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Income Support

Volume 205: debated on Friday 13 March 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many children in Scotland were growing up in households dependent on income support or supplementary benefit; and what share of the Scottish population aged 16 years and under this represented, in each year since 1974.

The answer is given in the table. The information requested is not available for the years prior to 1977 and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.The figures in the table largely reflect the increased numbers of lone parent families that is a characteristic of Great Britain as a whole and the fact that 60 per cent. of lone parents are either separated or divorced. Members of this group tend to become dependent on income support because of the problems that they face in obtaining appropriate levels of maintenance for their children and also in entering the labour market. This situation will be helped by the two changes in family credit that are to take effect from April; the definition of remunerative work is to be reduced to 16 hours and a £15 disregard is to be introduced for child maintenance from absent parents. In the longer term the Child Support Agency will help lone parents obtain the child maintenance that is due to them.

YearNumber of children in Scotland aged 16 or under dependent on income support(B) expressed as a percentage of the total number of children in Scotland aged 16 or under
Note: Figures are rounded to the nearest thousand.
Sources: Supplementary benefit/income support annual statistical inquiries for 1977 to 1990. Population statistics branch. General Register Office, Scotland.
1 There was no annual statistical inquiry in 1985: the one due in December that year was deferred until February 1986.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proportion of income support recipients are responsible for a mortgage or home loan and are (a) not in arrears with their payments, (b) more than three months in arrears and (c) more than six months in arrears.

The information is not available in the form requested. The Benefits Agency is currently

Table 1
Average payment (at 1991–92 prices) (£ per annum)1
Retirement Pension22,4002,3602,3302,4102,4902,5402,4902,5502,5902,5502,4502,4502,4502,570
Widows' Benefit22,7702,6702,6402,6902,7302,8002,8102,8202,8802,8902,8402,6402,7202,810
Unemployment Benefit3,0102,7602,6202,5002,3002,3502,3602,4002,4102,3902,2802,2702,1902,320
Sickness Benefit3,3703,1102,9502,1402,3502,4902,3602,4902,5002,4402,2602,2602,2002,230
Statutory Sick Pay33,3303,2203,2103,3003,2303,0403,0602,8402,620
Invalidity Benefit23,8003,7303,6403,7203,8103,9403,9503,9203,9903,8903,7703,7403,7503,970
Industrial Disablement Benefit2,1702,1002,0802,1702,1602,2302,2302,2202,1602,0701,8901,8501,8201,820
Industrial Death Benefit2,8902,7902,7502,8102,8402,8802,7902,7902,8402,9702,4302,2802,5702,600
Maternity Allowance2,8502,5302,4402,2602,0302,0502,0402,0602,1302,2502,2201,7401,8201,950
Statutory Maternity Pay3,2003,8603,6904,2004,050
Non-contributory RP1,5401,5201,4901,4001,4901,6401,7001,6901,2901,4001,2701,1601,1001,060
War Pension2,4002,3602,3102,4902,5502,6602,7202,8402,9402,9402,8502,8102,9703,100
Attendance Allowance1,7201,6401,6201,6901,7301,7801,7901,7801,8001,7701,7001,6901,6901,760
Invalid Care Allowance42,1701,8601,9602,1501,3401,6001,6701,8805,8103,0502,1401,8601,6501,690
Severe Disablement Allowance1,2501,2001,2101,2901,3201,3901,4701,5701,5001,4701,4501,4301,5801,940
Mobility Allowance1,3401,3101,3301,4801,4901,5401,3901,4501,5601,5301,4901,5301,5201,610
Income Support/Supplementary Benefit52,0301,9402,0002,3302,5102,0202,1002,2302,1802,1002,1702,1402,2702,470
Child Benefit (per child)6360490440460470500520520520510460440400430
One Parent Benefit210270280290300320320330340330310310320300
Family Credit/FIS77707808709509509809409101,0501,0801,7401,6201,6501,760
Rate Rebate5150150160180170280270300310320320310
Rent Allowance54604203904704808409108901,1301,1201,3301,4201,5901,770
Rent Rebate584604604705605108508408708808901,0101,0801,0701,080
Community Charge Benefits9250330190
1 Cash values revalued by use of the GDP deflator.
2 Includes additional pensions.
3 80 per cent. reimbursement in 1991–92 grossed up to 100 per cent.
4 Data for 1986–87 and 1987–88 distorted by major increase in numbers of beneficiaries and extensive arrears payments following the extension of entitlement to married women, first announced in 1985–86.
5 Changes in 1983–84 reflect the transfer of support for housing costs from supplementary benefit to housing benefit.
6 Increase in 1979–80 reflects the full introduction of child benefit and abolition of most child tax allowances.

undertaking an exercise to identify claimants in difficulties with their mortgage interest payments and to make those payments direct to lenders. From April all claimants receiving help with mortgage interest will have payments made automatically to qualifying lenders.