§ Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has any evidence that pupils who are 16-years-old before 31 January are leaving school at Easter in order to qualify for supplementary benefit and unemployment pay; and if he plans to make any change to the regulations as a result.
§ Mrs. Chalker
Several educational bodies have said they are collecting evidence, and the Department of210W
In November 1978 the uprating of child dependency additions was calculated by increasing "child support"—child benefit plus child dependency addition—by approximately the same percentage increases as those applied to other benefits at that uprating—11.4 per cent. for long-term benefits and 7.1 per cent for short-term benefits. The new rates of child dependency addition were then obtained by subtracting the new rate of child benefit from the new figure for child support.
In April 1979 child benefit was increased from £3 per child to £4 per child and this increase was subtracted from the value of child dependency additions. This did not affect the value of child support.
In November 1979 child benefit was not increased. Child dependency additions were increased so that child support was increased by about the same percentage as other benefits—17.5 per cent. for short-term benefits and 19.5 per cent. for long-term benefits.
In November 1980 the rates of child dependency additions were increased by the same percentage as other benefits—16.5 per cent.—and the cash increase in child benefit, 75p, was subtracted from these results to give the new rates of child dependency additions.
To calculate the rates of child dependency additions from November 1981, the November 1980 rates were first recalculated in accordance with clause 1(3) of the Social Security Bill 1981. This recalculation gives the notional rates that would have come into effect in November 1980 if the forecast increase in prices had been 15.5 per cent. rather than 16.5 per cent. The rates for November 1981 were then calculated from these notional rates by the same method as that used for the November 1980 uprating—that is, the notional child dependency additions were increased by 10 per cent. and the increase in child benefit of 50p was subtracted from these results to give the new crates of child dependency additions.
In all cases the rates of child dependency additions are rounded to 5p.
The rates are as follows:
Education and Science is monitoring the examination situation. As I have said, we are prepared to review the position if there is clear evidence that the new arrangements have had major unwelcome consequences.