§ Mr. Riddick
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his Department's estimate of the cost in a full year in relation to the capital thresholds above which no community charge rebate is allowed of(a) doubling the threshold to £16,000 for a married couple, (b) abolishing the capital thresholds altogether and (c) abolishing the capital thresholds for pensioners only, so that, in the latter two cases, income is the only criterion for qualification for community charge rebate.
§ Mrs. Gillian Shephard
Information is not available to enable a precise answer to be given to my hon. Friend's question. It seems probable that doubling the upper capital limit for community charge benefit to £16,000 for a married couple would cost about £10 million. For answers to parts(b) and (c) I refer my hon. Friend to my replies to my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow) on 22 February at column 896 and 2 March at column 367.