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Supplementary Benefit

Volume 19: debated on Friday 12 March 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has received any representations on the efficacy of supplementary benefit form A 1 4N; and if the Social Security Advisory Committee has received any proposals for its improvement from outside bodies.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to the hon. Member for Mitcham and Morden (Mr. Douglas-Mann) on 18 January 1982.—[Vol. 16, c. 47.]

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will explain his Department's formulae for defining what should be the scale rates for supplementary benefit.

The supplementary benefit scale rates are set out in the Supplementary Benefit (Requirements) Regulations 1980 (SI 1980 No. 1299) and are uprated each year. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services on 10 March announced the increases which will take effect from November of this year and the basis on which they have been calculated.Regulation 4(1) of SI 1980 No. 1299 indicates what the scale rates are intended to cover.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why the minimum additional cost of a diabetic diet to a supplementary benefit allowance is fixed at £3.05, less 50p deduction for long-term scale; and how this figure and the other figures for additional requirements are arrived at.

A brief summary of the history of dietary additions and the method used for uprating them was published by the former Supplementary Benefits Commission in appendix G to its 1978 annual report, which is available in the Library of the House. We have maintained this method in the regulations and in the subsequent upratings.The uprating for November 1982 will be announced when the February RPI figure is available. Generally, the additional requirements are uprated in line with other benefits or with relevant movements, actual or expected, in prices.