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Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what are the estimated savings of increasing the level of deductions made to claimants of housing benefit and council tax benefit.

Mr. Burt : The estimated savings for 1994-95 across income-related benefits--housing benefit, council tax benefit and income support--are £60 million .

Source :

1989-90-91 family expenditure survey. At 1993-94 levels of prices, incomes and benefit rates.

Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what are the numbers of former supplementary benefit claimants who are expected to continue to receive transitional additions in 1994-95; and if he will break the figure down by pensioners, couples with children, lone parents and disabled people.

Mr. Burt [holding answer 21 January 1994] : Due to the small numbers currently in receipt of transitional additions, it is difficult to give accurate forecasts of those likely to be in receipt of them in 1994- 95. Our best estimate is that there will be fewer than 6,000 in receipt in 1994-95. The small number involved makes it impossible to provide a reliable forecast of the numbers in the various groups.

The latest information available is for February 1993 and is set out in the table.

Column 20

                      |Number of          



Pensioners            |500                

Couples with children |*-                 

Lone parents          |500                

Disabled              |1,000              

Others                |4,000              


Total                 |6,500              


1.  Source: Income support statistics     

quarterly inquiry, February 1993.         

2.  The figures have been rounded to the  

nearest 500. "*" indicates fewer          

than 250 cases.                           

3.  As some people appear in more than    

one group, the figures will not           

necessarily sum to the total given.       

Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement concerning the implications of the decision of the European Court of Justice, in case C-338/91

Steenhorst-Neerings, 27 October 1993, for the claims for back payment of benefits.

Mr. Scott : This case concerned a claim for Dutch invalidity benefit which was made in 1988 at a time when the Dutch Government had not properly implemented their obligations under directive 79/7/EEC on equal treatment in social security. Benefit was awarded under domestic law from one year before the date of claim but was not backdated to December 1984, the date by which the directive had to be implemented.

The court held that, where claims are made in such circumstances a member state is not prevented from applying national rules which limit the retroactive effect of a claim.

The United Kingdom's time limits on claims for benefit are consistent with this ruling. There will, therefore, be no implications for claims for arrears of benefit.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what are the estimated savings to his Department in 1994-95 of freezing (a) the earnings disregards for income-related benefits and (b) the savings limit for income-related benefits.

Mr. Burt : None. The level of earnings disregards and the capital limits are kept under review but are not uprated annually. There are no plans to increase them at the present time.

Statutory Sick Pay

Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 17 January, Official Report, column 424, what are the additional costs, net of any reduction in employer's national insurance contributions, to his Departmental budget for the financial year 1994-95 as a result of the changes in statutory sick pay provision.

Mr. Scott : There is no net cost. The additional costs to this Department resulting from the changes in statutory sick pay provision are fully offset by the savings from the reduction in employers' national insurance contributions.

Column 21

Age-related Benefits

Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 17 January, Official Report, columns 424-25, if he will list the organisations and individuals which have been issued with a copy of the consultation document on age-related benefits.

Mr. Hague : The organisations which have received copies of the consultation document on age-related rebates direct, either through the initial distribution or as a result of requesting a copy, are as follows :

Abundance Management Services

Association of Pensions Lawyers

Association of Corporate Trustees

Association of British Chambers of Commerce

Bacon and Woodrow

Bain Clarkson Financial Services

Bank of England

Bar Council

British Payroll Managers Association

British Coal Corporation

Charter for Pension Fund Democracy

Chessington Computer Centre

CIS Ltd.

Clay and Partners

Confederation Life


Conservative Trade Unionist

Consumers Association

Council on Tribunals

Cyborg Systems

Engineering Employers' Federation

Equal Opportunities Commission

Federation of Small Businesses


Forum for Private Business

Godwins Ltd.

Hoare Govett Ltd.

Hundred Group of Finance Directors


Independent Pensions Research group

Institute of Directors

Institute of Actuaries

Institute of Chartered Accountants

Institutional Fund Managers Association

J Sainsbury plc

Joint Working Group on Occupational Pensions--National Association of Pension Funds, Association of Consulting Actuaries, Association of British Insurers, Society of Pensions Consultants

Lane Clark Peacock


Law Debenture Trust Corporation

Law Society

Legal and General

Lovell White Durrant

Ludgate Laud

Maxwell Pensioners Action Group

Metal Colours Ltd.

National Westminster Life Assurance

Noble Lowndes

Northern Pensions Resource Group

Occupational Pensions Advisory Service

Occupational Pensions Board

Over Fifties Association

Payroll Alliance

Pearl Assurance

Pension Trustee Forum

Pension Research Accountants Group

Pensions Management Institute

Peterborough Software

Provident Life

Prudential Corporation

R. Watson and Sons

Randolph Parliamentary Service

Royal London Insurance

Securities and Investments Board

Shannda Life

Column 22

Smith New Court

Social Security Advisory Committee

Soterlou Banerji Chartered Accountants

Sun Life Assurance

Towers Perrin

Trades Union Congress

United Distillers

William M. Mercer Ltd.

The document has also been issued to a number of private individuals.

Child Care Costs

Mr. Chisholm : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what percentage of families currently on family credit could receive the maximum amount for child care costs as announced in the Budget, assuming that their income remained the same and their child care costs were £40 or more a week.

Mr. Burt [holding answer 21 January 1994] : Families who could receive the maximum amount of help with child care costs in family credit are those with earnings of £109 or more. Lone parents and two- earner couples with a child under 11 who have earnings of £109 or more represent 10 per cent. of the family credit case load--May 1993. Figures for couples where one partner works and the other is incapacitated are not available.

The number of people currently receiving family credit is not a good guide to the number of people who will gain from the disregard of earnings which will extend the range of families eligible for the benefit. The projected numbers receiving the benefit for future years are also higher.

The estimates from the Department's policy simulation model are that 150,000 families will benefit from the child care disregard. Those families who do not benefit from the full value of the child care disregard in family credit may get extra help through the parallel disregard in housing benefit-council tax benefit.


Life-supporting Treatment

Mrs. Ann Winterton : To ask the Prime Minister if the letter of 22 December from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State on the withdrawal of life-supporting treatment following receipt of an advance directive from a patient represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government ; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under- Secretary for Health sought to explain the current legal position on advance directives.

Her Majesty's Government acknowledge the right of individuals to draw up advance directives. People have a right, emphasised in the patients charter, to consent, or withhold consent, to treatment. Advance directives assist patients in the exercise of their legal rights and so ensure their lawful treatment.

The House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics is examining this area, and is due to report soon. The Government will consider the Committee's findings very carefully.

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