§ Mrs. Castle
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the current cost of administering family allowances for all children including the first; and how this compares with the current estimated cost of administering the child benefit scheme, net of the savings in Inland Revenue, staff costs which would accrue from the withdrawal of child tax allowances in respect of children under 11 years of age and of all children, respectively.
§ Mr. Ennals
The current cost of administering family allowances is about £25 million. The additional cost of administering the new benefit including payment to the first child is about £15 million. This overall cost of £40 million is broadly comparable with the costs to the Department of administering the deferred scheme involving replacement of child tax allowances. However, under the latter scheme withdrawal of child tax allowances in respect of children under 11 attracting the cash benefit would eventually reduce Inland Revenue staff costs by a little under £1 million, and subsequent withdrawal of all child tax allowances could lead to maximum savings of about £6 million in the staff costs of that Department.
§ Mr. Orme
There is no need to distinguish for family allowances purposes between claims from one or two-parent families. For the purposes of paying child interim benefit for the first children of one-parent families my Department has a unit at Blackpool employing about 60 staff, at a cost of about £175,000 in 1976–77.