table.

YearAdditional cost 1996-97 prices £ million
1980-815
1981-8235
1982-8345
1983-8455
1984-85110
1985-86125
1986-87205
1987-88315
1988-89410
1989-90505
1990-91595
1991-92685
1992-93860
1993-94985
1994-951,055

1. Estimates cover invalidity pension and adult dependency increases only. 2. Estimates rounded to nearest £5 million.

3. Estimates converted to 1996-97 prices using the GDP deflator.

4. Other benefit offsets estimated using family expenditure survey data.


Hearing Impairment Aids

Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much has been spent by his Department on aids for those with hearing impairments in each of the last 10 years in constant prices. [1418]

Mr. Heald: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the table.

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Expenditure at 1995-96 prices

£
1993-94215,697.14
1994-95319,441.49
1995-96381,767.49

Retired Citizens

Mr. Dykes: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what recent public representations he has received on the range of Government policies available for needy retired citizens. [1297]

Mr. Heald: I met with representatives from "Pensioners Voice" on 5 November. A number of letters have also been received from individual members of the public.

Industrial Injuries

Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the total cost of operating the PD D12 scheme, including administration, medical boards and awards but excluding the cost of medical appeal tribunals. [3251]

Mr. Roger Evans: The information is not available.

The PD D12 scheme is one of some 70 prescribed diseases for which disablement benefit may be claimed. The costs of the administration of individual prescribed diseases are not identified separately.

Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the total number of applicants for PD D12 to date; how many awards have been made; what is the average weekly award made; and what is the average disablement assessment for the disease. [3250]

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Mr. Evans: As at 30 September 1996, there had been 48,778 claims and 5,352 1 awards of industrial injuries disablement benefit for prescribed disease PD D12. The average weekly rate is estimated at £54.72, based on April 1996 benefit rates, and the average disablement assessment is 55 per cent 2 .


Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is average cost of a single MAT case; and how many PD D12 appellants there were between September 1993 and September 1996. [3252]

Mr. Evans: The information is not readily available in the format requested. The average cost to the independent tribunal service of a medical appeal tribunal case cleared, is estimated at £578, excluding departmental agency costs. The Benefits Agency estimates that its costs are in the region of £60 per case.

Information on the number of appellants in respect of PD D12 is available only for the period from 13 September 1993 to 2 October 1994, when there were 7,817 appeals, including 1,654 appeals to an medical appeal tribunal. Information on PD D12 appellants for later periods could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Retirement Pensions

Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will recalculate the figures in table 6, paragraph 7.12 of "Options for Equality in State Pension Age": (a) on the basis of current prices and (b) on the assumption that a individual reverted to the full basis state pension at age 75 years. [3318]

Mr. Heald: The information is in the tables:

11 Nov 1996 : Column: 91

Table 6, paragraph 7.12 of "Options for Equality in State Pension Age": recalculated on the basis of current prices
1996-97 prices£ per week

Basic pension available at different ages6061626364656667686970
Age 63 "pivot"495356616672778492101110
Age 65 "pivot"4245485356616672798695

Table 6, paragraph 7.12 of "Options for Equality in State Pension Age": recalculated on the basis of current prices assuming pension increases to full basic pension at age 75 for those retiring before the pivot.(29)
1996-97 prices£ per week

Basic pension available at different ages 6061626364656667686970
Age 63 'pivot'454955616672778492101110
Age 65 'pivot'3539424854616672798695

Note:

(29) It has been assumed that where someone retired before the pivot age then their reduced pension will be increased to the full basic rate when they get to 75. For those that retire after the pivot age, and thus receive a higher initial pension, it has been assumed that this higher rate of pension will continue to be paid after age 75.

Source:

Government Actuary's Department


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Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if he will list the number of awards of retirement pension made for the last year for which figures are available by (a) category of pension, (b) age and (c) sex; and if he will list for each (i) the average rate of basic pension payable and (ii) the average rate of net additional pension; [3314]

Mr. Heald: The information is not available.

Frozen Pensions

Mr. Churchill: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list those countries outside the EU where British state pensioners (a) do and (b) do not receive the annual uprating; and if he will set down the guiding principles behind the decision to place non-EU countries chosen by British pensioners for their retirement into the uprated or the frozen category. [3301]

Mr. Heald: The information is in the lists.

Lists A and B show the overseas countries outside the European economic area 1 where United Kingdom retirement and widow's pensions were paid in July 1996. Annual pension upratings are payable in the countries listed in A. Upratings are not payable in the countries listed in B.

The general rule is that annual pension increases are not payable outside the United Kingdom unless European Community regulations or reciprocal social security agreements provide otherwise. Reciprocal agreements with the countries listed in A were entered into with a view to providing a measure of social protection for workers, and members of their families, when moving from one country to the other during their working lives. In order to enter into an agreement with the UK the other country's social security scheme had to be sufficiently similar to provide for reciprocity. Increasingly, there had to be sufficient movement of workers between the two countries to justify the outlay of resources to negotiate, operate and maintain the agreement. Above all, any additional costs had to be affordable.

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    List B: Countries where annual upratings are not payable
    Afghanistan
    Albania
    Algeria
    Andorra
    Angola
    Anguilla
    Antiqua and Barbuda
    Argentina
    Armenia
    Ascension Island
    Australia
    Bahamas
    Bahrain
    Bangladesh
    Belarus
    Belize
    Benin
    Bhutan
    Bolivia
    Botswana
    Brazil
    British Virgin Islands
    Brunei
    Bulgaria
    Burma
    Burundi
    Cameroon
    Canada
    Cape Verde Islands
    Cayman Islands
    Chile

11 Nov 1996 : Column: 95

    China
    Colombia
    Congo
    Cook Islands
    Costa Rica
    Cuba
    Czech Republic
    Denmark
    Djibouti
    Dominica
    Dominican Republic
    Ecuador
    Egypt
    El Salvador
    Estonia
    Ethiopia
    Falkland Islands
    Faroe Islands
    Fiji
    Gambia
    Ghana
    Grenada
    Guatemala
    Guinea
    Guinea-Bissau
    Guyana
    Honduras
    Hong Kong
    Hungary
    Iceland
    India
    Indonesia
    Iran
    Iraq
    Japan
    Jordan
    Kampuchea
    Kazakhstan
    Kenya
    Kiribati
    Korea (South)
    Kuwait
    Laos
    Latvia
    Lebanon
    Lesotho
    Liberia
    Libya
    Liechtenstein
    Lithuania
    Macau
    Malagasy Republic
    Malawi
    Malaysia (including Sabah and Sarawak)
    Maldive Islands
    Mexico
    Monaco
    Mongolia

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    Montserrat
    Morocco
    Mozambique
    Namibia
    Nepal
    Netherlands Antilles
    New Caledonia
    New Zealand
    Nicaragua
    Nigeria
    Norfolk Island
    Norway
    Oman
    Pakistan
    Panama
    Papua New Guinea
    Paraguay
    Peru
    Poland
    Puerto Rico
    Qatar
    Romania
    Russia
    St. Helena and Dependencies
    St. Kitts-Nevis
    St. Lucia
    St. Martin
    St. Vincent
    San Marino
    Saudi Arabia
    Senegal
    Seychelles
    Sierra Leone
    Singapore
    Slovak Republic
    Solomon Islands
    Somalia
    South Africa
    Sri Lanka
    Sudan
    Swaziland
    Syria
    Taiwan
    Tanzania
    Thailand
    Togo
    Tonga
    Trinidad and Tobago
    Tunisia
    Turks and Caicos Islands
    Tuvalu
    Uganda
    Ukraine
    United Arab Emirates
    Uruguay
    Vanuatu (New Hebrides)
    Vatican City
    Venezuela

11 Nov 1996 : Column: 97

    Vietnam
    Virgin Islands (USA)
    Western Samoa
    Yemen, Republic of Zaire
    Zambia
    Zimbabwe.


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