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Efficiency Savings

Volume 14: debated on Monday 30 November 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the efficiency savings to which he referred in the Official Report, 23 November, column 642; and by what method he expects some of these to be ploughed into extra benefits.

Efficiency savings will come from local offices no longer having to deal with rent matters on new supplementary benefit cases; nor with rent and rate reviews in continuing supplementary benefit cases; nor with those who cease to be entitled to supplementary benefit because of the housing benefit provisions; nor with inquiries from claimants about whether they might be better off on rent and rate rebates. Local authorities will make savings from no longer having to collect rent or rates from supplementary benefit claimants entitled to 100 per cent. rebates and from reductions in arrears.

Part of these savings will be offset by DHSS and local authority administrative costs from housing benefit. The value of the remainder, up to £10 million in a full year, is being used to finance, in part, the modifications to our proposals in the document "Assistance with Housing Costs", which my right hon. Friend outlined in the debate on the Second Reading of the Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill on 23 November 1981. —[Vol. 13, c. 650.]