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Low Incomes

Volume 930: debated on Wednesday 27 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will estimate the appropriate number of persons in full time employment where income is less than the current level of supplementary benefit, indicating the sectors of employment concerned.

I have been asked to reply.From the latest available data it is estimated that in December 1975 there were in Great Britain about 120,000 families of which the family head was employed in full-time work and where the family's net income was below the appropriate supplementary benefit level. This estimate, which is derived from an analysis by the Department of Health and Social Security of the incomes and other information recorded by respondents to the Family Expenditure Survey, is subject to sampling error. For families with the head in self-employment, it is not possible to estimate the numbers in full-time work with incomes below the supplementary benefit level. It is, however estimated that there were about 90,000 such families where the head was in part-time or full-time work.

It is not possible to state the employments concerned.

These estimates are rounded to the nearest 10,000 and are subject to sampling error. They are based on an analysis by the Department of Health and Social Security of Family Expenditure Survey data for 1975. The Family Expenditure Survey refers to the household population only.

The supplementary benefit level is taken as being the supplementary benefit scale rate appropriate to the family. This is compared with the family's net income less net housing costs, less work expenses.

The estimates do not indicate unclaimed entitlement to supplementary benefit since persons in full-time work are not normally eligible to claim.

The comparison is based on the family's normal income in the normal employment situation of the head. The above estimate might therefore include families where the head has been off work due to sickness or unemployment for less than three months, if the family income when the head was at work was below supplementary benefit level.