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Volume 978: debated on Friday 15 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, in the light of the fact that a man with a wife and a mistress and 22 children is currently drawing £150 a week in social benefits, he is satisfied with the operation of the social security system.

If, exceptionally, a man claiming supplementary benefit has a wife and a mistress, both of whom have children by him, either the wife or the common law wife will normally live in a separate household. In such a situation, the woman with whom the man is not living is required to claim separately and her benefit is assessed and paid separately. I am not aware of any case where a man is himself drawing benefit of £150 for two families.