§ Mr. Ashley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the real increase in expenditure on disablement benefits since February 1974; and what is his estimate of the number of people who are now eligible for disablement benefits who were not eligible then.
§ Mr. Alfred Morris,
pursuant to his reply[Official Report,26th October 1977 Vol. 936, c.729–30],gave the following information:
I understand that the Question refers to social security benefits, which give help to disabled people and their families. A disabled person may be eligible for one or more of the whole range of social security benefits, but those of particular importance include retirement pension for the roughly 2½ million retirement pensioners who have some disablement; invalidity benefit; noncontributory invalidity pension; invalid care allowance; attendance allowance; mobility allowance; war disablement pensions; and industrial injury disablement benefit. At 1977 public exenditure survey prices, the increased expenditure on these benefits since 1973–74 is about £650 million.
I regret that the information required to answer the second part of the question is not available. Non-contributory invalidity pension, including its current extension to married women, invalid care 56W allowance and mobility allowance, have all been introduced as new benefits since February, 1974. The qualifying conditions for invalidity benefits have been modified and, as my hon. Friend will also appreciate, additions have been made to the list of prescribed industrial diseases.