§ Mr. Skinner
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will now extend the long-term rate of supplementary benefit to the unemployed; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Newton
The necessary resources of about £500 million are not available to implement this proposal, which in any case raises wider questions about the supplementary benefit scheme more properly considered in the current social security review.
§ Mr. Meacher
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what change is to be made after the uprating on 26 November in the amount that is deemed to be paid by a trade union to its members on strike in the course of a dispute, which is then deducted from any supplementary benefit paid to such families.
§ Mr. Gordon Brown
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the proposals for increased surveillance and fraud investigation of supplementary benefit claimants who use postal applications to claim benefit.
§ Mr. Whitney
I understand that the Social Security Advisory Committee expects to finalise its report to my right hon. Friend on the Supplementary Benefit (Single Payments) Regulations 1984 regarding single payments for furniture before the end of the year. The report is required under the Social Security Act 1980 to be laid before Parliament, but decisions on the timing of publication will be taken when my right hon. Friend has considered his response which will be published with the report.
§ Mr. Wareing
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many extra supplementary benefit recipients in receipt of additional allowances will become subject to the £1 available scale margin reduction as a consequence of the change in the regulations on 26 November; what savings will result; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Whitney
I refer the hon. Member to the replies given by my hon. Friend the Member for Brent, North (Dr. Boyson) to the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. John) on 21 June at columns242–3.