HC Deb 28 April 1981 vol 3 cc379-80W
Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many families are currently earning less than supplementary benefit rates; how many children are involved: and what are the comparable figures for each year since 1970.

Mrs. Chalker

[pursuant to her reply, 6 April 1981, c. 211]: I regret that the information requested is not

Estimated numbers of working families with incomes below supplementary benefit levels—Great Britain
Families with children Families without children
Year Total families Total persons including children Families Persons including children Children Families Persons
1975 210,000 620,000 110,000 500,000 280,000 100,000 130,000
1976 290,000 890,000 170,000 740,000 400,000 110,000 150,000
1977 230,000 640,000 120,000 500,000 280,000 110,000 140,000
Notes on the Table
(1) All figures are rounded to the nearest 10,000.
(2) The estimates are based on a Department of Health and Social Security analysis of the incomes and other information given by respondents to the Family Expenditure Survey. The estimates are subject to statistical error.
(3) Supplementary benefit level has been taken as the ordinary supplementary benefit scale rate(s), as appropriate. Income refers to net income, less housing costs and less work expenses where appropriate.
(4) No regard has been had to factors that can affect payment of supplementary benefit, such as capital and exceptional circumstances.
(5) The comparisons have been based on the family's normal income in the normal employment of the family head. For example, where the head of the family had been off work due to sickness or unemployment for less than three months at the time of the survey, the family's normal income when the head was at work was used in determining the level of income.
(6) These estimates do not indicate unclaimed entitlement to supplementary benefit. Those who are in full-time work would not normally have entitlement to supplementary benefit.

available. The hon. Member may, however, find it helpful to have such information as is available about working families with incomes below supplementary benefit levels. Working families in this context are those in which the head of the family was working full-time for an employer or was self-employed. Estimates of the numbers are given in the table below for the years 1975, 1976 and 1977. There are no separate estimates of the numbers of employed and self-employed but it is known that the self-employed formed a high proportion of the total. Comparable estimates are not available for other years.

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