§ Mr. Ralph Howell
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total amount paid out in state benefits, including mortgage interest relief, to people earning more than (a) the national average wage and (b) two thirds of the national average wage at the latest date for which figures are available.
§ Mr. Major
In 1985–86, the estimated cost of mortgage interest relief in the United Kingdom to people with taxable incomes above two thirds average gross adult male full-time earnings (£130) was £4 billion. About £3 billion of this was to people with taxable incomes above average earnings (£195). On the same income basis, the corresponding social security expenditures in Great Britain were £7.2 billion and £3.9 billion in 1985.
§ Mr. David Atkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has any plans to raise the level of the amount of charitable income that can be disregarded for supplementary benefit purposes.
§ Mr. Major
We have no plans to raise the level of the amount of charitable income that can be disregarded for supplementary benefit purposes. However, we shall be putting forward proposals to increase the amount of any voluntary or charitable payment that can be disregarded in the new income support scheme from April 1988 from £4 to £5 a week. The disregard level will apply also to the new housing benefit and family credit schemes.