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Supplementary Benefits (Means Test)

Volume 977: debated on Thursday 31 January 1980

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the householder has one or more earnings.

Estimates for 1977 are given in the following table. I regret it is not possible without disproportionate cost to classify the data on the basis requested.that for the purposes of paragraph 17 of schedule 1 to the Supplementary Benefits Act 1976, the term "dwelling" is sufficiently clearly defined to ensure that local offices of his Department do not treat small areas of land adjacent to and adjoining an applicant's home as property which is separate from the dwelling, and therefore is not disregarded for means test purposes.

In administering paragraph 17 of schedule 1 to the Supplementary Benefits Act 1976 the Supplementary Benefits Commission takes a person's dwelling to include the curtilage of a house and any reasonable amount of adjoining land as a garden. A larger area of land which is separately saleable is regarded as property apart from the dwelling, and the capital value as a separate unit is taken into account in the supplementary benefit assessment.