§ Mrs. Beckett
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the latest available figures for (a) the total number of invalidity pensioners, (b) how many invalidity pensioners are also in receipt of supplementary benefit, (c) the estimated savings resulting from the move to pay invalidity benefit fortnightly in arrears and (d) the estimated net cost, or saving of each of the proposed changes to invalidity benefit, namely, the restoration of the abatement and the restriction on the entitlement, of both invalidity allowance and the earnings-related component.
§ Mr. Newton
(a) The total number of invalidity pensioners as at 2 April 1983, the latest date for which information is available, was 737,000. (b) The total number of invalidity pensioners receiving supplementary benefit as at 9 December 1982, the latest date for which information is available, was 27,000*. (c) Details of the savings from paying invalidity pensioners fortnightly in arrears have yet to be finalised. (d) The net cost in a full year in 1985–86 terms of restoring the abatement of invalidity benefit is estimated to be £60 million. The net savings in a full year in 1985–86 terms of the restriction on entitlement to both invalidity allowance and additional component are estimated at £25 million allowing for transitional protection for existing beneficiaries.* Invalidity Trap: Changes to the qualifying rules for supplementary benefit in May 1983 benefited an estimated 25,000 sick and disabled people aged 60 or over. Further changes in November 1983 completely removed the trap, helping an estimated further 30,000 to qualify for supplementary benefit. I regret that precise information on how many took advantage of the changes is not available.