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Benefit Changes

Volume 82: debated on Monday 8 July 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will list every change to social security benefits not announced in the benefit up-rating announcement in (a) 1980, (b) 1981, (c) 1982, (d) 1983 and (e) 1984 which came into operation under that year's changes;(2) what changes to the non-dependent deductions were confirmed by his Department on or before 18 June; why these were not announced on 18 June; and if he will make a statement;(3) if he will list every change to social security which was not mentioned in his 18 June statement to the House or the accompanying schedule of main benefit changes; and if he will give a full list of the gainers and losers in each case.

Around 300 individual benefit items will be increased in this year's uprating. As in previous years, the items covered, in addition to benefit rates, include not only the amounts of any additions or deductions to the rates, but also associated features such as earnings limits. Given the number of items to be uprated each year, it has always been the practice for the uprating statement to give details of the increases in the main weekly benefit rates plus any special changes to be made at the time of the uprating. The schedule which is placed before the House similarly covers the increases in the main rates.The non-dependant deductions to supplementary benefit and housing benefit, which with the supplementary benefit non-householder housing addition will be increased in line with the housing element of the retail prices index this year in the usual way, have never been included in this schedule of main rates. Along with the other minor items, they are included in the various statutory instruments which will give effect to the uprating and which are being laid before the House currently. The vast majority of beneficiaries will gain from this year's uprating: the effects of increased deductions will be offset and usually outweighed by increases in benefit rates for those affected.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services at what income levels households will lose benefit as a result of the announcement of deductions for non-dependants to take effect from 25 November.

The amount of benefit a person receives depends on a number of factors including how much income he or she has and the actual amount of any housing costs paid. It is not possible therefore to give the information requested.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many households will receive reduced housing benefit as a result of the changes to take effect on 25 November if they have a (a) pensioner, (b) disabled person, (c) unemployed person or (d) young person up to 21 years, employed and unemployed, non-dependant, living with them; how much each one will lose; and how many households will lose benefit completely.