HC Deb 25 July 1986 vol 102 cc714-6W
Mr. Stern

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are his intentions in regard to the timing of implementing the proposals of the Social Security Bill.

Mrs. Beckett

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects the changes to the industrial injuries scheme proposed in the Social Security Bill to come into effect.

Mr. Newton

The extension of entitlement to invalid care allowance to married women is to take effect immediately after Royal Assent (with retrospective effect from 22 December 1984).

As has already been announced, the changes in respect of benefit in cases of voluntary unemployment will be introduced in October 1986. We intend that the provisions concerning the reduced rates of short term benefits and modifying the trade dispute provisions will also be brought in, in October 1986. At about the same time, subject to completion of the necessary transitional arrangements to protect existing beneficiaries, we expect to make a start on the industrial injuries changes by introducing the provisions concerning most disablement below 14 per cent. and extending the scheme to cover more accidents abroad.

As has also been announced earlier, statutory maternity pay will be introduced in April 1987, as will the new arrangements for help with maternity and funeral expenses from the Social Fund. We expect at the same time to introduce the proposed common provisions for adjudication and overpayment.

While the timing on a number of other matters remains to be decided, my hon. Friend will be aware that the main structural changes provided for in the Bill are intended to take effect in April 1988.

Dr. Bray

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if the president of social security appeal and medical appeal tribunals consulted him prior to sending a letter to chairmen and members of tribunals dated 16 July, suggesting that those feeling conscience bound to join in the debate on the new Social Security Bill should first give up their position with the tribunals.

Benefit Percentage take-up rate Annual amount unclaimed Average weekly amount unclaimed Entitled non-claimants
per cent. £ million £ Thousands
Family income supplement* 50 57 8.30 130
Free milk† 45 44 1.30 660
Standard housing benefit First take up estimates for housing benefit are expected to be available shortly.
Certificated housing benefit
Housing benefit supplement
Free school meals Information held centrally does not enable an answer to be provided in the form requested.
One parent benefit Take-up of one parent benefit is based on those who stand to gain by claiming (not all families can gain because some receive supplementary benefit which counts one parent benefit as income). The latest estimate suggests that about 75 per cent, of those who stood to gain were receiving it. In 1982–83, about 100,000 families are estimated to have unclaimed benefits (at £3.65 per week) of £18 million.
* Derived from 1981–82 family expenditure survey.
† Derived from 1981 family expenditure survey and administrative statistics. Based on numbers of children under 5.

Mr. Major

No. This is a matter entirely for the president.

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