HC Deb 09 February 1984 vol 53 cc750-1W
Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many supplementary benefit claimants there are in the Wolverhampton travel-to-work area for the last month for which figures are available; and how these compare with each comparable month since 1979.

Dr. Boyson

The number of cases in action in the local offices in Wolverhampton during December 1983, the latest available period, and in comparable periods from 1979, were as follows:

Local Office
Wolverhampton South Wolverhampton North
1983 18.7 17.4
1982 17.2 17.4
1981 13.9 14.9
1980 10.3 11.2
1979 9.0 9.6

Source: 100 per cent. count of cases in action.

Mr. Meacher

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much has been paid out in (a) supplementary benefit payments in respect of residents and (b) other forms of aid in support of private nursing homes each year since 1978, with an estimate for 1984.

Dr. Boyson

The information is not available in the form requested.

(a) Separate figures are not available in respect of private nursing homes, but the numbers of residents in private and voluntary residential care and nursing homes in Great Britain receiving supplementary pension, excluding those sponsored by local authorities and those supported by health authorities under contractual arrangements, and the average amounts of benefit for the years concerned, were as follows:

Numbers of residents Average amount of benefit in payment
1978 7,000 £15.71
1979 11,000 £18.04
1980 12,000 £28.11
1981 12,000 £36.30
1982 14,000 £47.27

Source: Annual statistical inquiry.

Note: The amount of benefit paid includes an amount to cover personal expenses and is net of any resources such as retirement pension, which fall to be taken into account in assessing the claimant's entitlement.

Information for 1983 is not yet available.

No significant increases are expected in 1984 over and above those attributable to demographic change, the effect of inflation on nursing home charges, and the uprating of the personal expenses allowance.

(b) No information is available centrally on whether health authorities provide financial aid for private nursing homes other than by way of contractual arrangements.