HC Deb 21 March 1986 vol 94 cc319-20W
Mr. Frank Field

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list (a) the number of claimants of social security benefits and (b) the number of dependants in 1979 and at the latest available date and if he will calculate the extent to which the increase in unemployment since 1979 correlates with the increase in the number of claimants and dependants.

Mr. Major

[pursuant to the reply, 19 March 1986]: I regret it is not possible to provide the information in the form requested without a substantial element of over-counting because some people receive more than one benefit. However, the latest available information in respect of these benefits related solely to unemployment is as follows:

Date Number of recipients* Number of dependents*†
Unemployment benefit only
November 1979 386,600 158,500
November 1984 699,500 154,300
Unemployment benefit plus supplementary allowance
November 1979 80,100 129,600
December 1983 205,500 351,500
Supplementary allowance only
November 1979 435,700 382,000
December 1983 1,504,400 1,183,400
* Figures are rounded to the nearest 100
† Adults and children

Although no direct correlation is possible between these two sets of figures there is some indication of an upward trend in the number of unemployed without dependents.

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