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Volume 951: debated on Tuesday 13 June 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list (a) the benefits administered by his Department, (b) the estimated number of people entitled to claim each benefit, (c) the actual number of people receiving each benefit at present, (d) the percentage "take-up" this represents, (e) the present cost of each benefit, (f) the cost of administering each benefit, (g) the estimated cost of each benefit if the "take-up" figure for each was 100 per cent., and (h) the amount spent on advertising the existence of each form of benefit in the past year.

Information is not held in precisely the form requested. The first table below provides a list of cash benefits administered by my Department and shows for each the number of recipients and costs at the latest dates for which information is held. The second table gives the available information on take-up of cash benefits.

Number of recipients

Benefit expenditure

Administration Costs(2)

Expenditure on advertising(3)

Cash benefit administered by DHSS

at latest date

Number(1) (thousands)

1976–77 £million

1977–78 £million

1976–77 £million

1976–77 £thousands

1977–78 £thousands

Unemployment benefitFeb. 78602558·963259·9
Sickness benefitJune 764701,075·71,31378·9?
Invalidity benefitJune 76479
Maternity allowanceMarch 778182·3916·6
Maternity grantMarch 77587(4)
Death grantJune 77557(5)15164·3
Guardian's allowanceDec. 773·82·220·1
Child's special allowanceDec. 770·8
Widow's benefitMay 7741443446810·2
Retirement pensionNov. 768,3375,651·36,56677·4
Old person's pensionNov. 768035·8350·2
Supplementary benefitFeb. 783,0171,5261,963221·6
Non contributory invalidity pension:
For men and single womenJune 7613033·9512·5
For married women(6)May 783673
Attendance allowanceDec. 77300129·21704·6
Invalid care allowanceApril 785·64
Mobility allowanceMay 78718·2201·1(7)103104
Industrial injury benefitJune 7650246·227728·3
Industrial disablement pensionSept. 76202
Industrial death benefitDec. 7631
Child benefit increase(8)May 78262875750103
Family allowance/child benefit(9)May 787,149544·328·8(11)
Child interim benefit(10)April 77207
Family income supplementFeb. 789417·6251176244
War disablementDec. 77298282·930910
War widows or other dependants Dec. 7799
New pensions scheme51226


( 1) Except for maternity and death grants, the figures in this column represent the number of recipients on the given date.

( 2) Administration costs, which include the costs of other Government departments, are not available for later than 1976–77.

( 3) Includes the major television advertising campaign normally run for the annual uprating of family income supplement; excludes the cost of printing leaflets.

( 4) Total grants for 12 months ending March 1977.

( 5) Total grants for 12 months ending June 1977.

( 6) Introduced in November 1977.

( 7) Mainly costs of work on the phased take-on of beneficiaries.

( 8) Started in 1977–78.

( 9) Child benefit replaced family allowance in April 1977.

( 10) A temporary benefit for 1976–77 only.

( 11) Includes cost of preparatory work on child benefit scheme.

The latest information on the take-up of cash benefits by families for which


Calendar year

Estimated number entitled to claim

Average number receiving benefit

Estimated take-up

Estimated unclaimed benefit



per cent.


Supplementary allowance19761,6001,26079170
Supplementary pension19762,2201,6407480
Family income supplement19758060¾1

Estimates are not available on the take up of other social security cash benefits.