HC Deb 21 October 1987 vol 120 cc803-4W
Mr. Corbyn

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the current number of supplementary benefit claimants in (a) Finsbury Park and (b) Highgate offices of his Department; and what were the relevant figures for the three previous years.

Mr. Portillo

The number of people in receipt of supplementary benefit from the Finsbury Park and Highgate Local Offices, on 28 July 1987 (the latest date for which information is available) and for the years 1984 to 1986, are:

Finsbury Park Highgate
28 July 1987 21,303 18,844
13 August 1986 20,180 19,037
31 July 1985 18,023 18,331
31 July 1984 17,507 17,072

Source100 per cent. count of cases in action.

Ms. Abbott

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what assessment has been made of the financial losses sustained by lone parents who are currently affected by the requirement in the supplementary benefit regulations that they must register as available for work once their children reach the age of 16 years.

Mr. Portillo

A lone parent who has been in receipt of the long term rate of supplementary benefit and who becomes required to be available for employment when she no longer has a dependant child under 16 will move to the short term rate with a weekly loss of £8.25 if a householder, £6.60 if a non-householder or £1.15 if, unusually, a boarder. Under the proposed income support scheme there will be no distinctions between long and short term rates, or between householders and non-householders. The family and the lone parent premiums will continue to be payable so long as a child or young person is a member of the family whether or not the lone parent is required to be available for work.