Skip to main content

Benefit Claimants

Volume 978: debated on Thursday 7 February 1980

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is, in respect of a convenient sample of the offices of his Department (a) the total number of those applying for or receiving supplementary benefits during each week of the months of November and December 1979, or any other convenient period of eight consecutive weeks, (b) the proportion of (a) to whom benefit was actually paid, (c) the cost of benefits paid to (b), (d) the proportion of (b) who were women without dependent children but who were allowed benefit on grounds which included non-support by their respective husbands, (e) the proportion of (a) who were women with one or more dependent children, (f) the proportion of (b) who were women with one or more dependent children, (g) the proportion of (f) where it is known to his Department that there is a man with liability to maintain under the Supplementary Benefits Act 1976 as a husband or a father, (h) the proportion of (g) where it is known to his Department that the man contributed to the financial support of his woman or children during the week concerned, (i) the proportion of (c) paid in respect of cases falling into category (g) and (j) the proportion of (c) paid in respect of cases falling into category (d).

I regret that information is not available in the form sought and could not be obtained without excessive cost. However, some relevant information is obtained by means of an annual statistical inquiry covering a single week. The latest data available, for week ending 29 November 1978, are as follows:

  • (a) and (b) total number of supplementary benefit recipients 2,932,000.
  • (c) weekly cost (i) of supplementary benefit to all recipients £39·8 million.
  • (d) proportion of (a) who were separated wives without dependent children (ii) 2·5 per cent.
  • (e) and (f) proportion of (a) who were women with dependent children 11·2 per cent.
  • (g) proportion of (e) and (f) with dependent children where a current liability existed under the Supplementary Benefits Act 1976 for a husband or a father to maintain 82 per cent.
  • (h) proportion of (g) where a court order or voluntary payment arrangement was in operation (iii) 64 per cent.
  • (i) proportion of (c) paid to (g) 18 per cent.
  • (j) proportion of (c) paid to (d) 3·1 per cent.
  • Thousands
    YearTotal children in care on 31 MarchUnder section I of Children Act 1948Those in column (c) for whom local authority has assumed parental rightsOn care orders
    (a)(b)(c)(d)(e)
    196061·742·79·718·9
    196567·144·79·521·8
    197071·246·511·923·3
    197599·150·613·244·2
    I regret that figures for 1955 are not available. Figures for 1960 to 1970 are not

    NOTES. (i) Gross cost before adjustment for recoveries from local authorities for rent/rate rebates and rent allowances, or from liable relatives.

  • (ii) It is not possible to exclude wives whose husbands were making maintenance payments.
  • (iii) Includes some cases where maintenance payment arrangements were not being complied with.