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Social Security

Part of Ways and Means – in the House of Commons at 10:55 pm on 20th December 1983.

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Photo of Dr Rhodes Boyson Dr Rhodes Boyson , Brent North 10:55 pm, 20th December 1983

It has been increased by some pressures. If we listened to Opposition Members it would have been increased much more. The whole thing would have gone mad if we had followed their advice. I hate to say such things just before the Christmas season.

The change is simply a 2 per cent. reduction in the Exchequer's contribution to the national insurance fund and a restoration to 49 per cent., as opposed to 50 per cent., of the total amount of social security expenditure which is paid for by the Exchequer. Insurance benefits cannot be separated from the rest.

I have a list of 12 non-contributory benefits which have completely altered the balance. I shall not go through that list as it is coming up to 11 pm, which I understand is a significant time this evening. I ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to support the order, whether it be because of the strength of the arguments or because they want to enable the Opposition to have a good sleep so that they can make better arguments tomorrow.