§ Q20. Mr. Peter Bottomley
asked the Prime Minister which Minister is responsible for maintaining family benefits.
§ The Prime Minister
The Ministers responsible for maintaining family benefits are those who have departmental responsibility for their administration, namely, my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for the Department of Health and Social Security—social security benefits, free milk and vitamins and help with NHS charges—the Secretary of State for Education and Science—free school meals—and the Secretary of State for the Environment—rent and rate rebates and allowances. There is close co-ordination between them over policy and its overall effect on families, particularly when changes in the rule for benefits or their uprating is involved. In the latter case my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer would, of course, be involved.