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Supplementary Benefit And Pensions

Volume 929: debated on Thursday 7 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) whether he will publish in the Official Report the number of people in regular receipt of supplementary pensions and his Department's estimate of the number of people entitled to receive such pensions; 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;(2) whether he will publish in the

Official Report the number of people in regular receipt of supplementary allowances and his Department's estimate of the number of people entitled to receive such allowances; 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.

GREAT BRITAIN
(a)(b)(c)(d)(e)(f)(g)

Year

Number of families receiving benefit at November or December of each year (thousands)

Cost of payments to families in regular receipt of benefit (£m. per annum)

Average number of recipient of regular weekly payments each year (thousands)

Estimated number of families eligible for but not receiving benefit (thousands)

Estimated value of benefit unclaimed by families in (e) (£m. per annum)

Take-up (as percentage of (d) % (e))

Supplementary Pensions (head of family over pension age).19711,919275
19721,909273
19731,8442741,8506405574
19741,8073091,7905606076
19751,6793901,6906006574
Supplementary Allowances (head of family under pension age).1971990336
19721,002416
197383141291039011170
197487253288035012072
19751,1137981,01033017575

Col ( b) Source: annual statistical enquiry of supplementary benefit recipients (including those living in institutions) at a date in November or December of each year.

Col ( c) Cost of payments in the relevant financial year.

Col ( d) Excluding recipients not living in households—e.g., in hospitals, reception centres and other institutions—and averaged over the calendar year.

Col ( e) Source: Family Expenditure Survey. Only families living in households are included. No entitlement to supplementary benefit is assumed if it would be more beneficial to the family to receive rent and/or rate rebates. Estimates are based on the appropriate scale rates—ordinary for allowances and long-term for pensions—with no allowance for exceptional circumstances additions. Disregards of income from appropriate sources are allowed under the normal supplementary benefit rules, and certain assumptions have had to be made on the case of capital holdings.

Col ( f) This takes account of the level of net family housing costs declared at the date of response to the Family Expenditure Survey.

Cols ( e) and ( f) These numbers and amounts include those with apparent continuing entitlements and those whose entitlement may be only short term. In particular,

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 3rd December 1976; Vol. 921, c. 306– 12], gave the following information:The available information requested is shown in tabular form below. The estimates of numbers of families eligible for supplementary benefits but not receiving them are made from a DHSS analysis of Family Expenditure Survey data and are subject to sampling error.the analysis of the Family Expenditure Survey revealed a number of single persons living in their parents' households who were neither sick nor registering for work, but simply unoccupied. It is open to question whether such persons would be either willing or able to fulfil the conditions for claiming supplementary benefit—i.e. registration for work or production of a medical certificate. These persons are included in the estimates, but it should be recognised that the estimates of unclaimed benefit may be exaggerated, and the estimates of take-up understated, because of their inclusion. The estimated numbers and amount of apparent unclaimed entitlement of these single persons is shown below

No.Amount
'000s£m
197311030
197413040
19759040
Col (

g) Subject to sampling error. Difference between any two years are not necessarily statistically significant.