asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many means-tested benefits are now available; and how many different qualifying schemes there are.
pursuant to his reply[Official Report, 20th March 1975; Vol. c. 506], circulated the following information:The benefits involved are listed below.
Administered by or on behalf of central Government Departments and Agencies
Relief from National Health Service charges:
Administered by Local Authorities.
A. Statutory Assessments.
B. Discretionary Assessments.
Other benefits and services:
England and Wales
Each of the 14 centrally assessed benefits has its own qualifying scheme—i.e., its own test of income. The same is true of the five statutory schemes administered by local authorities, except that as these authorities have a limited discretion to vary the provisions of the rent and rate rebate and rent allowance schemes it is not possible to give the number of slightly differing schemes for these benefits. Several benefits in these two groups are covered by "passport" arrangements whereby entitlement to one benefit makes the recipient exempt from means tests for a number of other benefits.
It is not possible to state the number of qualifying schemes for benefits administered by local authorities where the income scale is at their discretion. The list of these benefits given above should be taken only as a general guide and not a complete and authoritative statement. Some of the items listed, e.g. No. 25, cover more than one scheme.