§ Mr. Loyden
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many new claims for reduced earnings allowance have been allowed each year since the benefit was established; how many people currently receive reduced earnings allowance; how many recipients are above pensionable age; how many are employed earners; and how many are on income support.
§ Mr. Scott
The available information is as follows. The net estimated number of reduced earnings allowance awards made from 1 October 1986 (when the benefit was introduced) to 1 April 1987 was about 5,000. The corresponding figures for the years 1987–88 and 1988–89 were 11,000 and 14,400. Of the 150,000 people estimated to receive the allowance (which includes those who previously received special hardship allowance), approaching 60,000 are over pensionable age. Of those under pensionable age, approximately one in four is estimated to be in work. No information is available on the numbers of REA recipients who also receive income support.