HC Deb 02 March 1981 vol 1000 cc5-6W
Mr. Cook

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will update for 1980–81 the information on the numbers of taxpayers entitled to claim one or more means-tested benefits, given in his reply of 7 March 1980 Official Report, c. 352.

Mr. Peter Rees

The information is as follows:

Family Income Supplement 100,000
Rent Rebates and Allowances 1,000,000
Rate Rebates *2,500,000
* including most of those who are also eligible for renl rebates or allowances.

No comparable figure for the number of taxpayers entitled to free school meals is at present available. The provision of such meals by local authorities on their assessment of low incomes has, since April 1980, been on a discretionary basis.

No more recent information than that in the previous answer is available on the number of taxpayers entitled to free welfare milk.

As stated in the earlier answer, these estimates are not precise, but are believed to be of the right order of magnitude. They should not be added together, because the same beneficiaries can be included under more than one heading.