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Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security which of his Department's offices in the Greater London area have spent between 90 per cent. and 100 per cent. of their profile allocation for social fund loans and social fund grants for (i) April 1989 and (ii) May 1989.
Community Care Grants
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The social fund commissioner has advised me that in the period from 11 April 1988 to 31 March 1989 social fund inspectors reviewed 2,499 cases. A total of 1,109 were referred back to social fund officers to redetermine and in 96 cases the social fund inspector substituted his own decision.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what grants are available for the establishment of hostels. Mr. Peter Lloyd : Grants can be made under schedule 5 of the Supplementary Benefit Act 1976, as amended, to voluntary organisations and/or local authorities. These would be to set up facilities for those people without a settled way of life with a view to influencing them to lead a settled way of life. However, such grants are currently being restricted to organisations that provide hostels which form part of an approved scheme to replace resettlement units.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Apart from the special circumstances of privatisation work, the consistent practice of successive Governments has been to avoid the use of public relations firms or other firms outside Government for public relations work.
Estimated numbers receiving housing benefit rent allowances |Million ------------------------ 1986-87 |1.18 1987-88 |1.20 1988-89 |0.93
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the categories of information held in his Department that are available for use by community charge registration officers.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The information that may be passed to community charge registration officers is prescribed in the Community Charges (Information Concerning Social Security) (Scotland) Regulations 1988 and the Community Charges (Information Concerning Social Security) Regulations 1989. It is confined to the name and address of any person aged over 18, and of any partner he or she may have aged over 18, who has been awarded income support and who, prior to 1 April 1989 in Scotland and prior to 1 April 1990 in England and Wales, has not claimed housing benefit, or who, after 1 April 1989 in Scotland and after 1 April 1990 in England and Wales, has not claimed a community charge rebate. In Scotland the information may also include the date of birth of any such person.
Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of the number of pensioners in (a) Scotland and (b) the United Kingdom whose only source of income is the basic national insurance retirement pension.
Notes : The data cannot be broken down further to provide the proportion of pensioners' income derived from the basic state pension.
It is not possible to provide information for Scotland because the Scottish sample size in the FES is too small to be statistically significant in answering this question.
Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of the number of pensioners in (a) Scotland and (b) the United Kingdom who are in receipt of housing benefit for each year since 1981.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The available information for Great Britain is as follows. Figures for Scotland and the United Kingdom are not available in the form requested. Housing Benefit did not come into full operation until April 1983.
Estimated number of pensioners receiving Housing Benefit 1983-4--1988-9.
|Million ------------------------ 1983-4 |4.105 1984-5 |4.110 1985-6 |4.120 1986-7 |4.030 1987-8 |4.045 1988-9 |2.850
Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many war widows are receiving war widows pensions because their husband left the services before 31 March 1973 ; and what would be the total cost of uprating their pensions to £5,000 per person.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : At 31 March approximately 56,000 pre-1973 war widows were in receipt of a pension under the war pensions scheme. We estimate that the total extra cost of uprating their pensions to £5, 000 per person would be about £100 million per annum.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Unemployed people receiving earnings from the Territorial Army are most likely to be in receipt of unemployment benefit, income support and housing benefit. The main provisions dealing with the treatment of these earnings in each benefit are as follows.
The regulation governing the effect on unemployment benefit of earnings specifically from the Territorial Army is regulation 3(3) of the Social Security (Computation of Earnings) Regulations 1978. Under this regulation no account is taken of annual bounty and payment in respect of attendance at the first 16 authorised drill nights each year. Further payments are subject to regulation 7(1)(g)(i) of the Social Security (Unemployment, Sickness and Invalidity Benefit) Regulations 1983, under which a day is not treated as a day of unemployment if earnings for that day exceed £2.
For unemployed reservists receiving income support or housing benefit, the weekly amount of the earnings and the period for which they are to be taken into account are determined by reference to regulations 29, 31 and 32 of the Income Support (General) Regulations, and regulations 21 and 25 of the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations. Payments made in respect of income tax, class 1 national insurance contributions and half of any sum paid by an employee towards an occupational or personal pension scheme are disregarded under regulation 36(3) of the Income Support (General) Regulations 1987 and regulation 29(3) of the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987. The first £15 of weekly earnings is also disregarded under paragraph 7(1) of schedule 8 to the income support regulations and paragraph 6(1) of schedule 3 to the housing benefit regulations.