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Income Support

Volume 268: debated on Wednesday 20 December 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate what the earnings disregard for income support claimants would now be if it had been uprated since 1975 under supplementary benefit; and what the costs to public funds would have been of that uprating. [7184]

The earnings disregards until November 1975 were £1 a week for those required to register for work and £2 for all other claimants. Those disregards uprated in line with the Rossi index1 would now be £4.45 and £8.65 respectively. It is not possible to make a meaningful estimate of the current costs of such an uprating because the structure and rules of earnings disregards changed with the introduction of income support in 1988.The current standard disregard is £5 a week but a higher £15 disregard is available to lone parents, people entitled to the disability premium, couples aged under 60 who have been receiving income support continuously for two years or more, members of certain specialist forces—for example, part-time firefighters—and carers entitled to the carer premium.

1Rossi is the CSO retail prices index minus adjustments for housing expenditure. Rossi is the price index used for uprating most income support allowances.