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House of Commons Hansard
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Social Security Benefits
29 March 2010
Volume 508
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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) pensioners, (b) people of working age, (c) disabled people and (d) people of all ages received income-related benefits (i) in May 1997 and (ii) at the latest date for which figures are available; and what the monetary value of such benefits for each group was at each of those dates. [322122]

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The benefit system aims to tackle poverty by providing support for various groups of people: pensioners; unemployed people; lone parents; sick and disabled people; and renters and home owners. It also provides help for the extra costs that disabled people face; and support for carers.

Means tested benefits support people whose income and capital are below a prescribed level. It guarantees a minimum level of income for people who are either looking for work or are not required to actively seek work because of age, ill health, disability or caring responsibilities. The amount of benefit a person gets depends on their needs ("applicable amount”) and takes into account any other income (including other benefits) or capital.

The information is not available in the format requested; the available information is in the tables.

Table 1: Income support (IS) and income based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA(IB)) claimants—Great Britain May 1997 and August 2009

May 1997

August 2009

IS (non-MIG)

2,263,700

1,955,330

Of which:

Receive IS disability premium

836,200

1,095,870

JSA (IB)

1,181,100

1,055,800

Notes: 1. Income support minimum income guarantee (MIG) claimants aged 60 and over transferred to pension credit in October 2003, for easier comparison May 1997 claimants over 60 have been excluded from the IS figure above and shown along with pension credit claimants. August 2009 figures include a very small number of residual MIG claimants who did not transfer to pension credit. 2. Figures for May 1997 IS/JSA (IB) have been uprated using 5 per cent. proportions against 100 per cent. WPLS totals and rounded to the nearest 100. 3. Figures for August 2009 IS are taken from 100 per cent. data and rounded to the nearest 10. 4. JSA(IB) Benefit Type—The benefit type is defined as pay status at the caseload date —this may differ from the status at the start or end of the claim. 5. JSA(IB) includes a small number of claimants with both contributory based and income based entitlement. Source: DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS) Information Directorate, 100 per cent., 5 per cent. samples.

Table 2: Employment and support allowance income based (ESA (IB)) claimants—Great Britain August 2009

Total

Under 60

60-65

ESA(IB)

190,380

186,480

3,900

Notes: 1. Employment and support allowance (ESA) replaced incapacity benefit and income support paid on the grounds of incapacity for new claims from 27 October 2008. 2. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 3. ESA (IB) Benefit Type—The benefit type is defined as pay status at the caseload date—this may differ from the status at the start or end of the claim. 4. ESA (IB) includes a small number of claimants with both contributory based and income based entitlement. 5. It is possible for a claimant aged over pension age to claim ESA for a limited period. Therefore age groups for caseload and off flows include a small proportion of claimants aged 65. Source: DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS).

Table 3: Pension credit / income support (aged 60 and over) claimants in Great Britain as at May 1997 and August 2009

IS claimants May 1997

Pension credit August 2009

Total

1,739,100

2,737,290

Notes: 1. Pension credit figure is rounded to the nearest 10; some additional disclosure control has also been applied. Income support (IS) figures are based on 5 per cent. data and uprated against 100 per cent. WPLS totals and rounded to the nearest hundred. 2. Pension credit was introduced on 6 October 2003 and replaced minimum income guarantee (income support for people aged 60 or over). The vast majority of people who were previously in receipt of the minimum income guarantee transferred to pension credit in October 2003. These pension credit statistics are produced on a different basis to the early estimates. The latter are more timely but operational processing times mean that a number of claim commencements and terminations are not reflected in them. 3. These data represent all claimants as this benefit is not paid to anyone aged under 60. Source: DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS).

Table 4: Housing benefit and council tax benefit claimants by age in Great Britain as at May 1997 and August 2009

Total

Aged under 60

Aged 60 and over

May 1977

Housing benefit

4,639,000

2,786,000

1,853,000

Of which:

Receive a disability premium

709,000

Council tax benefit

5,498,000

2,853,000

2,646,000

Of which:

Receive a disability premium

781,000

August 2009

Housing benefit

4,494,560

2,957,630

1,535,960

Of which:

Receive a disability premium

--

Council tax benefit

5,519,390

2,931,800

2,586,710

Of which:

Receive a disability premium

Notes: 1. The May 1997 figures are based on a 1 per cent. sample and are therefore subject to a degree of sampling variation. 2. The data refers to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple. 3. August 2009 figures have been rounded to the nearest 10, May 1997 figures to the nearest thousand. 4. Council tax benefit figures exclude any single adult rebate cases. 5. Single housing benefit extract (SHBE) is a monthly electronic scan of claimant level data direct from local authority computer systems. It replaces quarterly aggregate clerical returns. The data is available monthly from November 2008 and November 2009 is the most recent available. To be consistent with other benefits August data is shown. 6. There will be overlaps in data between housing benefit and council tax Benefit, and between housing benefit and council tax benefit and other benefits. 7. Housing benefit figures exclude any extended payment cases. An extended payment is a payment that may be received for a further four weeks when the claimant starts working full time, works more hours or earns more money. 8. "—" denotes not available. The breakdown from the 1997 1 per cent. sample is by client group, there is no breakdown available of disabled within the pension client group. Breakdown by disability is not available on SHBE. 9. Comparison of these figures should be treated with caution due to the sampling variation in the May 1997 data. Source: Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE)—August 2009. Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System, Annual 1 per cent. sample, taken from May 1997.

Table 5: Benefit expenditure

£ million

1997-98

2008-09

Nominal terms

Real terms

Nominal terms

Real terms

Pensioners

Income support for people age 60 and over / minimum income guarantee / pension credit

3,721

4,940

7,794

7,950

Housing benefit and discretionary housing payments

3,781

5,019

5,570

5,681

Council tax benefit

1,080

1,433

2,163

2,206

Total

8,582

11,392

15,526

15,837

Working age

Income support for under 60s

6,094

8,090

7,148

7,291

Jobseeker's allowance—income-based

3,088

4,100

2,129

2,172

Employment and support allowance—income based

0

0

63

64

Housing benefit and discretionary housing payments

7,396

9,818

11,554

11,785

Council tax benefit

1,315

1,746

2,072

2,113

Total

17,894

23,753

22,966

23,425

Of which disabled

Income support

2,809

3,729

4,616

4,709

Housing benefit

1,782

2,366

4,244

4,329

Council tax benefit

367

487

870

887

All ages

Income support all ages including pension credit and minimum income guarantee

9,815

13,030

14,942

15,241

Jobseeker's allowance—income based

3,088

4,100

2,129

2,172

Employment and support allowance—income based

0

0

63

64

Housing benefit

11,177

14,837

17,123

17,466

Council tax benefit

2,395

3,179

4,235

4,319

Total

26,475

35,145

38,492

39,262

Notes: 1. For consistency figures exclude child elements of income support and jobseeker's allowance, which have now mostly been replaced by child tax credit payments administered by HM Revenue & Customs. 2. Expenditure on disabled people is for working age only, based on receipt of disability premium in the income-related benefits. Such information for pensioners is not available, as there is no equivalent premium in pension credit. 3. Because of changes in data sources figures for housing benefit and council tax benefit may not be completely consistent between 1997-98 and 2007-08. 4. Figures may not sum due to rounding. Source: DWP Accounting Data.