§ Mr. Harvey
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the average cost to the Exchequer of a single person on social security; what is his estimate of the cost to the Exchequer of an average family on social security; and what was the total cost to the Exchequer of social security and unemployment benefits in the latest financial year for which figures are available.
§ Mr. Whitney
[pursuant to his reply, 27 June 1985, c. 476]: The estimated average weekly payment of supplementary benefit in December 1983 was £16.54 for single people without dependants and £45.04 for couples with two children. These estimates do not include the cost of single payments, urgent needs payments and other "immediate" payments.
The estimated total cost in 1984–85 of unemployment benefit and supplementary benefit was £7,960 million. The estimated yield from the taxation of these benefits was about £625 million. Estimates of tax losses depend on a variety of assumptions, and meaningful estimates are not possible.