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Supplementary Benefit

Volume 978: debated on Monday 4 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what percentage of those claiming supplementary benefit have their fuel costs deducted at source; and of this number what percentage have more than £2, £3, £4, £5, £6, £7, £8, £9 and £10 deducted from their benefit.

The latest available information is for November 1977, when 2·9 per cent., or 88,000, supplementary benefit recipients had deductions from benefit forfuel. The statistics do not distinguish between voluntary savings and deductions made under arrangements for payment direct to fuel suppliers. The deductions ranged as follows:

RangePercentage of all cases with deductions
£1·00 and under5
£1·01 to £2·0015
£2·01 to £3·0022
£3·01 to £4·0020
£4·01 to £5·0013
£5·01 to £6·0011
£6·01 to £7·007
£7·01 to £8·003
£8·01 and over3

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will state the percentage increase in supplementary benefit levels since 1974, together with the comparable percentage increase in electricity prices.

The information requested is as follows:a change is considered desirable, and the numbers and categories of those who will lose or gain from the proposed change and the resulting saving or cost;(2) if he will list all the proposals in the Social Security Bill or the proposed regulations to be made under it which alter or limit the matters which a claimant may take to a supplementary benefit appeals tribunal or which alter or limit the powers of supplementary benefit appeals tribunals to change decisions on supplementary benefit, giving in each case the reason why such a change is considered desirable.

I shall let the right hon. Gentleman have a reply as soon as possible.