HC Deb 14 October 1991 vol 196 c53W
Mr. Allen

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the maximum deductions which can be made from income support and their hierarchy.

Miss Widdecombe

The limit on deductions for utility and housing cost debt is £6 a week. Deductions for current charges may also be made. Benefit overpayment recovery is also subject to the £6 limit except when fraud is involved. In addition, £2 a week— £ 3.15 for couples—may be deducted in respect of a community charge court order. The rate of repayment of social fund loans is usually £2 to £6 a week, but it is flexible and takes account of other commitments of the claimant.

The order of priority of deductions that applies when there is insufficient benefit available to accommodate all deductions is:

  1. (1)housing costs;
  2. (2) service charges for fuel and rent not falling under (1);
  3. (3) fuel costs;
  4. (4) water charges;
  5. (5) community charges;
  6. (6) Social Fund loan repayments;
  7. (7) overpayment recoveries.

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