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Social Security Benefits

Volume 939: debated on Friday 18 November 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will take steps to establish how many officers, NCO's, and men of the Armed Forces are in receipt of (a) family income supplement, (b) free school meals and (c) rent rebate.

Some 6,600 Service per sonnel are in receipt of rent and rate rebates. This number currently includes about 15 officers.Numbers in receipt of family income supplement and free school meals could not be established without disproportionate effort, since, unlike rent and rate rebates, there is no separate scheme administered by my Department. Service personnel may apply for these benefits or the same basis as other members of the community and eligibility remains a matter between the claimant and the authority concerned However, on the basis of rough estimates made by the Department of Health and Social Security I believe that the number entitled to family income supplement is negligible.