§ Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will introduce legislation (a) to prevent removal of dependants allowance for schoolchildren aged 19 years and (b) to end the deduction of £5.40 from their parents' benefits because the child is treated as an adult dependant who should pay that sum as a contribution towards rent.
§ Mr. Newton
I have no plans to change the rule whereby child benefit and National Insurance child dependency additions cease absolutely at the age of 19. The supplementary benefit rules do, however, allow for the appropriate dependency addition to remain in payment for a child who stays on at school beyond his 19th birthday. Payment continues until the end of the academic year in which that birthday falls, or until he leaves school, whichever is earlier. No non-dependant deduction is made from supplementary benefit in these circumstances. There are similar rules in the housing benefit scheme. The position of the poorest families is thus safeguarded.