§ Mr. Ralph Howellasked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the net weekly spending power of a man with a wife and two children aged eight and 11 years, whose gross earnings are (a) £120, (b) £130, (c) £140 and (d) £150 per week and whose rent and rates are £20 and £7 respectively (i) when he is working and (ii) if he was unemployed, assuming that he and his wife were both earning £4 per week disregarded income and in each case were receiving all benefits to which they were entitled.

§ Mr. NewtonThe net weekly spending power of a man with a wife and two children aged eight and 11 years if his gross earnings were(a) £120, (b) £130, (c) £140 and (d) £150 a week would be £86.15, £88.42, £87.50 and £92.48, respectively.

If the family's only income, apart from benefits, was from part-time earnings and both the man and his wife had £4 of their part-time earnings disregarded for supplementary benefit purposes, the net weekly spending power would be £85.17.

Water rates of £1.65 are assumed to be included in the rates figure of £7. It is assumed that current benefit and national insurance contribution rates are in force and that fares to work are £5.95 a week. All other assumptions are as in the April 1985 tax/benefit model tables, copies of which are in the Library.

It should be noted that it is estimated that only about 1.8 per cent. of married supplementary benefit claimants have part-time earnings. The proportion where both the claimant and spouse work is not known but must be less than 1.8 per cent.