HC Deb 09 February 1984 vol 53 cc754-5W
Mr. Andrew Bowden

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will recalculate the figures in his answer to the hon. Member for Brighton, Kemptown, Official Report, 21 December 1983, c. 286–88, to take account of the changes announced in his statement of 6 February, in the form of two tables (a) those affected in April and (b) those affected in November;

(2) how many pensioners will now lose entitlement to housing benefit as a result of the proposals in his statement of 6 February in (a) April and (b) November;

(3) what will be the average loss to pensioners who are council tenants in (a) April and (b) November as a result of the proposals in his statement on housing benefit on 6 February.

Dr. Boyson

I shall let my hon. Friend have a reply as soon as possible.

Mr. Lofthouse

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the latest estimate of local authorities' administrative costs for the housing benefits scheme for 1983–84, excluding development costs, for England, Wales and Scotland; and how these figures compare with the original Government estimates.

Dr. Boyson

[pursuant to his reply, on 1 February c. 259]: Current provision (rounded to the nearest £0.5 million) for the costs of administering the housing benefits scheme in 1983–84 is attached. Development costs incurred in 1983–84 are not separately identifiable and are included in the total provision for administration costs.

£ million
England 64
Wales 3.5
Scotland 7

It is likely that we shall need to ask further provision for the additional administration costs of the new housing benefits scheme later this month since the amounts being claimed by local authorities are higher than expected. On the basis of information from local authorities, the Government's original 1981 estimate of these additional costs for Great Britain as a whole was up to £19 million.

Mr. Andrew Bowden

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services on what statistical basis the figures for housing benefit losers have been calculated; on which sources of information statistics on housing benefit have been based; and if he is satisfied that the data available to him from local authorities are complete.

Dr. Boyson

[pursuant to his reply, 6 February 1984, c. 502]: Figures for housing benefit losers are calculated from a simulation model which employs data from the family expenditure survey for recent years. In using the model we employ additional data from local authorities and other sources. Statistics on housing benefit are collected from local authorities. Information currently available is not yet complete but every effort is being made to extend the completeness of the data on both standard and certificated cases.

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