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Benefits (Patients)

Volume 202: debated on Friday 24 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much revenue is raised by reducing benefits for those in hospital for more than six weeks; how much this scheme costs to administer; and if he will make a statement.

The reduction of benefits paid to people in hospital is not a revenue raising measure. The reductions are based on the view that public funds should not make double provision for the same needs. As the national health service provides free maintenance as well as free treatment, it has always been the policy that maintenance benefits, also paid out of public funds, should not continue to be paid in full indefinitely. Information on the total value of the reductions for all benefits and the administrative costs involved is not available.