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Supplementary Benefit

Volume 19: debated on Tuesday 2 March 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proportion of newly-unemployed people are claiming and receiving a supplementary benefit, compared with the proportion a year earlier.

I regret that information is currently available only from the Department's annual statistical inquiry, which takes place towards the end of each year. Information from the December 1981 inquiry will not be available for some time yet. Therefore, the most recent comparison I can offer is between November 1979 and December 1980. Over this period, there did not appear to be a change in the proportions claiming supplementary benefit during the first month of unemployment.Arrangements have, however, been made to collect additional information on a quarterly basis from February of this year, which will enable me to let the hon. Member have a comparison between February 1982 and December 1981 as soon as possible in the next few months.