HC Deb 28 June 1982 vol 26 cc234-5W
Mr. Field

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will set out how work expenses are treated in the family expenditure survey's "low income families" calculations; and if he will detail the amounts allowed to cover this item of expenditure for each year since 1972.

(2) when he will be able to answer the question on work expenses to which he replied on 21 May, Official Report, c. 216, that he intended to answer as soon as possible.

Mr. Newton

Although work expenses cannot be identified for individuals taking part in the family expenditure survey, from which most of the figures in "Low Income Families—1979" are derived, a figure is deducted from the income in work of all full-time employees, and this is based on the average level of fares to work. The weekly amounts allowed to cover this item are shown for each year since 1972.

The 1979 estimate was based on information collected in the 1978–79 national travel survey. This information was then updated to 1979, using the fares subcomponent of the retail prices index. Estimates for previous years were based on information collected in earlier travel surveys.

FES Year Amount (£ per week)
1972 0.60
1973 0.65
1974 0.70
1975 100
1976 1.75
1977 2.00
1979 3.20

In compiling the estimates contained in "Low Income Families—1979", the figure assumed for work expenses was erroneously worked on a different basis from that used for earlier years. The appropriate adjustments, together with some other corrections, have been incorporated in a revised edition of "Low Income Families—1979". This is being placed in the Library of the House and I am sending a copy to the hon. Member and to other right hon. and hon. Members to whom I sent copies of the earlier edition.