§ Mr. Meacher
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of the net additional cost to his Department of the changes to employer's national insurance contributions and reimbursement announced in the autumn statement.
Type of deduction Claimant's agreement needed? Current maximum amount of weekly arrears deduction Date of coming into force 1. ACCOMMODATION AND UTILITY COSTS (a) Housing costs Yes £1.85 April 1988—carried forward from Supplementary Benefit (b) Miscellaneous accommodation costs Yes Nil (c) Service charges for fuel and rent not falling within (a) Yes £1.85 (d) Fuel charges Yes £1.85 (£3.70 if only one fuel deduction) (e) Water charges Yes £1.85 2. Community Charge No £1.85 (£2.90 for a couple) 8 April 1989—Scotland 1 April 1990—England and Wales 3. Overpayment Recovery No £5.55 (£7.20 in cases of proven fraud) April 1988—carried forward from Supplementary Benefit
1. Deductions for community charge are made following a court order. Overpayment recovery is initiated on behalf of the Secretary of State.
2. Deductions for current charges may be made under item 1 in addition to deductions for arrears. The claimant's written consent is sought before the total of deductions for arrears and current use of utilities is allowed to exceed 25 per cent. of the Income Support applicable amount (excluding housing costs) for the family.
3. Deductions may also he made to recover a social fund loan. The rate of recovery is determined after taking into account existing deductions and other known debts.
4. Deductions from income support for fines are proposed in the Criminal Justice Bill now before the House. They would be made by order of a court and, at current rates, would be £1.85 per week.
5. The White Paper "Children Come First" published on 29 October 1990 proposes deduction of 5 per cent. of the income support of an unemployed claimant who is liable to maintain a child.