§ Mr. Meacher
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will publish and distribute widely in pamphlet form a table representing a guide to income ceilings for eligibility for each of the passport systems of benefits associated with the family income supplement in the case of single-parent families with different numbers of children; and whether he will publish such a table in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Mr. Dean
The various leaflets and claim forms relating to dental and optical charges, prescription charges and welfare milk and foods at present give seven examples of income levels. It is not thought necessary to issue a special pamphlet for one-parent families but consideration will be given to including one or more examples of one-parent families in the revised prints of these forms—based on the new supplementary benefit scale rates which will operate from September—which are now being prepared.
Following are examples of the levels of income below which a one-parent 239W family consisting of a woman in employment with three children aged 4, 8 and 11 would qualify. The examples are based on current supplementary benefit scale rates, a rent of £2.95 and fares to work of 35p.
£ Dental and optical charges 18.62 Welfare milk and foods 18.47 Prescription charges 17.57
1. Dental, optical and prescription charges would not in any event be payable in respect of the children.
2. If, as seems likely, a payment was being made for the care of the youngest child whilst the mother was at work, the income levels would be correspondingly higher.
3. Income levels for free school meals are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science.