HC Deb 26 July 1979 vol 971 cc490-2W
Dr. Owen

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the estimated cost of a £10 fuel bonus payable on a convenient date in January 1980 for the following categories of people, respectively (a) over 80 years old, (b) over 70 years old, (c) over 65 years old, (d) mothers with a child under five years, (e) holders of a mobility allowance, (f) holders of invalidity benefit, and (g) holders of a constant attendance allowance;

(2) what is the estimated cost of a £10 fuel bonus payable on a convenient date in January 1980 for those drawing supplementary benefit and for those drawing family income supplement; and what would be the likely extra cost if eligibility was extended for either category at any time in which they first drew benefit in January, February, or March 1980.

Mr. Prentice,

pursuant to the reply [Official Report, 19 July 1979; Vol. 970, c. 825],gave the following answer:

Estimates, which are not mutually exclusive, based as appropriate on population projections or on the estimated average numbers receiving the main benefits at any time forecast in the public expen- diture White Paper—Cmnd. 7439—of the cost of paying £10 to those in the categories listed are given below:

£ million
(a) people aged 80 and over 1.5
(b) people aged 70 and over 5.5
(c) people aged 65 and over 8.0
(d) families claiming child benefit containing a child aged under 51 2.5
(e) people receiving mobility allowance 1.5
(f) people receiving invalidity benefit2 6.5
(g) people receiving attendance allowance3 3.0
(h) people receiving supplementary benefit4 31.0
(i) people receiving family income supplement4 1.0

1. Information is not available from which to calculate the cost requested, i.e. for mothers with a child under five years.

2. i.e. invalidity pension, non-contributory invalidity pension, or housewives' non-contributory invalidity pension.

3. i.e. not including constant attendance allowance payable with industrial injury benefit or war pension under those schemes.

4. As a guide to the possible extra cost of extending entitlement to those receiving benefit at any time during the first three months of 1980, it is estimated that there were about 800,000 claims resulting in payment of supplementary benefit made in the 12 weeks ending on 20 March 1979 (in some cases the same person will have claimed twice in that period) and about 11,000 claims resulting in payment of FIS.