HC Deb 08 August 1980 vol 990 cc495-6W
Mr. Durant

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he has to uprate the rent rebates, rent allowance and rate rebate schemes this November.

Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what adjustments he proposes to make in rent allowances and rent rebates in line both with inflation and the level of increases in the private and public sectors.

Mr. Stanley

My right hon. Friend proposes to make increases in rent rebates, rent allowances and rate rebates which will benefit all recipients, especially those on low earnings, families with children, the handicapped, and war and industrial widows.

The increases are as follows:

  • —the needs allowance, used in the calculation of housing benefits, will rise in line with state retirement pensions—up from £31.05 to £34.90 for a single person, from £45.55 to £51.70 for a couple.
  • —the allowance for a dependent child will be restored to the same proportion of the needs allowance as it was in 1972—up 25 per cent. from £7.70 to £9.60.
  • —the earnings disregard, introduced last November, will be increased to give low paid workers up to £1.50 per week more—up from £5 to £9.60. Where a couple are both earning, it will be increased for only one of them.
  • —the first £4 of a war widow's or an industrial widow's pension will be disregarded.
  • —the handicapped person's needs allowance and deductions from benefits for non-dependants will also be increased.

Mr. Dobson

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his latest best estimate for the numbers of (a) one-parent families and (b) two-parent families receiving rent rebates and allowances and rates rebates; in each case what is the average amount of benefit and what are the numbers receiving benefit as a percentage of those eligible.

Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg

I shall write to the hon. Member.