§ Mr. Meacher
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, further to his answer of 28 November,Official Report, columns 598–600, on benefit arrangements under the proposed council tax, if he will make it his policy in the year's uprating that income support will rise by not less than the retail prices index in 1993–94.
§ Miss Widdecombe
The reply given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 28 November confirmed that the April 1993 uprating of income-related benefits will be based on the revised Rossi index, including water charges and miscellaneous housing costs, and that there will be no reduction in their value to reflect the fact that recipients of income support will no longer be expected to 377W meet their 20 per cent. liability for the community charge. This will mean that from April 1993, income support levels will be at least £1.40 a week higher for single people, and £2.80 a week higher for couples, than they might otherwise have been.
At the 1992 uprating income-related benefits will be increased by at least 7 per cent., nearly 3 per cent. more than the increase in the retail prices index over the period used to determine the uprating increase; over-80s and disabled pensioners will receive considerably more. It is impossible to predict at this stage how the actual uprating in April 1993 will compare with movements in the retail prices index in 1993–94.