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Income Support

Volume 202: debated on Tuesday 21 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give his estimate of the number of those aged 16 and 17 years who are currently excluded from income support entitlement and who would be in receipt of income support if the eligibility rules prior to September 1988 had still been in force.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if he will issue regulations to disregard the proceeds of any unemployment mortgage protection policy in the assessment of income benefit, excluding mortgage repayments;(2) if he will amend regulations so that premiums for an unemployment mortgage protection policy are added to any income support paid to an unemployed householder.

For loans that are eligible for income support help, we already disregard the following payments under mortgage protection policies:the amount of the capital repayments, or the endowment premiums on an endowment mortgage;the amount of interest not being met in income support because of the 50 per cent. restriction during the first 16 weeks of the claim;the amount of the premiums due on the policy.This allows claimants who have chosen to insure to retain an advantage over those who have not, while avoiding double provision for the same costs through income support and insurance.We have no plans to change the arrangements for income support whereby insurance policy premiums for whatever purpose are met by the claimant from his benefit.