§ Mr. Newton
It is not possible for the National Health Service authorities, as employers, to estimate the number of staff in receipt of family income supplement (FIS), because factors unconnected with their employment enter into the calculation of FIS; and the occupational classifications used by the Department for compiling statistics of FIS claims are too general to enable National Health Service staff to be identified.
The hon. Member may, however, find it helpful to know that, of 137,000 FIS recipients at the end of February 1982, 11,000 were in the "public sector". For this purpose, the public sector includes employments in Government Departments, local authorities, nationalised industries and public corporations, boards and trusts. Among the 11,000 in the public sector, there were a few hundred nurses; the total number of FIS recipients who were classified as nurses (excluding auxiliary nurses) was between one and two thousand, but two-thirds of these were working outside the public sector. These figures suggest that only a small percentage of National Health Service staff can be in receipt of FIS.