§ Mr. D. E. Thomas
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will publish in the Official Report her latest estimate of the total number of persons in the United Kingdom eligible for FIS not claiming benefit and the total annual amount of benefit unclaimed.
§ Mr. O'Malley
I regret that the information is not available in the form requested. The hon. Member may wish to know, however, that during 1974 the average number of families receiving the supplement was 77,000 and, based on very small samples taken from the Family Expenditure Survey, it is provisionally estimated that this represents about three-quarters of those entitled to claim. It is not possible to give a reliable estimate of the amount of benefit unclaimed, but it is known that among the persons who do not take up their entitlement there is a heavy concentration of those who would be entitled only to small amounts of benefit.