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Supplementary Benefit

Volume 128: debated on Thursday 25 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give the number of 16 and 17-year-olds claiming supplementary benefit in January, June and October of each year from 1979 to 1987 inclusive and for Scotland, England and Wales.

Information relating to the number of 16 and 17-year-olds claiming supplementary benefit in the months quoted is not collected, but the number of 16 and 17-year-olds in receipt of supplementary benefit on a particular day in each year indicated is as follows:

YearEnglandScotlandWalesGreat Britain
197959,00012,0007,00079,000
1980112,00018,00010,000140,000
1981134,00022,00011,000166,000
1982148,00022,00013,000183,000
1983139,00025,00011,000175,000
1984148,00025,00011,000184,000
1986126,00032,00010,000168,000
1987not yet available

Source: Sample statistical inquiry conducted in November/December each year other than 1986 when it was conducted in February. No inquiry took place in 1985.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give an estimate of the number of 16 and 17-year-olds in Scotland, England and Wales who will lose their general entitlement to supplementary benefit as a result of the new social security provision for the years 1988 –89, 1989 –90 and 1990 –91.

I regret that information on which to base estimates of the numbers who will lose general entitlement to income support is not available since a number of groups of 16 and 17-year-olds will retain their entitlement through being in one of the categories to be exempt from the general provision. In addition, it is not known how many will continue in higher education or who will go straight from school into a job. However, an estimated 70,000 unemployed summer school leavers will be affected in September 1988. Of those, some 95 per cent. will lose entitlement to income support in their own right.