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Social Security Review

Volume 80: debated on Wednesday 12 June 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the growth in the value of the benefits covered by figure 2 of volume 1 of the social security Green Paper in relation to the increase in (a) average male gross earnings and (b) average male net earnings between 1949 and 1984.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was (a) the total number of payments made to supplementary benefit claimants and (b) the total expenditure on such payments in respect of (i) community care needs as defined in paragraph 2.98 of volume 2 of the social security Green Paper, (ii) maternity and funeral expenses, (iii) other needs in respect of which single payments were made and (iv) urgent needs in the last year for which figures are available.

Available information requested on single payments is estimated to be as follows (Figures are for 1983, the latest year for which a breakdown is available):

Number of payments(000s)Expenditure(£ million)
Maternity needs17110·2
Funeral expenses112·5
Other needs1,708130·9
Information on single payments of supplementary benefit is not presently categorised by community care needs.In the year ending 7 May 1985, about 234,000 one-off payments of supplementary benefit were made to meet urgent need. In addition, weekly payments were made to meet continuing urgent need on about 14,200 occasions. No information is available on the total cost of these payments.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services(1) whether deductions from benefit made to recover loans made as part of the budgeting element of the social fund will be offset against the cash limit for that fund;(2) whether each of his local offices will have its own cash limit in respect of the social fund;(3) whether separate cash limits will be applied to the four elements of the social fund;(4) whether the lump sum to be paid to widows on breavement will be disregarded in the means test for help with funeral costs;(5) how many losers and how many gainers there would be in each of the following categories of supplementary benefit claimants if each supplementary benefit claimant who is

(a) over 60 years, (b) unemployed, (c) a single parent, (d) long-term sick or disabled or (e) caring for the sick or disabled, had his or her requirements assessed at

the average for that category; what in each case would be the average gain and the average loss; and what in each case would be the maximum gain and the maximum loss;

(6) if he has made any estimate of the likely rate of takeup of help from the social fund with funeral costs;

(7) if he has made any estimate of the proportion of (a) births and (b) deaths which will qualify for help from the social fund with maternity and funeral costs, respectively.

I shall let the hon. Member have replies as soon as possible.

From October 1985 (Proposed)
Employer (per cent.)Employee (per cent.)
Total earnings within the rangeTotal earnings within the range
LEL to £54·99£55.00 to £89·99£90.00 to >£129·99£130·00 or more LEL to£54·99£55.00 to £89·99£90.00 to £265·00
Rate payable or, total
Rate payable on portion of
earnings below LEL5·07·09·0✶10·455·07·09·0
Rate payable on portion of
earnings between LEL
and UEL0·92·94·96·352·854·856·85
✶ Also payable on any earnings in excess of £265.00.
No decisions have yet been taken about what rates of national insurance contribution employers and employees respectively should pay during and after the proposed phasing out of the state earnings-related pension scheme.