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Supplementary Benefit

Volume 171: debated on Tuesday 1 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proportion of the increase in the number of persons living in families with incomes below supplementary benefit level, on supplementary benefit and up to 110 per cent., 120 per cent. and 140 per cent. of supplementary benefit level between 1979 and 1985 can be attributed to real increases in the level of supplementary benefit.

[holding answer 15 February 1990]: The available estimates are as follows:

Persons in families:Percentage of 1979–1985 increase attributable to increases in the rate of Supplementary benefit scale rates:
on Supplementary Benefit (SB)30
on SB or with incomes below:
100 per cent, of SB level:50
110 per cent, of SB level:45
120 percent, of SB level:50
140 percent, of SB level:60
It is not possible to identify to any reliable degree the extent to which any group of non-recipients flowed on to supplementary benefit as a result of the real increases in the scale rates. Reliable estimates cannot therefore be provided to show the corresponding percentages for the number below each threshold unless combined with all those in receipt of supplementary benefit. Nevertheless, for each of these categories of non-recipients increases in scale rates appear to more than fully account for the whole of the increase in numbers between 1979 and 1985.