§ Mr. Ralph Howell
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish a table showing how an unemployed man with dependent children may have more spending power when he is on supplementary allowance than when he is on flat-rate national insurance benefit.64W
§ Mr. Orme
It is impossible to tell whether a married man with flat-rate unemployment benefit, but no supplementary benefit, has more spending power than one whose only income—apart from family allowance—is supplementary benefit without knowing, amongst other things, the number and age of his children, the amount of his rent and whether he has any other income. A man may well be entitled to claim supplementary benefit in supplementation of his unemployment benefit.
§ Mr. Ralph Howell
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish a table showing the total number of people in receipt of supplementary benefit in each year since 1966, distinguishing between the main categories of recipients.
§ Mr. Deakins
Information for the period 1966 to 1974 has already been published in Social Security Statistics 1974 (table 34.30, page 147), copies of which are available in the Library. Comparable figures for 1975 are:
Thousands All supplementary benefits 2,793 All supplementary pensions 1,679 Retirement pensioners and NI widows aged 60 and over 1,586 Others 94 All supplementary allowances 1,113 Unemployed: with NI benefit 135 without NI benefit 406 Sick and disabled: with NI benefit 77 without NI benefit 165 NI widows under age 60 30 One-parent families not included in other groups* 276 Other 24 * This replaces the earlier category of women with dependent children.
§ Mr. Churchill
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether supplementary benefit in the United Kingdom in respect of a married man with two, three, four, five and six children, respectively, under the age of 12 years, is greater or less than the equivalent benefit available within the Irish Republic within the Common Travel Area; and if he will list in the Official Report the comparable figures of both countries.
§ Mr. Orme
I cannot, of course, comment authoritatively on the position in the Irish Republic, but it would appear 65W that the amount of supplementary benefit payable in the United Kingdom would probably be greater than the benefit payable in comparable circumstances in the Irish Republic.
In the United Kingdom the supplementary benefit scale rates for an unemployed married man with children are as follows:
£ Man, wife and 2 children (aged under 5) 23.95 Man, wife and 3 children (2 under 5, 1 aged 5–10). 27.70 Man, wife and 4 children (2 under 5, 2 aged 5–10). 31.45 Man, wife and 5 children (2 under 5, 3 aged 5–10). 35.20 Man, wife and 6 children (2 under 5, 3 aged 5–10, 1 aged 11). 39.80
In the Irish Republic the maximum rates of unemployment assistance are as follows:
Urban area Rural area £ £ Man, wife and 2 children (under 12). 20.85 20.40 Man, wife and 3 children (under 12). 22.95 22.50 Man, wife and 4 children (under 12). 25.05 24.60 Man, wife and 5 children (under 12). 27.15 26.70 Man, wife and 6 children (under 12). 29.25 28.80
The differing bases of assessment and provision for additional payments as between the two schemes make it difficult, however, to draw any meaningful comparison between these figures.