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Habitual Residence Test

Volume 264: debated on Friday 20 October 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what are the estimated public savings in income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit arising from the number of British citizens excluded from income-related benefits as a result of the habitual residence test during the first year of its operation. [37735]

The public savings are broadly estimated to be £15 million in the first 12 months of operation, from August 1994 to July 1995.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many claimants for income support have been subjected to the habitual residence test in each of the months since its inception; and how many failed it. [37695]

The habitual residence test applies to all income support claimants. I refer the hon. Member to the replies that I gave to the hon. Member for Newham, North-East (Mr. Timms) on 18 April 1995, Official Report, column 43, and on 10 July 1995, Official Report, column 449, in respect of refusals and on 21 April 1995, Official Report, column 314, in relation to the availability of these figures.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people who failed the habitual residence test, and who are neither British citizens nor other European Economic Area nationals, were awarded income support under regulation 70(3) of the Income Support (General) Regulations (Urgent Cases). [37696]

This information is not readily available and could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many decisions were made by adjudication officers in the year April 1993–94 within the Employment Service concerning the habitual residence of a person claiming unemployment benefit in the United Kingdom. [37697]

Decisions on contribution conditions, including the habitual residence of a person claiming unemployment benefit in the United Kingdom, are made by the Secretary of State. In the period January to April 1994 there were 201 decisions. Figures for the period April to December 1993 are no longer available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many appeals against the disallowance of income support under the habitual residence test were decided at the Benefits Agency district offices in Euston, Ealing, Kensington, Tottenham, Westminster, Wandsworth, Neasden, Hounslow and Slough in each of the latest four quarters; and those decided, how many were successful. [37698]

The information is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the relationship between the figures for estimated public expenditure savings arising from the habitual residence test given in the answers of 2 March 1995, Official Report, column 706, and 12 July 1995, Official Report, column 621. [37733]

The public expenditure savings arising from the habitual residence test given in the answer of 2 March, Official Report, column 706, were based on an initial estimate that 5,000 EEA work-seekers would be adversely affected by the test. This estimate was based on the best information available prior to the actual implementation of the test. The public expenditure savings arising from the habitual residence test given in the answer of 12 July 1995, Official Report, column 621, were based on revised estimates of the actual impact of the test after it had been in operation for eight months.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what extra resources have been given to the independent tribunal service to fund appeals against the habitual residence test. [37737]

The independent tribunal service is funded according to the projected work load for all types of appeal. Resources for hearing appeals against the habitual residence test are included in the current year's allocation, but are not identified separately from other types of social security appeals.