§ Mr. Couchman
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has any plans to amend the regulations governing single payments for essential furniture and household equipment.
§ Dr. Boyson
When the Supplementary Benefit (Single Payment) Regulations were consolidated in 1981, the wording of what is now regulation 10(1)(b) was changed with the intention of clarifying the effect of the regulation concerning the circumstances in which single payments for essential furniture and household equipment could be made to supplementary benefit claimants. A recent decisron of a social security commissioner has ruled that the effect of the regulation in force before 1981 was different from what it was believed and intended to be at the time, that the effect of the regulation was therefore unintentionally changed on consolidation, and that the current regulation is invalid to the extent of that change. My right hon. Friend has therefore today laid before Parliament the Supplementary Benefit (Single Payments) Regulations 1984, which restore what was originally intended to be the effect of this provision, as reflected in the wording of the current consolidated regulations. These regulations will come into effect on 27 April 1984 and are today being referred to the Social Security Advisory Committee under the provisions of section 10(7) of the Social Security Act 1980. The committee will report on them to my right hon. Friend in due course.