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Food (S Manual)

Volume 115: debated on Tuesday 5 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why the guidelines on average expenditure on food in clause 4736 of the S manual were not based on data relating to the entire sample of the 1979 "Family Expenditure Survey".

I understand from the chief adjudication officer that the figure of £9 was derived from data in respect of single pensioners, married couple pensioners and single adults under 65 in the lowest 20 per cent. household income bracket as it was considered that these data more accurately reflected expenditure by supplementary benefit claimants than would data from the entire sample. Data from the entire sample would have provided a higher figure of average expenditure on food, resulting in less help by way of dietary additions.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the basis for determining the percentage or proportion of the relevant scale rate for adults used for calculating the dietary figures for children in clause 4736 of the S manual.

The figure of £9, derived from the 1979 family expenditure survey, was approximately 30 per cent. of the adult householder long-term scale rate at November 1981. I understand from the chief adjudication officer that the figures in respect of children were therefore based on 30 per cent. of the children's scale rates. As data from the family expenditure surveys relate to households rather than to individuals, they do not provide information specifically in respect of children.