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Family Income

Volume 22: debated on Wednesday 28 April 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish figures similar to those in "Low Income Families in 1979", showing how many adults below retirement age and how many children were either (a) dependent on incomes below supplementary benefit levels, or (b) dependent on supplementary benefit, or (c) dependent on incomes within 140 per cent. of supplementary benefit although above it, during the 1979 family expenditure survey period, taking into account all families where the head was off work due to sickness or unemployment, including those off work for less than 13 weeks.

Some information is available which has a bearing on part (b) of my hon. Friend's question. The following table gives numbers of recipients of supplementary benefit under pension age and living in private households in 1979. Those shown as in receipt of benefit for less than 13 weeks might have been off work for longer than that.

Numbers of recipients of supplementary benefit in Great Britain in 1979

In receipt of benefit for

Number of families

Number of adults in these families

Number of children in these families

Less than 13 weeks200,000260,000Not available
At least 13 weeks910,0001,110,000880,000
Total1,110,0001,370,000Not available

I regret that figures relating to families who were not in receipt of supplementary benefit, apart from those given in "Low Income Families—1979", are not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.