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:
|Year||Total children in care on 31 March||Under section I of Children Act 1948||Those in column (c) for whom local authority has assumed parental rights||On care orders|
NOTES. (i) Gross cost before adjustment for recoveries from local authorities for rent/rate rebates and rent allowances, or from liable relatives.