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Welfare Foods

Volume 929: debated on Tuesday 5 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will publish in the Official Report the number of people exempt from prescription charges and his Department's estimate of the number of people entitled to receive such milk and foods; on what basis his Department's calculation is made; what are the total sums involved; and what were the corresponding figures in the past five years.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 3rd December 1976: Vol. 921, c. 311], gave the following information:The available information is given below. The estimates of those entitled to

Persons eligible for free welfare milk and vitamins on low income grounds.
(a)(b)(c)(d)(e)(f)
YearNumber of beneficiaries on low income grounds including those receiving supplementary benefit and FIS (thousands)Estimated cost of benefit for these beneficiariesm.p.a.)Estimated number eligible (thousands)Estimated value of benefit unclaimed on these groundsm.p.a.)Take up—(b) as a percentage of (d)
19714418·98007·255
19724048·25803·669
19733296·75304·063
19743185·84302·174
197536511·474011·749
Notes:
Column (b)—Source: For those entitled to family income supplement, 100 per cent. count of milk token issues; for those entitled through supplementary benefit, the supplementary benefits annual statistical inquiry; for those entitled on other low income grounds, a 10 per cent. sample of the records of families holding tokens.
Columns (c) and (e)—The cost for low income beneficiaries (Column (c)) and the value of unclaimed benefit (Column (c)) are based on the value of milk at November/December of the appropriate year.
Column (d)—Estimate of those eligible but not in receipt of the benefit derived from a DHSS analysis of family Expenditure Survey data and subject to sampling error.
In addition, free milk is available for certain handicapped children and to expectant mothers and children under school age—save for the first two—in large young families, regardless of income. The full breakdown of all beneficiaries is given below.
NUMBER OF BENEFICIARIES FOR FREE WELFATE MILK BY GROUND FOR RECEIPT
(thousands)
Large familyHandicapped childSupplementary benefitFISOther low incomeAll beneficiaries
197115522985984598
197214222827943548
197310812257727438
19749512515116414
19758613163712452