asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what information is available for 1968 and succeeding years as to regional variations in the numbers of appellants who attend in person when their cases are heard by supplementary benefits appeal tribunals.
Information about attendance of appellants at supplementary benefit appeal tribunals is available only from the quarter ending 31st December 1972 and on a national, not regional, basis. The figures are:
As at November 1973 the proportion was about 40 per cent. The corresponding figure for November 1974 is not yet available.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what the net cost would be, respectively, over and above planned expenditure in November and taking into account savings on supplementary benefit and extra income tax yield, of (i) increasing the widow's allowance payable from November by £4·80 and abolishing the earnings related widow's supplementary allowance, (ii) increasing the widowed mother's allowance payable from November by £3·40, and (iii) abolishing the contribution test for widowed mother's allowance;(2) what the net cost would be, over and above planned expenditure in November and taking into account savings on supplementary benefit and extra income tax yield of (i) increasing the widow's pension by £3·40, (ii) paying widow's allowance of £16·70 for the first 26 weeks of widowhood to those who do not satisfy the contribution test for widow's allowance, and (iii) increasing the children's rates for widow's allowance and widowed mother's allowance payable in November to £4·35 for a child aged under 11 years, £5·35 for a child aged 11 to 15 years, £6·35 for a child aged 16 to 17 years and £7·35 for a child aged 18 years.
I will circulate the information in the Official Report as soon as it is available.