§ 11. Sir Brandon Rhys Williams
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his latest estimate of the number of claimants and their dependants who are eligible for benefits payable on proof of need; what proportion are currently in receipt of benefit; and if he will take steps to reduce the number of people obliged to depend on benefit payable on proof of need.
§ Mr. Portillo
The latest available estimates suggest that around 7.5 million to 8 million claimants are likely to be in receipt of income-related benefits following the introduction of the new structure, but a corresponding figure for dependants is not available. Falling unemployment, rising earnings, higher pensioner incomes from savings and occupational schemes and tax reductions will all tend to reduce the numbers who need to turn to such help.