HC Deb 13 January 1976 vol 903 cc122-3W
Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the rate of uptake of the social beef policy on which the original 1975–76 Civil Estimates were based and the rate at which the latest Supplementary Estimates are based.

Mr. O'Malley

It was originally estimated that about 8½ million persons would benefit under the social beef scheme, which ended in March 1975, at a cost of about £30 million. In the event reimbursements to retailers amounted to rather more than £26 million, equivalent to the entitlement of about 7¼ million persons. I understand from the Agricultural Ministers that the original estimate of £30 million was split equally between the financial years 1974–75 and 1975–76 on the expectation that tokens would be submitted for reimbursement in that proportion and that the revised estimate of £9.5 million for 1975–76 represents that part which has actually been spent in the current financial year.