§ Mr. Irving
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the total annual cost to his Department in board and lodging payments and personal expenses of the following types of non-elderly households receiving supplementary benefit in board and lodging accommodation for one year (a) a couple with one child under 11 years and one child aged between 11 and 16 years, (b) a couple with one child aged between 11 and 16 years, (c) a single parent with one child under 11 years and one child aged between 11 and 16 years, (d) a single parent with one child aged between 11 and 16 years, (e) a couple where the woman is pregnant, (f) a single pregnant woman, (g) a couple with no children and (h) a single person, in (i) Cheltenham and (ii) Greater London for board and lodging at local limit and in (iii) England and (iv) Great Britain at average board and lodging costs; and what would be the supplementary benefit costs at ordinary scale rate for these household types if they were living in council rented accommodation for one year.
§ Mr. Newton
The information is set out in the order requested. The table shows the annual cost of supplementary benefit payments for board and lodging calculated at a maximum weekly payment of (i) £55.00—the limit that applies in Cheltenham—and (ii) £70.00—the limit for Greater London. The average board and lodging limits for England and for Great Britain are estimated at approximately £55 and therefore the sums shown for Cheltenham will broadly equate. The third column shows supplementary benefit at ordinary scale rates including average water rates and housing benefit for average local authority rent and general rates. No increases for additional requirements are included and no deductions have been made for other income such as child benefit.
Cheltenham board and lodging—£55 limit £ Greater London board and lodging—£70 limit £ Ordinary scale rate and average rent and rates £ (a) 10,810 13,150 5,060 (b) 9,130 11,280 4,480 (c) 7,440 9,000 4,110
Cheltenham board and lodging—£55 limit £ Greater London board and lodging—£70 limit £ Ordinary scale rate and average rent and rates £ (d) 6,480 8,040 3,520 (e) 6,010 7,380 3,560 (f) 3,360 4,140 2,600 (g) 6,010 7,380 3,560 (h) 3,360 4,140 2,600
§ Mr. Frank Field
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will state the numbers of young people affected by the board and lodgings regulations (a) prior to the judgment in the Cotton case in July and (b) since this judgment; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Newton
I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher) on 29 October at columns439–42 for information on the numbers of claims from boarders aged 16 to 25 which were assessed between 29 April and 29 July 1985. Available information for the period following the High Court ruling on 31 July relates to claims by all ordinary boarders and does not distinguish between those made by people aged 26 and under. This information suggests about 50,000 ordinary boarder claims, including repeat and change of address cases, were made from the end of July to mid-November 1985.
As I indicated in the statement to the House on 17 December, at column 166, we are taking steps to identify from our records those cases in which arrears may be due following the Court of Appeal ruling on 13 December, arid to pay arrears as soon as possible. I should emphasise that both claims made before and after the High Court ruling on 31 July will be checked for the possibility of arrears.