§ Mr. Woolmer
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many National Health Service chiropody treatments were provided to what number of people in (a) the Kirklees area health authority, (b) the Leeds area health authority, (c) the Yorkshire region and (d) England and Wales, in 1975, 1977 and 1978; and what were the corresponding numbers per 10,000 population.
§ Dr. Vaughan
The provision of information about chiropody treatment in Wales is the responsibility of the Welsh Office. The remaining information with the exception of 1978, which is not yet available, is as follows:
order books a week are being issued to post offices four weeks before the date of the first order in the book, but there are delays in dealing with claims for new births and other changes of circumstances. I regret that delays will continue as long as the overtime ban at the child benefit centre, which came into effect on 20 June, remains in force.
§ Mr. Pawsey
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why, in the light of the substantial number of recent questions relating to delays in the issue of 689W child benefit books, the Minister does not consider decentralising the issue of these books to the local offices of his Department so alleviating much hardship currently being caused.
§ Mr. Prentice
I am reviewing the arrangements for paying child benefit as part of a wider review of the payment of social security benefits. But I must emphasise that the current delays do not affect the great majority of families—98 per cent.—who have their child benefit books. Local offices can in any event make emergency payments of child benefit in cases of financial hardship caused by delay. I deeply regret the pointless overtime ban which is preventing the early solution of this problem.
§ Mrs. Chalker
The information is available only from 1970 and is in the following table:
SUPPLEMENTARY BENEFIT SCALE RATES AS PERCENTAGE OF NET AVERAGE EARNINGS Child's age Year (November) Under 5 5–10 11–12 13–15 1970 6.1 7.3 8.9 9.7 1971 6.3 7.5 9.1 11.1 1972 6.1 7.2 8.7 10.8 1973 6.0 7.2 8.7 10.8 1974 5.8 7.0 8.6 10.5 1975 6.4 7.7 9.5 11.5 1976 6.6 8.0 9.8 11.9 1977 6.6 8.0 9.8 11.9 1978 (provisional) 6.1 7.3 9.0 11.0
Note: For the purpose of these figures, net average earnings have been calculated as follows:
(1) Gross average earnings have been derived from figures in the New Earnings Survey, those up to 1977 having interpolations derived from the Monthly Index of Average Earnings (Old Series).
(2) From such gross earnings have been deducted tax (assuming the standard allowances for a married couple with one child) and national insurance contributions (at the rate for those not contracted out). Child benefit has been added from 1977.
§ Mrs. Chalker
Figures for November 1979 earnings are, of course, not yet available. Provisional information for 1978 is as follows:
Child's Age and Scale Rate as percentage of net average earnings Under 5 … … … 6.6 5–10 … … … 7.9 11–12 … … … 9.8 13–15 … … … 11.8
NOTE: For the purpose of these figures, average net earnings have been calculated as follows:
1. Gross average earnings have been derived from figures in the New Earnings Survey, those up to 1977 having interpolations derived from the Monthly Index of Average Earnings (Old Series).
2. From such gross earnings have been deducted tax (assuming the standard allowances for a married couple with one child) and national insurance contributions (at the rate for those not contracted out). Child benefit has been added from 1977.