asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many copies of his death grant consultative document were printed; and how many copies were supplied to the Vote Office.
Initially 1,300 copies of the document have been printed of which some 300 have been supplied to the Vote Office. Further copies are freely available on request.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the latest figures available for the cost of increasing the death grant to £200 and removing the age and contribution conditions.
If a grant of £200 were paid for all deaths in Great Britain on a non-contributory basis the estimated benefit cost would be about £135 million. By comparison the present cost of death grant is a little over £17 million.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what estimates he has made of the financial saving if option one, two or three in the death grant consultative paper were adopted; and what estimates he has made of the percentage take-up of the death grant for each of these options.
It is hoped that the processing of fewer applications under the proposed options than under the present system would produce some savings in staff costs which have already been taken into account in part to increase the grant payable under options 2 and 3. However, no real estimate can be made until new and detailed procedures have been worked out following public reaction to the consutative document.The passport approach outlined in the consultative document should provide a straightforward basis of entitlement leading to a high level of take-up by those who are eligible. It is assumed for each option that a grant is paid in respect of all war pensioners who die as a result of the accepted disability or while in hospital receiving treatment for that disability; and to 90 per cent. of those receiving a qualifying benefit at the time of bereavement. The remaining cases are assumed not to claim the funeral grant either because the estate of the deceased person is known to exceed £1,500, excluding the value of an owner-occupied house not sold within 12 months of the death, or for other reasons.