HC Deb 05 February 1991 vol 185 cc132-3W
Mr. McMaster

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give the current average weekly income of senior citizens who are totally dependent on the retirement pension and income support.

Miss Widdecombe

Very few pensioners are dependent on retirement pension and income support alone; income support beneficiaries automatically qualify for the maximum community charge benefit payable; those who are tenants also qualify for maximum housing benefit. In addition, income support recipients are exempt from national health charges, such as those for prescriptions or dental services.

Information on the community charge benefit and housing benefit in payment to people in receipt of both retirement pension and income support is not available. It is therefore not possible to provide an estimate of the actual weekly income of this particular group.

In May 1989, the last date for which information is available, the average weekly payment of retirement pension and income support combined, net of the other benefit payable, was £75.391 for couples and £53.311 for singles. The average payment of housing benefit to pensioner households overall, for example, those in which either the claimant or the partner received retirement pension but not necessarily income support, was £19.50 per week.

1 These figures represent the average income of those people who receive both income support and retirement pension (in all its derivatives) but have no other income or capital.