asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what has been the increase in numbers claiming supplementary benefit since the reduction of 5 per cent. in short-term benefits in November 1980 pursuant to section 1 of the Social Security (No. 2) Act 1980; and how this compares with the estimate made at the time the Bill was before the House.
An estimate of the increase caused by the reduction of 5 per cent. cannot be derived without disproportionate expense from existing or prospective statistical data. Nor could such an estimate be accurate. This is because of the difficulty of identifying the effect of changes in the relative levels of benefits on total numbers of claimants, and the choices they would make between benefits.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish a more up-to-date estimate of the reduction in benefit expenditure from the national insurance fund for each of the benefits referred to in section 1 of the Social Security (No. 2) Act 1980 than that given in answer to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr on 18 April 1980, Official Report, c. 742.
The reduction in benefit expenditure from the national insurance fund in 1981–82 is estimated as follows: