To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations he has received on the proposed changes in housing benefit subsidies for 1991–92; what were the views of the local authority associations; and if he will make a statement.
I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the reduction from 97 per cent. to 95 per cent. in the rate of direct subsidy for community charge benefit and certain housing benefit cases from April 1991. We have received 24 written inquiries from Members of Parliament, 48 letters from individual local authorities, and a number of representations from the local authority associations which my right hon. Friend the Minister of State met to discuss the proposal on 24 September. The associations were opposed to the proposal and felt that benefit expenditure should be subsidised at 100 per cent. The Government's view is that the change is a modest adjustment in the balance between direct and indirect subsidy, the consequences of which were fully taken into account in the proposed local authority finance settlements for 1991–92.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many residents of registered care or nursing homes would have their entitlement to housing benefit ended as a result of the Housing Benefit (General) Amendment (No. 3) Regulations 1990;(2) what assessment has been made by his Department of the implications of the Housing Benefit (General) Amendment (No. 3) Regulations 1990 for the residential security of those residents in registered residential care and nursing homes who were previously entitled to housing benefit.
Under the proposals in the draft Housing Benefit (General) Amendment (No. 3) Regulations 1990, all those in a registered residential care or nursing home who were entitled to housing benefit on 29 October will retain entitlement under the current rules, as will all those who had submitted a claim for housing benefit on or before that date which is subsequently determined in their favour. In addition, residents of registered homes who are not entitled to the special rates of income support because they are in full-time work, or living in a home run by a close relative, will retain access to housing benefit for help with accommodation costs.Information is not available about the numbers likely to be affected by the proposed changes. The special rates of income support will continue to be available to help meet the homes' fees for those in registered residential care or nursing homes with insufficient resources of their own.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations have been received by his Department with regard to the proposal to abolish housing benefit for residents of registered care homes.
We are currently consulting with the Social Security Advisory Committee and the local authority associations on the proposals contained in the draft Housing Benefit (General) Amendment No. 3 Regulations 1990. That consultation process is not yet completed. We have also received a number of letters on the proposed changes from hon. Members and others.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he last met representatives of local authorities to discuss the adequacy of social security benefits to residents of registered residential care and nursing homes.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met representatives from the Association of County Councils in April, when income support for people in residential care homes and nursing homes was discussed.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many residents of registered residential care or nursing homes in full-time employment are currently claiming housing benefit.
This information is not available.