HC Deb 09 February 1982 vol 17 cc847-8
8. Mr. Skinner

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total cost of benefit paid in earnings-related supplement in 1980 and 1981; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Rossi

The total cost of earnings-related supplements in the financial year 1980–81 was £339 million. It is estimated that the total cost in 1981-82 will be £325 million.

Mr. Skinner

Is it not true that during the International Year of Disabled People this Government took 10 per cent. off the earnings-related supplement which goes to people who are injured at work, mothers-to-be, widows, and so on, and that, the day after that year ended, they took away £325 million from those who are wrecked in their jobs? What about all the talk that the Prime Minister trotted out when she came to office three years ago about hope and compassion, when throughout this Government's——

Mr. Speaker

Order. This is Question Time.

Mr. Rossi

Social security payments, under various heads, for disabled people is £3,000 million a year. That is more than was ever paid by any Government, and it has been increased in real terms under this Government. The Social Security (No. 2) Act 1980 was fully debated in the House. All these questions were raised then, and the House voted on them. I have nothing to add to what was said during the passage of that measure through the House.