HC Deb 01 August 1972 vol 842 cc82-3W
74. Mr. Woodhouse

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will direct the Supplementary Benefits Commission to treat members of religious communities on the same basis as other members of the public for the purpose of supplementary benefits.

Mr. Dean

No. The Commission regards the requirements of members of a religious community as being provided for by that community as a whole. Supplementary benefit is payable only where the Commission considers that the Order is not in a financial position to maintain its members. Members of religious communities are, therefore, in a special position for supplementary benefit purposes, and it would not be appropriate to treat them on the same basis as other members of the public.