HC Deb 10 March 1992 vol 205 cc510-1W
Sir Geoffrey Finsberg

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what level of benefits will be payable to those in independent residential care and nursing homes on the introduction of the new community care arrangements.

Mr. Newton

The Government's policy, set out in the White Paper "Caring for People"—Cmnd. 849, November 1989—is that people already in residential care or nursing homes on 31 March 1993 should continue to be eligible for help under the current special income support arrangements which include help towards the costs of care, but that those entering such homes thereafter should receive social security benefits on a basis comparable with what would be available in their own homes. Thus from April 1993, for residents entering such homes, there would be eligibility for income support under the normal rules and for a payment towards housing costs; while care costs would, where appropriate, be met directly by the relevant local authority.

Having carefully considered how the proposed payments towards housing costs should be made, I have concluded, in consultation with my right hon. Friends, the Secretaries of State for Health, for the Environment, for Scotland, for Wales and for Northern Ireland, that the most practicable, convenient and sensible arrangement will be a residential allowance payable as part of the income support entitlement. Accordingly, we propose to introduce such an allowance for those entering residential care and nursing homes from April 1993. We intend that it should be paid at a rate established by reference to the rents typically paid by people in sheltered housing accommodation, and that there should be a higher rate in the area defined for income support purposes as Greater London. Consultation will now take place with the local authority associations about the detailed procedures for the new allowance.

Mr. Andrew Bowden

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what is his latest estimate of the number of people in receipt of income support in(a) residential homes and (b) nursing homes;

(2) what is his latest estimate of the numbers of people in (a) residential homes and (b) nursing homes in receipt of income support who are over pension age;

(3) what is the total number of people living in (a) private and voluntary residential care homes and (b) private and voluntary nursing homes.

Miss Widdecombe

The information requested is contained in the table:

Residential care homes Nursing homes
Total with income support1 150,000 104,000
Women over 60 89,100 73,700
Men over 65 20,400 22,100
1 The figures have been rounded to thousands.

Source: Income support Sstatistics quarterly inquiry November 1991 residential care and nursing home report.

Information is not collected on the numbers of people in homes who do not receive income support.

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