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Housing Benefit

Volume 81: debated on Monday 24 June 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will provide the latest available estimates of the total numbers of recipients of standard housing benefits, divided between rate assistance and rent assistance; how many in each category have income above and below the needs allowance; if he will give the current year and full year estimates of the expenditure saving due to the increase in the rate taper to 13p and estimate the number of claimants who will be adversely affected by the taper increase without taking account of the increase in the child needs allowance; how many of these losers will lose eligibility to rate rebates altogether; and if he will as far as possible break the above estimates down as between pensioners, working householders and others.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will provide his best estimates of the number of Scottish households, including the number of pensioners, who will lose (a) up to £1, (b) between £1 and £2 and (c) £3 and more in rates help as a result of the proposed changes in the rates taper; and how many households will lose housing benefit altogether.

Breakdowns of the estimates of the effects of the proposed increase in the housing benefit rates taper above the needs allowance and the real improvement in the dependent child addition to the needs allowance this November, are not available separately for Scottish households. It is estimated that 460,000 households in Great Britain will no longer receive rate rebate from November following these changes.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement as to the date by which he expects to have achieved savings of £500 million in housing benefit.

The figure of £500 million indicates the order of magnitude of the amount by which we think it reasonable, over a period, to reduce housing benefit expenditure compared with likely expenditure under existing entitlement rules.