HC Deb 21 July 1981 vol 9 cc86-7W
Mr. Pawsey

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will seek to provide that recipients of supplementary benefit may claim interview expenses under the single needs regulations, particularly where those expenses relate to interviews at educational establishments.

Mrs. Chalker

There is already provision under regulation 22 of the Supplementary Benefit (Single Payments) Regulations 1980 (SI 1980/985) for people entitled to supplementary benefit to claim help with travelling expenses incurred in seeking employment or attending job interviews in specified circumstances. The question of reimbursing costs relating to interviews to attend courses at educational establishments is a matter for local education authorities.

Mr. Foulkes

asked the Secretary of State for Social. Services when he expects to receive and publish the results of his inquiry into the effects of the £2,000 savings rule on claiming supplementary benefit, in particular as it affects those receiving awards under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979; and if he will publish a list of those bodies and individuals who have made representations to him about these matters.

Mrs. Chalker

The main report of the Supplementary Benefit Policy Inspectorate into the operation of the supplementary benefit capital rule is expected within a month. A supplementary report dealing with cases involving redundancy payments and vaccine damage payments will follow a little later. In the light of the inspectorate's report on the general experience since the £2,000 cut-off was introduced last November, and of representations that have been made, we shall be considering the arrangements for the treatment of capital in the supplementary benefit scheme. This will include the effect of the level of the disregard, and whether changes are necessary. My right hon. Friend will announce the results of the review as soon as possible. However, any changes that may be thought to be necessary, which have a staff or benefit cost, will have to be judged in the light of Government expenditure.

The inspectorate is paying particular attention to the treatment of vaccine damage payments in the course of its inquiry. I cannot give a commitment about the outcome of the review in this connection.