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Volume 33: debated on Tuesday 7 December 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the expenditure on supplementary benefit in Great Britain, Scotland, Wales and the English regions in £ million and per head of the population in the most recent year for which figures are available.

The information is as follows.

RegionAmount(£ million)Per person (£)
Great Britain4,83288
Yorks and Humberside43889
East Midlands299*78
East Anglia10656
South East1,37981
South West31171
West Midlands51299
North Western712110


(1) The figures relate to the financial year 1981–82.

(2) A precise regional breakdown of expenditure is not available but has been estimated from sample enquiries.

(3) The regions in column (a) are standard regions.

(4) The totals in column (b) are based on a compilation of social security administrative regions; these do not correspond exactly with the boundaries of the North, Yorkshire and Humberside, East Midlands and

Number of single Payments

Average amount

Total expenditure


£ million

Supplementary benefit single payments for maternity items61,00043·502·6
All supplementary benefit single payments684,00050·5034·6

North West regions. Precise boundaries are shown in appendices 3 and 4 of Social Security Statistics 1981.

(5) The figures in column (c) are calculated by dividing column (b)> by the estimated population of the standard region in column (a)..The boundary differences impart some upward bias to those marked * and some downward bias to those marked .

Source: "Supplementary Benefit Quarterly Statistical Enquiries" and DHSS expenditure figures. Mid-year population estimated mid–1981; OPCS and Scottish Office.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what minimum and maximum social services payments are payable to an unemployed man with a wife and four children of school age, with a mortgage of £25,000 together with the normal assistance towards the payments of the general and water rates of £500 per annum; and if he will list child allowances additionally to the normal welfare and supplementary benefits payable.

There are no minimum or maximum rates of supplementary benefit. Claimants' entitlements depend on their individual circumstances.The supplementary benefit scale rate for children aged under 11 is £8·75 and for children aged 13 to 15 is £13·15. Supplementary benefit claimants will normally receive child benefit and may also receive child dependency additions payable with other social security benefits, but they will be taken fully into account in calculating entitlement to supplementary benefit.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why his Department includes as a resource to the claimant for supplementary benefit purpose the amounts deducted in lieu of income tax from job release payments.

Under the Supplementary Benefit (Resources) Regulation 1981 only the net amount of a job release allowance from which income tax has been deducted falls to be be taken into account as an income resource. If the hon. Member knows of a particular case in which difficulties have arisen, perhaps he will let me have details.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will bring forward proposals to amend Regulation 23 of the Supplementary Benefit Single Payment Regulations in order to avoid discrimination against women in respect of the items of working clothes and footwear for which payments may be made.

I have no reason to believe that the present regulation operates in a discriminatory manner, but if the hon. Member has a particular difficulty in mind, perhaps he will let me know.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proportion of single payments to those on supplementary benefit has, in the most recent convenient period, been paid in respect of maternity; and what has been the total sum paid out in single payments for maternity leave for this period.

Information from the annual statistical inquiry carried out in December 1981 is as follows:

These figures relate to single payments made during the 12 months preceding the inquiry to persons still in receipt of supplementary benefit at the date of the inquiry. They do not therefore record all of the single payments made during the year.