HC Deb 04 December 1967 vol 755 cc928-9
15. Mr. Mapp

asked the Minister of Social Security why her regulations do not provide for the supplementary pension or allowance to be adjusted following a rent or rates variation unless the amount payable would be affected by more than two shillings per week.

Mr. Loughlin

The supplementary pension or allowance is adjusted to take account of minor changes of this kind up or down, when a new determination is made, usually on the expiry of the current order book. One of the objects of the supplementary benefits scheme is to provide a person with a stable income for a fixed period, and the Regulations therefore provide that for the limited period changes of circumstances leading to an increase, or decrease, of not more than 2s. are not to affect the determination.

Mr. Mapp

Is my hon. Friend aware that a variation in costs of up to £5 a year in this large area of poverty among our people cannot be justified by administrative convenience? Would he consider whether the relevant amount should be reduced at least to half, or even down to 6d. a week?

Mr. Loughlin

I do not know. Wherever one sets the figure, there will be pressures for a reduction. We are trying to give a stable income over a period. There are swings and roundabouts here, and, on balance, we think that this is the better way.