HC Deb 07 March 1988 vol 129 cc52-3W
Sir Brandon Rhys Williams

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his latest estimate of the expenditure savings(a) during 1988–89 and (b) after the end of transitional protection, as a result of the benefit changes to be implemented in April; and if he will also show how much of the savings is due to (a) the 20 per cent. minimum rates contribution, (b) housing benefit changes, (c) the new capital rule for housing benefit and family rebate and (d) the replacement of single and other payments by the social fund.

Mr. Scott

We estimate that the structural changes to the benefit system in April 1988 will involve additional public expenditure in 1988–89 of some £430 million compared with a straight uprating of the old schemes; there will also be a saving of some £490 million on rate rebates, which are not classified as public expenditure. It is not possible to make realistic estimates of the effect after the end of transitional protection, which will not be for several years.

The saving from requiring householders to pay 20 per cent. of their domestic rates bill, net of the cost of the compensation for this liability built into the income support, housing benefit and family credit rates, is some £80 million. The overall saving from the housing benefit changes is some £650 million; of this, roughly £80 million is attributable to the new capital rule.

Gross expenditure on loans and grants from the social fund will be broadly in line with expected outturn on single payments in the current year.

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