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Housing Benefit

Volume 82: debated on Wednesday 10 July 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will break down the number of claimants who will lose (a) up to 50p and (b) up to 100p a week for the housing benefit changes announced on 18 June; and if he will break down the data according to whether claimants are above or below retirement age.

I assume the hon. Member has in mind changes other than the normal uprating changes. Estimates of the numbers whose housing benefit will be up to 50p and up to £1 less than it would otherwise have been because of the proposed increase in the rate rebate taper above the needs allowance this November, offset by the real improvement in the dependent child addition to the needs allowance, are as follows:

Thousand, Great Britain
Up to 50p50p to £1
Above pension age910400
Below pension age220190
Total1,130590

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the number of standard housing benefit recipients with capital of over (a) £3,000 and (b) £6,000.

[pursuant to the reply, 3 July 1985, c. 175]: At present capital is ignored for housing benefit purposes although income from capital is taken into account (whereas for Supplementary benefit, Capital is taken into account but investment income is ignored) and we do not collect specific information about amounts of capital held by households which receive housing benefit. However, the 1983 family expenditure survey included questions on income from capital. On this basis, which may not be very reliable, it is estimated that in 1983–84 about 750,000 standard housing benefit recipients had capital over £3,000, somewhat under half of whom had capital over £6,000.