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Volume 205: debated on Monday 9 March 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give, for the years 1979–80, and the latest available, in cash terms and at 1991–92 prices, social security spending on (1) elderly people, (2) sick and disabled people, (3) families, (4) unemployed people and (5) widows and orphans, indicating the numbers of claimants in each category, and dependants in the houshold, and the percentage increase in spending in real terms.

Details of expenditure as shown in the table.Information on the numbers of claimants and their dependants in each category is not available, since claimants may receive more than one benefit at any one time.

1979–80 cash(£ million)

1979–80 at 1991–92 prices(£ million)

1991–92 cash(£ million)

Real terms percentage increase

—long-term sick and disabled2,0994,87912,254151·2
Unemployed people1,4703,4187,362115·4
Widows and others7601,7671,364-22·8

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give the latest estimate of the cost of benefits to the unemployed, administration of unemployment benefit, and redundancy payments for 1991–92.

Benefit expenditure on unemployed people is expected to be £7,360 million in 1991–92. The cost of administering unemployment benefit in 1990–91, the latest year for which figures are available, was £182 million. For other benefits it is not possible to identify separately the administration costs attributable to unemployed people. The administration of redundancy fund payments is the responsibility of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Employment, but I am advised that in 1991–92 they are expected to total £126·9 million.