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Allowances

Volume 938: debated on Monday 7 November 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the number of people who were receiving at least one of the following benefits in 1973-74 and 1977-78 respectively : attendance allowance, mobility allowance, invalidity benefit, non-contributory invalidity pension, war disablement pension and industrial disablement benefit.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 26th October 1977 ; Vol. 936, c. 729], gave the following answer:

I regret that this information is not available.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is his estimate of the net cost to the Exchequer after allowance is made for savings in supplementary benefit and increased tax revenue, of expenditure in November 1977 prices, for each of the following benefits in the two periods 1973–74 and 1977–78: attendance allowance, mobility allowance, invalidity benefit, non-contributory invalidity pension, war disablement pension and industrial disablement benefit (2) what is his estimate of the savings on supplementary and other benefits, and of increased tax revenue, at November 1977 prices from each of the following benefits in 1973–74 and 1977–78, respectively : attendance allowance, mobility allowance, invalidity benefit, non-contributory invalidity pension, war disablement pension, and industrial disablement benefit ; (3) what is his estimate of the gross expenditure at November 1977 prices on each of the following benefits in 1973–74 and 1977–78, respectively : attendance allowance, mobility allowance, invalidity benefit. non-contributory invalidity pension, war disablement pension, and industrial disablement benefit.

pursuant to his replies [Official Report, 26th October 1977 ; Vol. 936, c. 728–9], gave the following information:The following shows the gross expenditure on the benefits listed at average 1977–78 prices:

£million
1973–741977–7869
Attendance allowance69168
Mobility allowance-19
Invalidity benefit467683
Non-contributory inval-idity pension51
War disablement pension 209202
Industrial disablement benefit169194
Of the above benefits only mobility allowance is taxable, but the extent to which the recipient would be liable to tax on this allowance varies according to individual circumstances. Thus it is not possible to estimate the tax revenue.Attendance allowance and mobility allowance are effectively disregarded for supplementary benefit purposes, so no savings arise in respect of those benefits. Savings in respect of the other benefits listed could only be quantified in the year in which the benefit is introduced or changed. The only significant change other than upratings causing savings in 1973–1977–78 is the extension of non-contributory invalidity pension to married women in 1977–78 which is expected to save around £3 million in a full year.