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Administration Costs

Volume 975: debated on Wednesday 5 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what his latest estimate is of the cost of administering (a) supplementary benefits and (b) family income supplement;(2) what his latest estimate is of the cost of administering free welfare milk.

For 1978–79 the administration costs, including the costs of other Government Departments, are estimated to be:

£ million
Supplementary benefits285
Family income supplement1·3
Free welfare milk and vitamins0·3*
* Costs relating to free welfare milk are not separately identified but will constitute the major part of this item.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what his latest estimate is of the cost of administering earnings related supplements; and if he will relate this figure to the total amount paid out in earnings-related supplements.

As the calculation, recording and payment of earnings-related supplements is an integral part of the procedures for dealing with the whole of the payments due on claims for the main benefits—unemployment, sickness, injury, maternity and widows allowance—it is not possible to give the costs of administering these supplements with any precision. It is, however, estimated that the administration costs are currently in the region of £1 million as compared with earnings-related payments for 1979–80 of some £295 million.