HC Deb 18 July 1984 vol 64 cc258-9W
Mr. Willie W. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the estimated total additional cost to Scottish local authorities consequent on the proposed reduction in the subsidy to be given to them for administering housing benefits; and what reply he has sent to Fife regional council on the matter.

Dr. Boyson

In 1983–84, authorities were reimbursed directly from our Department all the additional costs of running the new housing benefits scheme. According to authorities' estimates, on average these additional costs represented only about 40 per cent. of total costs nationally. In 1984–85, specific grant at the rate of 65 per cent. of total costs will be paid to Scottish authorities. Overall, these should more than meet the additional costs of the new scheme. I have written today to the hon. Member on Fife regional council's representations.

Mrs. Beckett

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many households receiving housing benefit in Great Britain contain one or more non-dependants in respect of whom a deduction is, or will be, applicable from November 1984.

Dr. Boyson

[pursuant to his reply, 15 June 1984, c. 174–75]: We estimate that there are about 850,000 such householders.