HC Deb 20 June 1988 vol 135 cc407-8W
Ms. Short

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, and in what ways, any of the additional payments that might be paid to adult trainees under the proposed employment training scheme, over and above their basic training allowance, including end of scheme bonus, earnings outside the programe and any additional top up in addition to their £10 premium, will affect their entitlement to (a) income support, (b) transitional protection payments, (c) housing benefit and (d) other passported benefits, including free prescriptions.

Mr. Portillo

Participants in employment training will be paid a training allowance, which will include a training "premium". If they are on income support when training starts, that benefit will continue but at a reduced level. This will safeguard automatic passported entitlement to other benefits, such as housing benefit and free prescriptions.

The training premium will not count as income in calculating a trainee's entitlement to any of the means-tested benefits.

The Government have announced an end-of-training bonus scheme, and intend that payments under that scheme will, likewise, not count as income in calculating entitlement to benefits. Any earnings received from work outside the training programme will be treated in the normal way with the appropriate disregard. Any voluntary top-up to the premium made at regular intervals will attract a £5 disregard.

We have ensured that training allowances do not erode transitional protection for income support purposes.