HC Deb 25 March 1976 vol 908 cc285-7W
Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will compare the net weekly spending power when at work and when unemployed—during the first six months of unemployment, during the second six months, and at the end of one year—of a married man with two children whose normal earnings are £50, £55 and £60 a week, who has a £6,000 mortgage, whose rates are £2.50 a week, and who becomes unemployed in week 41 of the tax year, and assuming that his wages over the previous 21 months have moved in line with the DEP earnings index.

Mr. Meacher

With normal weekly earnings of £50, £55 and £60, the family's

the White Paper on Public Expenditure Command Paper No. 6393.

Mr. Meacher

Based on the Registrar-General's estimates of the home population in mid-1974 and broad estimates of the allocation of expenditure between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the per capita expenditure on social security in 1974–75 at 1975 survey prices is as follows:

net weekly spending power when working would be £29.09, £30.31 and £33.22 respectively. When the man was unemployed, there would, in all the circumstances specified, be entitlement to supplementary benefit on top of other benefits. Thus, irrespective of previous earnings or the length of unemployment, net weekly spending power would be at the same level, £25.69, except in the weeks up to the end of the tax year, when a tax rebate of £13.25 a week would be payable in addition. For the purpose of the above calculation, net weekly spending power is defined as (a) when working, earnings less tax, national insurance contributions and work expenses of £1; (b) when unemployed, unemployment benefit and/or supplementary benefit plus tax rebate; plus, in either case, family allowance, rate rebate, the value of free school meals and free welfare milk less in either case mortgage repayment of £13.71 and gross rates of £2.50. It is assumed (a) that the mortgage, at an interest rate of 11 per cent. per annum, is in the first year of repayment, giving a payment of interest of £12.69 a week, and (b) that the children are aged four and six.