HC Deb 16 December 1982 vol 34 cc242-3W
Mrs. Dunwoody

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services pursuant to his statement in the Official Report, 6 December, column 613, in the debate on inequalities in health that the present estimated cost of putting all the policy suggestions of the working group report on inequalities in health into operation would be about £5 billion a year, if he will estimate the costs of implementing each of the recommendations in the report of the working group on inequalities in health.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

Of the 37 recommendations in the inequalities in health report, only nine are sufficiently specific for an estimate of the costs of implementing them to be made. The table shows up-to-date estimates of these. Some of the more general recommendations for example those regarding working conditions including amenities, pay and welfare benefits relating to various aspects of unemployment and to extending the housing functions of local authorities would undoubtedly be costly to implement.

No Recommendation Estimated annual cost £ million
10 Free milk for children aged under 5 300
12 Expansion of day care for children aged under 5 *550

No. Recommendation Estimated annual cost £ million
23 Special programme of experimental projects in 10 areas with highest mortality rates 65
24 Increase child benefit to 5½ per cent, of average gross male industrial earnings †950
25 Age-related child benefit ‡1,275
26 Increase maternity grant to £100 60
27 Infant care allowance **440
28 Free school meals for all children (net extra cost) ††640
29 Comprehensive allowance for disablement ‡‡l,175
Total estimated annual cost 5,455
* Annual revenue cost: an initial capital outlay of possibly £300-£400million would also be required.
† Cost of raising child benefit to £7.57 per week.
‡ Assuming average increase of £3 per week for children aged 5–15.
** The cost of a £5.85 per week benefit if half the estimated 2.9 million women at home looking after children had a child under 5.
†† Assuming 70 per cent, take up.
‡‡ As estimated by the Disability Alliance: April 1981.