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Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 27 January 1994] : Information on the Prison Service establishment in which held, the age, type of offence, length of service, type of custody, previous convictions, time served and on the frequency of reoffending following release of young offenders is compiled by the research and statistics department. It is published annually in "Prison Statistics, England and Wales". Summary information is monitored on a monthly basis. Operational information about the numbers of young offenders is monitored daily.

The provision of full information has only recently been reinstated following completion of changes to the computer system to reflect the implementation in October 1992 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991. The publication of the 1992 issue of "Prison Statistics" has been delayed.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Disability Allowances

11. Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate he has made of the number of people on disability living allowance and attendance allowance at any one time ; and what were the equivalent figures for mobility allowance and attendance allowance in 1979.

12. Mr. Mark Robinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many claimants are on disability living allowance and attendance allowance at any one time ; and what were the comparable figures for mobility allowance and attendance allowance in 1979.

Mr. Scott : The information is in the table :


Receipt of attendance allowance, mobility allowance and disability 

living allowance                                                   

                            |1979-80     |1993-94                  

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Attendance allowance        |285,000     |830,000                  

Mobility allowance          |140,000     |n/a                      

Disability living allowance |n/a         |1,005,000                

                            |---         |---                      

  Totals                    |<1>425,000  |<2>1,835,000             

Sources: The Government's expenditure plans 1984-85 to 1986-87     

Cmnd. 9143-II and social security departmental report 1993-94 to   

1995-96 Cmnd. 2213.                                                

<1> People getting both benefits are counted twice underestimating 

the                                                                

real increase between 1979-80 and 1993-94.                         

<2> From April 1992 disability living allowance replaced           

attendance                                                         

allowance and mobility allowance for people who became disabled    

before                                                             

age 65.                                                            


Column 576

Pensioner Incomes

13. Mr. Richards : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the average pensioner's income from savings.

Mr. Hague : Pensioners' estimated average weekly income from savings is as follows :

£30.30 for all pensioners ;

£45.10 for pensioner couples ; and

£21.60 for single pensioners.

Single people over state pension age and couples where the husband is over state pension age.

Source : The 1990-91 family expenditure survey. Figures are at January 1991 prices.

Mr. Gallie : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much total pension incomes have increased per annum between 1979 and the latest year for which figures are available ; and what was the equivalent figure between 1974 and 1979.

Mr. Hague : The estimated average annual increase in pensioners' total income in the years 1979 to 1990-91--the latest year for which figures are available--was :

3.1 per cent. for all pensioners ;

2.9 per cent. for pensioner couples ; and

2.9 per cent. for single pensioners.

The available information, although not directly comparable, shows an increase of 0.6 per cent. per year between 1974 and 1979.

Single people over state pension age and couples where the husband is over state pension age.

Note : Information for the period 1979 to 1990-91 derives from the family expenditure survey, and is consistent with the methodology of the households below average incomes survey. For years prior to 1979 the FES is not consistent with the HBAI. In particular, there is no breakdown between single pensioners and pensioner couples.

26. Mr. Rathbone : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what has been the rise in pensioners' total average net income since 1979.

Mr. Hague : The estimated rise in pensioners' total average net income, in real terms, from 1979 to 1990-91--the latest year for which figures are available--was :

Before housing costs :

42 per cent. for all pensioners ;

39 per cent. for pensioner couples ; and

39 per cent. for single pensioners.

After housing costs :

54 per cent. for all pensioners ;

53 per cent. for pensioner couples ; and

49 per cent. for single pensioners.

Single people over state pension age and couples where the husband is over state pension age.

Source : The 1990-91 family expenditure survey.

23. Mr. Hayes : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the latest estimate of the value of the average pensioner's income from savings and occupational pensions ; and what were the comparable figures in 1979.

Mr. Hague : The latest estimate of the average weekly income to pensioners from savings and occupational pensions is :

£63.20 to all pensioners

£99.50 to pensioner couples and

£41.80 to single pensioners.

The comparable figures for 1979 are :

£27.80 to all pensioners

£46.40 to pensioner couples and

£18 to single pensioners.

Single people over state pension age and couples where the


Column 577

husband is over state pension age.

Source : 1990-91 family expenditure survey. All figures are at January 1991 prices.

Independent Living Fund

14. Mr. Alan Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many severely disabled people have received payments from the independent living (1993) fund ; what percentage of its budget the fund has so far used ; and how many clients received funding from its predecessor independent living fund in each of the last two years of its existence.

Mr. Scott : On 20 January, 108 people had received payments from the independent living (1993) fund and a further 28 cases had been approved for payment. The fund had spent 13 per cent. of its budget. The old ILF made 7,319 new awards in the year 1991-92 and 10,620 such awards in 1992-93. support for those cases continues through the independent living (extension) fund which is now paying 18,500 people at an estimated cost of £120 million in the current year. The 1993 fund is an integral part of the Government's community care initiative. It is therefore inappropriate to compare the performance of the two funds.

Family Credit

15. Mrs. Browning : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the annual spending on family credit ; and what was the spending on family income supplement in 1979.

Mr. Burt : The published forecast for family credit expenditure for 1993-94 is £965 million. This is 14 times more in real terms than the £24 million spent on family income supplement in 1978-79. The 1994 departmental report, to be published in March, will give a revised estimate.

25. Mr. Day : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate he has made of the results of the introduction of payment of family credit as a lump sum.

Mr. Burt : Since 25 October 1993, over 3,000 awards of family credit of £4 a week or less have been made by lump sum payment.

Invalidity Benefit

16. Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate he has made of the number of people who will receive invalidity benefit two years after the introduction of the proposed incapacity benefit.

Mr. Scott : Invalidity benefit and sickness benefit will, subject to parliamentary approval, be replaced by a single new

benefit--incapacity benefit--from April 1995. The estimated average number of people who will receive incapacity benefit in 1996-97 is 1, 814,000.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what changes have been made in entitlement to and the method of calculating invalidity benefit since 1979.

Mr. Scott : The information is in the table :


Changes affecting entitlement to invalidity benefit since 1979                                                                                                       

Date of change                                         |Change                                                                                                       

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

April 1979                                             |Additional pension introduced                                                                                

                                                                                                                                                                     

April 1979                                             |Change to invalidity allowance age bands                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                     

November 1980                                          |Uprating linked to retail price index                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                     

November 1980                                          |5 per cent. abatement of invalidity pension and                                                              

                                                       |invalidity allowance                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                                     

November 1981                                          |5 per cent. abatement of invalidity allowance restored                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                     

November 1983                                          |Extension of provision of dependency increase for                                                            

                                                       |dependent husbands                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                     

November 1984                                          |Men and women able to claim an increase for a child                                                          

                                                       |and for person looking after children on the same                                                            

                                                       |basis as each other                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                                                     

November 1984                                          |Occupational pension treated as earnings for adult                                                           

                                                       |and child dependency increases                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                     

November 1984                                          |Earnings rule for child dependency increases                                                                 

                                                       |introduced                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                     

November 1984                                          |Child dependency increase no longer payable for                                                              

                                                       |non-resident children                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                     

September 1985                                         |Introduction of a common earnings rule for men and                                                           

                                                       |women claiming an increase for their spouse                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                                     

September 1985                                         |Abolition of dependency increases for other adult                                                            

                                                       |relatives                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                     

September 1985                                         |Invalidity allowance reduced by entitlement to                                                               

                                                       |additional pension and/or guaranteed minimum                                                                 

                                                       |pension                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                                     

November 1985                                          |5 per cent. abatement of invalidity pension restored                                                         

                                                                                                                                                                     

October 1986                                           |Reduced rates of sickness benefit abolished<1>                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                     

February 1987                                          |Married women no longer subject to a second                                                                  

                                                       |downrating of benefit after 104 weeks in hospital                                                            

                                                                                                                                                                     

April 1988                                             |Benefit became payable in certain circumstances with                                                         

                                                       |statutory maternity pay                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                                     

April 1988                                             |Hospital downrating changed to take place at six                                                             

                                                       |weeks and 52 weeks instead of eight weeks and                                                                

                                                       |104 weeks                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                     

October 1988                                           |Two-year national insurance contribution test                                                                

                                                       |introduced for sickness benefit<1>                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                     

October 1989                                           |Local authority councillor's allowances disregarded                                                          

                                                       |when considering incapacity for work; benefit                                                                

                                                       |offset against allowances in excess of therapeutic                                                           

                                                       |earnings limit                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                     

October 1989                                           |Personal pensions treated as earnings for adult and                                                          

                                                       |child dependency increases                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                     

April 1990                                             |Therapeutic earnings limit increased by 23 per cent.                                                         

                                                       |-1990 benefit uprating 7.6 per cent.                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                                     

April 1990                                             |People on employment rehabilitation courses allowed                                                          

                                                       |to keep invalidity benefit, or receive the                                                                   

                                                       |rehabilitation allowance                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                     

April 1992                                             |People allowed to sit as members of disability appeal                                                        

                                                       |tribunals one day a week without losing benefit                                                              

                                                                                                                                                                     

April 1992                                             |Entitlement to additional pension curtailed for                                                              

                                                       |earnings after the 1990-91 tax year; accrued                                                                 

                                                       |rights preserved                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                                                     

April 1994                                             |Benefit uprating to include extra increase to provide                                                        

                                                       |help towards VAT on fuel                                                                                     

<1>Changes to the entitlement conditions for sickness benefit which                                                                                                  

affected the numbers subsequently qualifying for invalidity benefit.                                                                                                 

Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people receiving invalidity benefit on 1 December 1993 were at that time aged (i) between 45 and 49 years, (ii) between 50 and 54 years, (iii) between 55 and 57 years and (iv) 58 years or over.

Mr. Scott : Information for 1 December 1993 is not readily available, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The latest available information relates to 4 April 1992, and is in the table.


---------------------------------

Aged 45-49       |127,000        

Aged 50-54       |187,000        

Aged 55-57       |154,000        

Aged 58 and over |674,000        

<1> Age as at 31 March 1992.     

<2> Based on a 1 per cent.       

sample of claimants in Great     

Britain at 4 April               

1992, rounded to the nearest     

thousand.                        

Income Support

18. Mr. Eric Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many children in Britain are dependent on income support ; and how many were dependent on supplementary benefit in 1979.

Mr. Burt : In February 1993, 2.97 million children were dependent on an adult receiving income support. In November 1979 there were 0.92 million.

Notes :

1. Sources : supplementary benefit statistics annual inquiry, November 1979/income support statistics quarterly inquiry, February 1993.

2. The figures have been rounded to the nearest ten thousand. 3. Children are defined as being under 16 years of age. Dependants are young people under the age of 19 still living in the parental home.

Pensioner Households

19. Mr. Dickens : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many pensioner households there were in 1979 and in the year for which the latest figures are available below the 1979 supplementary benefit level.

Mr. Hague : The information is not available. Supplementary benefit rates varied widely between households and it is therefore not possible to refer to a single level.

Since 1979, pensioners' average income has increased by 42 per cent.

Child Support Agency

21. Mr. Burns : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has for further changes to the operation of the Child Support Agency.

Mr. Burt : The recently announced changes were formulated in the light of representations received from hon. Members and the public, and of the recommendations of the Social Security Select Committee. They form a balanced package which takes account of the interests of children, parents with care, absent parents, and the taxpayer. There are no plans for further change.


Column 580

Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether there is a distinction under the terms of the Child Support Act 1991 between who can be notified of the outcome of a maintenance assessment decision dependent on whether the case is being dealt with in England and Wales or in Scotland.

Mr. Burt : The only such distinction is that a child who is over the age of 11 years and is resident in Scotland may apply to the Child Support Agency for maintenance assessment to be made in respect of him. If he makes such an application he, together with the parent with care and the absent parent are notified of the outcome of the application. There is no provision for a child resident in England or Wales to make an application under the Child Support Act.

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security in what circumstances the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland considers representations made by residents of Wales on Child Support Agency matters.

Mr. Burt : Where an application for child support maintenance is made by a parent with care who is resident in Northern Ireland in respect of an absent parent who is resident in Wales, the application would be dealt with in Northern Ireland, in accordance with the Child Support (Great Britain Reciprocal Arrangements) Regulations (Northern Ireland). Similarly, if a number of cases are linked together because they share a parent in common all the cases are dealt with under the legislation under which the first application was considered. In these cases, my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland would consider representations other than those proper to the independent adjudicating authorities.

Mr. Quentin Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what revenues or savings to public funds are expected to accrue as a result of the creation of the Child Support Agency ; and what changes in the expected revenues or savings will arise from the implementation of the proposed changes in the agency's rules.

Mr. Burt : The amount of child support maintenance originally estimated to be collected in 1993-94 is £530 million. The actual amount will be lower than the estimate, but it is not possible to provide an accurate revised figure, since the full impact of the proposed policy changes is not yet known.

28. Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement summarising changes the Government are introducing into the operation of the Child Support Agency.

Mr. Burt : The proposed changes include : a significant increase in the margin of protected income which all absent parents keep above income support levels ; reductions in the element within the formula which reflects the care needed by children, when the youngest child reaches age 11 and 14 ; reductions in the rate of contribution towards the additional element, above the basic maintenance requirement, where there are fewer than three children ; and a substantial extension of the provisions for phasing in new payments for absent parents who previously had a formal maintenance agreement.

The changes form a balanced package which takes account of the interests of parents with care, absent parents, children and the taxpayer.


Column 581

A Lost Generation"

22. Mr. Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what responses he has made to the report "A Lost Generation", published by the National Children's Home, a copy of which has been sent to him ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Burt : I received a copy of the report about a month after it was published, but not directly from the National Children's Home. I replied to the sender and drew attention to the Department's expenditure on income support in 1993-94 which is to exceed £16 billion--an increase of £1.6 billion over 1992-93.

Benefits

24. Mr. Coe : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what recent measures his Department has taken to maintain the real level of benefits.

Mr. Hague : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State shall shortly be laying before the House the annual uprating order which, subject to parliamentary approval, will increase social security benefit rates from April. Benefits will be increased in line with inflation with additional increases for those on income-related benefits, pensioners, and the sick and disabled.

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish an analysis of the estimated per capita expenditure in England, Wales and Scotland on (a) supplementary benefit, (b) unemployment benefit, (c) sickness and invalidity benefit, (d) industrial disablement benefit (e) housing benefit and (f) other benefits.

Mr. Burt : Information is not available in the precise form requested. Such information as is available is in the table.


Estimated per capita expenditure                                        

£ per person per year                                                   

                                    |England |Scotland|Wales            

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Income support                      |257     |295     |288              

Unemployment benefit                |32      |30      |25               

Sickness benefit/invalidity benefit |102     |178     |247              

Industrial disablement benefit      |10      |11      |19               

Housing benefit/council tax                                             

 benefit                            |86      |122     |87               

Notes:                                                                  

1. Figures are for 1992-93 and are estimates only.                      

2. Estimates are based on benefit expenditure per head of population    

in England, Scotland and Wales and not an average of the number         

receiving each benefit.                                                 

State Pensions

27. Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people per annum lose their entitlement to part of their state pension because of incomplete contributions.

Mr. Hague : The information is not available in the form requested.

The number of men and women resident in Great Britain who reached state pension age--65 for men and 60 for women--in the year ending 31 March 1993- -the latest date for which information is available--and who were awarded a state retirement pension based on their own contributions at less than the standard rate due to insufficient contributions was 130,920.


Column 582

Information is not available where state pension is claimed after age 65 for men or 60 for women or where a person has no entitlement to state pension.

National Insurance

Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the average number of years of national insurance contributions per claimant which have been paid by people now receiving invalidity benefit.

Mr. Scott : The information is not readily available, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Children (Unemployment)

Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give the latest figures showing for the Durham area (a) the number of children who live in families with an unemployed head and (b) the number of children living in families with a long-term unemployed head.

Mr. Burt : Information is not available in the form requested. For information on Great Britain as a whole I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Croydon, North-West (Mr. Wicks) on 28 January, Official Report, column 449. .

Benefit Overpayments

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security in how many cases action has been taken to recover overpayments of benefits under common law in each year since 1970.

Mr. Burt : The information is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Social Fund

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how the 1994-95 social fund budget will be broken down between (a) mandatory grants, (b) budgeting loans, (c) crisis loans and (d) community care grants.

Mr. Scott : No decision has yet been made on the breakdown of the discretionary social fund budget between loans and grants. Regulated payments from the social fund are not subject to a cash-limited budget.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the administrative cost as a proportion of expenditure on the social fund for each year since its inception.

Mr. Scott : Administration costs as a proportion of programme expenditure are published annually in the departmental report. Annual social fund administration costs have only been included since 1990-91. Details are in the table.


                     |Social fund         |Administration cost                      

                                          |as                                       

                     |administration costs|a percentage of                          

                     |(in £ millions)     |benefit expenditure                      

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1990-91              |132                 |47.1                                     

1991-92              |163                 |45.2                                     

The information for 1992-93 will be contained in the next departmental report due to be published in March 1994.


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