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Supplementary Benefit

Volume 977: debated on Tuesday 29 January 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the percentage rise in the long term supplementary benefit scale rate for (a) a single person and (b) a married couple since 1966 and the rise in the retail price index over the same period.

(a) 426·7 per cent. (b) 430·3 per cent.The retail price index—excluding housing costs—rose by 286·8 per cent. to November 1979.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the percentage rise in the supplementary benefit scale rates for (a) a single person, (b) a married couple, (c) a married couple with one child under 5 years, (d) a married couple with two children under 5 years, (e) a married couple with two children over 5 years but less than 11 years and (f) a married couple with two children over 11 years, since 1948; and if he will also list the rise in the retail prices index over the same period.

The information relating to the ordinary scale rate is as follows:—(

a) 1,358 per cent.; ( b) 1,385 per cent.; ( c) 1,370 per cent.; ( d) 1,358 per cent.; ( e) 1,355 per cent.; ( f) 1,379 per cent.;

The information at ( f) assumes that both children were aged 11–12.

The corresponding increase in the retail prices index—excluding housing costs—up to November 1979 was 646·6.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish figures showing supplementary benefit entitlement levels for a married couple with two children aged 8 and 12, and a married couple with four children aged 6, 8, 12 and 15 years, in April 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975 and the latest date for which the figures are available, as a percentage of gross and net earnings for male manual workers earning the mean of the lowest decile of male manual earnings.

The information requested by my hon. Friend is not obtainable for years before 1970 and I regret that the remaining information could not be provided on a meaningful basis without disproportionate use of scarce staff resources.