§ Mr. Irving
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many families are currently in receipt of child benefit payments from his Department; what proportion of the total number of families in the United Kingdom this figure represents; what is the current annual cost of child benefit; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Whitney
About 6.9 million beneficiaries in Great Britain, close to 100 per cent. of those eligible, receive child benefit and the estimated cost for 1984–85 is £4.3 billion.