§ Mr. Meacher
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is his latest estimate of the saving in 1983–84, 1984–85 and 1985–86 of the removal last April of the non-dependant's rent addition from 16 to 17-yearolds on supplementary benefit; and, in each year, how many people will be affected;
(2) how many 18 to 20-year-olds will lose the £3.10 non-dependants rent addition in April as a result of the changes affecting them recently announced; of them, if he will estimate how many will be in households where the 438W householder is himself or herself (i) on supplementary benefit, (ii) on housing benefit; how many of these householders will be, (iii) parents of the non-householder and (iv) others; and what is his estimate of the gross and net savings from this change in 1984–85 and 1985–86;
(3) what is his estimate of how many householders receiving (i) housing benefit or (ii) supplementary benefit will have their benefit reduced as a result of the changes in non-dependant deductions recently announced; and, in each case, how many will be affected by (a) the presence of a 16 to 17-year-old, (b) the presence of an 18 to 20-yearold and (c) the presence of more than one dependant;
(4) what will be the savings in 1984–85 and 1985–86 to public expenditure of the changes in deductions from (i) housing benefit and (ii) supplementary benefit; and what is his estimate of the savings that will be attributable to: (a) the presence of a 16 to 17-year-old and (b) the presence of an 18 to 20-year-old.
§ Mr. Foulkes
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether any benefits, following the passage of the present Health and Social Services Bill, will still discriminate against married or cohabiting women; and if he will make a statement.
§ Dr. Boyson
The Social Security Act 1980 contained provisions relating to equal treatment for men and women in the family income supplement, supplementary benefit and national insurance schemes. These came into effect in November and go further than was strictly required by the EC directive in some respects. The proposed new severe disablement allowance will remove the controversial household duties test and replace it with a sex-equal objective test of disability. Remaining areas where equal treatment will not apply to a married or cohabiting woman, and to which the EC directive does not apply, are: no dependency increase of a woman's retirement pension in respect of a man; the more limited earnings rule that applies to a dependency increase of invalidity benefit in respect of a man; and the exclusion of married or cohabiting women from invalid care allowance.
§ Mr. Andrew Bowden
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what evidence he has as to the number of local authorities which allow entitlement to housing benefit as a qualifying criterion for free or reduced charges for (a) home helps, (b) meals on wheels, (c) lunch clubs, (d) day centres, and (e) travel concessions; and if he will estimate the number of retirement pensioners who will lose the benefit of such concessions as a result of changes in housing benefit announced with the Chancellor's autumn statement.
§ Dr. Boyson
I regret that information is not held centrally as to which authorities may use housing benefit as a qualifying criterion for free or reduced charges for these services. I am not able, therefore, to estimate whether any pensioners will be affected in this way.