HC Deb 28 June 1974 vol 875 cc47-8W
Mr. David Price

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the numbers of disabled persons currently in receipt of financial benefit under the provisions of each of the following schemes: war pensions, industrial injuries, invalidity benefits, higher rate attendance allowance and lower rate attendance; how many such persons receive benefit from more than one of these schemes; and what is her estimate of the current rate of take-up in respect of invalidity benefit and the two rates of attendance allowance.

Mr. Alfred Morris

Rounded to the nearest 1,000, and on the basis of the latest information available in each case, the information is as follows:

War disablement pensions 342,000
Industrial injuries disablement benefits* 263,000
Invalidity benefit* 436,000
Attendance allowance: higher rate 107,000
lower rate 48,000
* The benefits for short-term incapacity i.e. sickness benefit and industrial injury benefit, have not been included.

The extent to which individuals receive more than one benefit because more than one contingency has arisen is not known. As regards take-up, it is unlikely that anyone entitled to invalidity benefit is not receiving it. New claims to attendance allowance are still being received, and the number of awards may rise to per-Imps 200,000, the increase being primarily in lower-rate awards.

Mr. David Price

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is her estimate of the net annual cost to public funds measured at current values of implementing a fully structured national disability income as proposed by the Disablement Income Group in its latest statement, a copy of which is in her possession; and if she will give the principal statistical basis for her estimate.

Mr. Alfred Morris

The paper by the Disablement Income Group, "Realising a National Disability Income", is a statement of the broad lines along which the group wishes development to take place rather than a set of detailed proposals which can be readily costed. I can only confirm the comment in the paper itself thatthe net cost of a National Disability Income is impossible to assess".