§ Mr. Charles Irving
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the total income of (a) a married couple, (b) a married couple with two children and (c) a man and wife aged 65 years and 60 years, respectively, who are dependent solely on income from (i) unemployment benefit, (ii) supplementary benefit and (iii) retirement pensions, including all the extra allowances for rent, rates, heating, clothing, school meals, and so on, for which each might be eligible.
§ Mr. Newton
The total incomes of these married couples would depend on a variety of factors, including the levels of their rents, if they are tenants, and rates, the children's ages and the extent to which the contribution and other conditions for benefits had been satisfied.
Tables (a), (b) and (c) attached show incomes on the basis of a number of assumptions. My hon. Friend will appreciate that the figures relate only to the particular illustrative situations described and have no general application. They cannot therefore be quoted out of context and without stating the assumptions.
Table (a) Married couple. Rent £10. Rates £3.65 Receiving Source (i) unemployment benefit (UB)£ (ii) supplementary benefit (SB)£ Standard rate benefit (UB/SB) 36.40 51.40 Rent rebate 10.00 — Rates rebate 3.65 — Totals 50.05 51.40
Table (b) Married couple with two children aged 4 and 6, Rent £12.10. Rates £4.45 Receiving Source (i) unemployment benefit (UB)£ (ii) supplementary benefit (SB)£ Standard rate benefit (UB/SB) 38.00 61.25 Child benefit 10.50 10.50 Rent rebate 12.10 — Rates rebate 4.45 — Free school meals 2.25 2.25 Free welfare milk 1.30 1.30 Totals 68.60 75.30
Table (c) Married couple. Pensioners. Rent £10. Rates £3.65. Receiving Source Pension on husband's insurance with earnings-related additions£ Supplementary benefit£ Standard rate benefit Husband 29.601 61.00 Wife 17.75 Graduated pension 1.69 — Additional component 1.81 — Rent rebate 7.24 — Rates rebate 2.59 — Total 60.68 61.00
Assumptions and Notes
- 1. The assumptions made about the levels of rents and rates and the ages of the children are shown above the tables.
- 2. The supplementary benefit figures given in the tables are made up of the scale rates and allowances for the rents and the rates, plus, in the case of the household with a child under age 5, an extra £1.65 heating addition. The scale rates are intended to meet normal living expenses, other than rent and rates; they therefore include an element for heating and replacement of clothing.
- 3. On free school meals, the assumptions have been made that the daily charge is 45p; and that the local authorities concerned continue to award free meals on grounds of low income, applying the November 1979 conditions of entitlement.
- 4. The graduated pension and additional component shown in table (c) are based on the assumption that the husband was not contracted out of the State pension scheme before retirement. The amounts quoted are the averages, at November 1981 levels, for men receiving them who retired in the 13 month period ended 30 June 1981.
- 5. Income tax refunds have not been included as part of the weekly income of the unemployed. The amount of any refund payable is determined by the relationship between the amount of tax paid prior to unemployment and the number of weeks of unemployment remaining in the tax year. At the 30 per cent. tax rate, the maximum weekly amount of such refunds, where payable, for a married couple with or without children is £12.38.
§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the current cost per week of benefits, including public assistance, paid to the numbers currently unemployed.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish similar figures to those provided in his answer to the hon. Member for Woolwich, West, Official Report, 16 February, c. 90, but excluding the earnings-related supplement fom the calculations.
§ Mr. Rossi
Rates of unemployment benefit, plus child benefit, but without earnings-related supplement, for families of varous sizes are shown in table 6.1(c) of theAbstract of Statistics for Index of Retail Prices, Average Earnings, Social Security Benefits and Contributions, for uprating dates up to November 1980. A copy of the abstract is in the Library of the House. The corresponding rates introduced at the uprating in November 1981 are as follows:
- Married couple with one child £42.45
- Married couple with two children £48.50
- Married couple with four children £60.60
§ Sir Nigel Fisher
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will ensure more effective enforcement of the existing provisions to discontinue the payment of unemployment benefit to people who consistently, and over a period, refuse offers of employment made to them by the labour exchanges.
§ Mr. Alison
I have been asked to reply.
People who refuse suitable jobs are liable to be disqualified from unemployment benefit by the independent adjudicating authorities. This penalty may be applied immediately someone refuses a suitable job and does not depend on consistent refusal of jobs over a period. These arrangements will continue.