HC Deb 20 June 1988 vol 135 cc406-7W
Mr. David Nicholson

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how he proposes to inform those involved of the benefit consequences for them of the social security rule concession in his announced speech to the House on 27 April; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Portillo

I refer my hon. Friend to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, North-West (Mr. Stern) on 14 June 1988 at column152. In addition a national press publicity campaign was carried out during week commencing 23 May.

Mr. Win Griffiths

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people receive housing benefits, in each of the last three financial years; and what is the estimated number of recipients for 1988–89.

Mr. Portillo

The information requested is shown in the table. The figures represent the estimated average numbers of households receiving rate rebates. Most households receiving assistance with rent will also be in receipt of a rate rebate.

Rent rebate Rent allowance Rate rebate
1985–86 3,710 1,150 7,020
1986–87 3,720 1,180 7,050
1987–88 3,760 1,250 7,030
1988–89 3,430 1,055 5,845

Source: Public Expenditure White Paper 1988, table 15.6. 1988–89 updated to take account of changes to capital rule, income tax changes and latest information on rent and rates.

Mrs. Beckett

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the number of households(a) by tenure and (b) by household type who were expected to cease to qualify for any housing benefit as a result of the changes to the scheme implemented in April; and what is his estimate of the effect on these figures of his announcement of 27 April, including in both cases the effect of the new capital rule.

Mr. Portillo

[holding answer June 1988]: An estimate of the numbers losing all entitlement to housing benefit is contained in the tables. This is on the basis of the changes implemented in April. About 100,000 of these will be brought back into housing benefit by the capital changes introduced on 30 May. A breakdown of this 100,000 by household or tenure type would be unreliable because of data limitations. It is likely that the vast majority will be pensioners. The transitional payments scheme has no effect on the actual housing benefit caseload.

Lose entitlement to housing benefit on April 1/4 (thousands)
Table 1
Pensioners 80+ 70
Pensioners 60 to 79 540
Sick/disabled 10
Lone parents 70
Couples with children 180
Others 120
Table 2
Local authority tenants 300
Private tenants 140
Others 560


1. Figures refer to tax units rather than households.

2. Figures may not add owing to rounding.