§ Mr. Gareth Wardell
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how the changes in the social security schemes announced to the House on 27 April will affect (i) war widows, (ii) industrial injuries benefit and (iii) special hardship allowance as respects income assessment for housing benefit; and if they will be protected by the minimum loss of £2.50 per week.
§ Mr. Portillo
[holding answer 17 May 1988]: The changes announced on 27 April did not alter the method of calculating housing benefit but people in these groups may receive transitional payments if they incurred losses in housing benefit in excess of £2.50 per week as a result of the changes in the structure of the scheme from 1 April. However, local authorities continue to have discretion in the new housing benefit scheme to disregard up to the whole amount of a war pension. Therefore, we will not compensate for losses arising from any reduction in the disregard through changes in local authorities' own discretionary schemes for war pensions.