HC Deb 15 April 1991 vol 189 cc94-5W
Mr. Ralph Howell

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people received each of the main social security benefits in each year from 1979 to the latest date available; and what was the percentage increase from 1979 in each case.

Mr. Jack

Estimates of the numbers of claimants receiving each of the main benefits for the years 1978–79 to 1990–91 and the percentage increases since 1979 are shown in the tables.

thousands Percentage increase
1985–86 1986–87 1987–88 1988–89 1989–90 1990–91 1978–79 to 1990–91
rent allowance 1,150 1,180 1,195 965 955 975 333.3
rate rebate 7,020 7,050 6,875 5,150 4,320 11155.2
Community charge rebates/benefit8—caseload 865 7,795
1 For contributory and non income-related benefits the number of individuals receiving benefit are shown. For retirement pension women receiving their own pension, based on their own or their husbands' contributions, are counted separately. For income support/supplementary benefit and family credit/family income supplement the numbers are individuals or couples where living together. For housing benefit the number of households receiving benefit are shown. Beneficiaries may be receiving more than one benefit at any time.
2 Reflects the introduction of statutory sick pay in April 1983 and its extension to 28 weeks from April 1986.
3 Recipients of Disablement Pension and/or Reduced Earnings Allowance.
4 Figures to 1987–88 include those receiving housing benefit supplement (some 440,000 in 1987–88) who are also included in the figures for housing benefit recipients.
5 Numbers of children in families receiving child benefit, including those also receiving one parent benefit.
6 There is significant overlap: most households getting assistance with rent will also be in receipt of rate rebate/community charge benefit.
7 Figures to 1981–82 relate only to the rebate and allowance scheme for those not receiving supplementary benefit. Thereafter the figures reflect the partial introduction of the housing benefit scheme from November 1982, and full start from November 1983.
8 Community Charge rebates payable in Scotland only in 1989–90.
9 Reflects the decision announced in June 1986 to extend eligibility to invalid care to married women.
10 Reflects the introduction of statutory maternity pay from 6 April 1987.
11 Compares community charge benefit recipients in 1990–91 with rate rebate recipients in 1978–79.
12 Source: Public Expenditure White Papers 1984–1990 and 1991 Departmental Report.