HC Deb 11 March 1987 vol 112 cc229-30W
Sir Brandon Rhys Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his latest estimate of the numbers of (a) claimants and (b) all beneficiaries of means-tested benefits other than housing benefits.

Mr. Lyell

The latest readily available estimates are given in the table:

Claimants and beneficiaries of income-related benefits1 Great Britain2—Thousands
3Claims Recipients
Supplementary Benefit4 5 6 75,880 84,910
Family Income Supplement 5390 9200
Free Welfare Foods 5 10210 11980
Free School Meals n.a. 121,380
NHS Exemptions
Prescription Charges n.a. 5 13 14 39,000
Dental Charge 5 10 15660 13 17 193,000
Optical Charges 16 18 191,380

Notes to Table:

"n.a." not available.

1 Excluding certificated and standard housing benefit.

2 Unless otherwise stated.

3 Including unsuccessful claims.

4 Including housing benefit supplement.

5 Year ending March 1986.

6 Provisional.

7 Strictly these represent decisions reached rather than claims received.

8 February 1986.

9 May 1986.

10 Low income grounds only (excluding supplementary benefit and FIS). Also see Note 6.

11 December 1984.

12 October 1984.

13 Excludes cases exempt from charges on grounds other than low income (eg children under 16, women aged 60 and over, men aged 65 and over).

14 Estimate of the number of such prescriptions in the year not the number of recipients.

15 Includes claims for exemptions from NHS charges for wigs and appliances and refunds of charges already paid.

16 England and Wales only.

17 March 1986.

18 Year ending June 1986.

19 Includes cases where a partial charge was paid.

Mr. Alfred Morris

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the level of spending on social security benefits for sick and disabled people in each of the years 1978–79 and 1986–87; how this expenditure breaks down between the different social security benefits for sick and disabled people; what was the average annual increase in expenditure for the period 1979–80 to 1986–87 inclusive in real terms; how much of that increase in real terms was attributable to (a) increases in the real value of the social security benefits concerned and (b) increases in the number of people claiming each of the benefits; and what was the average annual increase in such expenditure in real terms for the period 1974–75 to 1978–79 inclusive.

Mr. Major

Over the period 1979–80 to 1986–87, real expenditure on social security benefits for sick and disabled people increased by an average of £230 million a year (at 1986–87 prices): roughly 70 per cent. of the increase was due to increases in the number of recipients and the remainder to increases in the average amount paid. The average annual real increase over the period 1974–75 to 1978–79 was £195 million (at 1986–87 prices). A breakdown of total expenditure among individual benefits is given in the table.

Expenditure on social security benefits paid to sick and disabled people in 1978–79 and 1986–87, by benefit—Great Britain
£ million (cash)
1978–79 1986–87
Sickness benefit 700 160
Invalidity benefit 840 2,610
Industrial disablement benefit 220 430
Attendance allowance 170 780
Invalid care allowance 5 190
NCIP/Severe disablement allowance2 70 260
Mobility allowance 50 510
War disablement pension 220 380
Supplementary benefit 170 460
Housing benefit 50 470
Christmas Bonus 10 20
Other industrial injuries benefits 5 5
Total 2,500 6,260
1 Estimated outturn.
2 Non-contributory invalidity pension was replaced by severe disablement allowance in November 1984.

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