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Volume 941: debated on Wednesday 14 December 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish a table comparing, for a family with three children aged 16, 14 and 12 years, the total weekly value of (a) child bene-

contribution deficiency who are ( a) school leavers, ( b) married women and ( c) in and out of employment.

The available information, which is not held in precisely the form requested, is set out in the following table:fit, (b) unemployment benefit child additions plus child benefit, and (c) supplementary benefit children's rates including free school meals.

On the assumption that the hon. Member is referring to a two-parent family with three children aged 16, 14 and 12, all of whom are still at school, the information requested is given below:

Age of childChild benefitIncrease of unemployment benefitSupplementary benefit scale rate
NOTES1. Child benefit and increases of unemployment benefit may be paid together but they are offset against entitlement to supplementary benefit.2. The rates of child benefit shown in the table will be increased to a standard rate of £2·30 for each qualifying child from 3rd April 1978. The rates of children's dependency increases payable with unemployment benefit will be reduced accordingly.3. Free school meals, which are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science, are worth £1·25 a week during school terms for each qualifying child. They are not restricted to families on supplementary benefit.4. The income limits for entitlement to free school meals are appreciably higher than those for supplementary benefit, as will be seen from a comparison of the tables on pages 29 and 31 of the Department of Health and Social Security's leaflet FBI "Family Benefits and Pensions", November 1977 issue. I am sending the hon. Member a copy of this leaflet.