HC Deb 03 March 1981 vol 1000 cc87-8W
Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total number of recipients of family income supplement at the latest date for which figures are available; and what that figure is expressed as a percentage of the number of full-time male wage earners in the lowest decile according to the latest new earnings survey.

Mrs. Chalker

The latest available figure for family income supplement is that 88,000 families were receiving FIS in Great Britain in October 1980.

The latest figure for the number of full-time male wage earners is 11.9 million in September 1980.1 understand that this figure has been compiled by the Department of Employment, using quarterly sample surveys together with the 1978 census of employment. Those in the lowest decile are by definition 10 per cent. of the total (1.19) million.

re would be little, if any, meaning in the percentage figure for which the hon. Member has asked, because:

  1. (a) some 50,000 of the FIS families are one-parent families headed by a woman;
  2. (b) about 6.000 FIS families are self-employed, around 1,000 of them headed by a woman;
  3. (c) some of the larger FIS families have higher earnings than those covered by the lowest decile;
  4. (d) in any event, entitlement to FIS depends upon the income of the family and not merely that of the wage earner; and
  5. (e) the lowest decile includes wage earners who are single, or married without children, and who would thus be ineligible for FIS.

Mr. McMahon

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give figures for Scotland of the numbers of (a) one-parent and (b) two-parent families who received family income supplement at the latest available date; in each case what was the average payment; how many received the maximum family income supplement; and how many paid income tax.

Mrs. Chalker

Details of the families in Scotland who were receiving family income supplement at 28 October 1980 are set out in the table below. I understand that no information is available about the number who were also paying income tax. The hon. Member may, however, find it helpful to refer to the reply given by my hon. and learned friend the Minister of State Treasury, to the hon. Member for Barking (Miss Richardson) on 12 January, which was related to Great Britain as a whole.

Families Receiving FIS in Scotland at 28 October 1980
Family type Number of families receiving FIS Average payment £ Number receiving maximum FIS
(a) One-parent family headed by a male 90 6.75 None
One-parent family headed by a female 7.630 7.36 720
(b) Two-parent family 4,030 5.76 340
Total 11,750 6.82 1,060