HC Deb 27 January 1982 vol 16 cc371-3W
Mr. Richard Wainwright

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people in (a) Yorkshire and Humberside and (b) West Yorkshire are currently in receipt of supplementary benefit; and if he will list, for both areas, the number of pensioners involved.

Mrs. Chalker

Following is information for August 1981 (the latest available date):

All Supplementary beneficiaries Supplementary pensioners
(a) Yorkshire and Humberside* 355, 000 168, 000
(b) West Yorkshire † 160, 000 75, 000

Source: August 1981 Quarterly Statistical Enquiry.

*Local authority areas in Yorkshire and Humberside

† Local authority areas in West Yorkshire.

Mr. McCrindle

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will consider amending section 5 of the Social Security (No. 2) Act 1980 to modify the provisions relating to non-entitlement of unemployment benefit to those over 60 years receiving an occupational pension of £35 per week or more so as to give consideration to those whose unemployment arises from redundancy.

Mrs. Chalker

No. The Government realise that people made redundant may be in a different position from those who have always intended to retire at a particular point; and their redundancy payments are not taken into account for the purposes of section 5. Someone who, following redundancy, receives a substantial occupational pension is in the same position as far as his pension is concerned as other people with comparable pensions; therefore, it is right that the pension should be taken into account in the same way. To exempt those made redundant from the provisions of section 5 would, of course, reduce the savings made by the abatement provision, and equivalent savings elsewhere might well affect people less well off than those with occupational pensions of over £35 a week.

Mr. Foster

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether under the proposed youth training scheme young people in the scheme who leave home will be entitled to supplementary benefit.

Mrs. Chalker

No decision has yet been taken on this. Certain groups of young people who have left school at the minimum age will continue to be able to claim supplementary benefit in their own right before 1 September in the year following that in which they leave school. As indicated in paragraph 37 of the White Paper "A New Training Initiative"—Cmnd. 8455—the intention will be to follow broadly the categories at present allowed to claim supplementary benefit while still at school. These include young people who have a child of their own or are estranged from their parents.

Mr. Marlow

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services under what circumstances supplementary benefit or child allowance is available for children overseas; in each case how much is available per child; how much in total has been paid in this way for each of the last five years; and how much has been paid on account of children in each of the six countries in respect of children in which the largest total payments have been made.

Mrs. Chalker

I shall let my hon. Friend have a reply as soon as possible.

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