HC Deb 05 December 1983 vol 50 c62W
Mr. Deakins

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what evidence is available to him that the annual percentage uprating of child additions to supplementary benefit accurately reflects the annual percentage increase in the costs appropriate to the maintenance of a dependent child;

(2) on the basis of what items of expenditure the supplementary benefit scale rates for dependent children were first calculated; and how often the up-to-date cost of such items is re-examined.

Dr. Boyson

The national assistance scale rates set in 1948 were based on an assessment of requirements for food and other essentials. The increases in the rates of national assistance, and then supplementary benefit, since that date have not, however, been based on the revaluation of particular items but have kept in line with general improvements in living standards. As a result the real value of the scale rates has increased since 1948 by 122 per cent. for children under five—families with children under five also receive an automatic heating addition—86 per cent. for children aged five to 10, and 138 per cent. for children aged 11 to 16.