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Income-Related Benefits

Volume 175: debated on Tuesday 26 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether a person who deprives himself of a substantial amount of capital is entitled to receive an income-related benefit; and if he will make a statement.

Where the independent adjudicating authority decides that a person has deprived himself of capital for the purpose of receiving an income-related benefit, regulations provide for him to be treated as notionally still possessing that capital, Benefit may be payable, however, if the total capital, including any notional capital, that he possesses does not exceed the capital limit for that benefit. As my noble Friend Lord Henley announced in another place on 25 June, regulations are to be introduced into all the income-related benefits from October to provide for the phased reduction of the national capital according to the circumstances of the particular case.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will break down into the different benefits the extra £100 million which is being spent in real terms on income-related benefits in comparison with the old scheme.

Individuals in lowest quintile of income distribution showing proportion living in households receiving benefits by family type of benefit unit 1979
A. Lowest quintile before housing costs
Percentage receiving:
Supplementary benefitOther income-related benefitOther benefit (mostly retirement pension and child benefit)No benefitTotal
Married pensioners2550250100
Single pensioners4535200100
Married with children1515700100
Married without children20252035100
Single with children6510200100
Single without children40152520100
TOTAL2925415100
B. Lowest quintile after housing costs
Percentage receiving:
Supplementary benefitOther income-related benefitOther benefit (mostly retirement pension and child benefit)No benefitTotal
Married pensioners2555200100
Single pensioners5530150100
Married with children1515700100
Married without children20252035100
Single with children7510150100
Single without children40152520100
TOTAL3125395100

Notes:

1. Figures for individual family types are rounded to nearest 5 per cent. Figures may not add to 100 per cent. because of rounding.

2. SB: Supplementary Benefit; RP: Retirement Pension; CB: Child Benefit.

3. Benefit receipt is to the household as a whole. Thus, for example, where two or more benefit units are sharing a household, all household members would be shown in the supplementary benefit column if any of them was receiving supplementary benefit.

4. Figures are according to the definitions used in "Households Below Average Income".

5. People receiving more than one relevant benefit appear in the first appropriate column.

The Government's estimates of expenditure in April 1988 suggest that overall expenditure on weekly benefit payments in the pre and post-reform schemes was broadly the same. However, owing to the very different nature of the two schemes, and subsequent improvements in the benefit system, straightforward comparisons between overall expenditure on income-related benefits under the old and new schemes have become less meaningful with the passage of time.