§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people in the Doncaster area are currently receiving(a) income support, (b) family credit and (c) housing benefit; what percentage of the Doncaster population this represents; and what were the figures (i) 12, (ii) 24, (iii) 36 and (iv) 48 months ago.
§ Mr. Burt
The administration of income support is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available.
Letter from Mr. M. Bichard to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 2 December 1993:As Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency it is my responsibility to answer questions about relevant operational matters. I am therefore replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security asking how many people in the Doncaster area are currently receiving (a) Income Support (b) Family Credit and (c) Housing Benefit; what percentage of the Doncaster population this represents; and what were the figures (i) 12 (ii) 24 (iii) 36 and (iv) 48 months ago.Regrettably, all of this information is not readily available. This is because some Income Support (IS) records for 1989 and 1990 have been destroyed in accordance with routine procedures. Also Agency District boundaries do not correspond with those of local authorities. In fact a small part of the Doncaster area is covered by the Mexborough Benefit Office within the Agency's Rother and Dearne District. Family Credit (FC) is administered centrally from Blackpool and Housing Benefit (HB) by Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council.I am therefore able to provide some information on IS customers of the Agency's Doncaster District—to obtain details of those covered at Mexborough would incur disproportionate cost. FC and HB details, however, relate to the Doncaster area as a whole. The details provided are covered in the attached appendixes and have been obtained from The Office of Population and Censuses, Family Credit Unit, the Analytical Services Division and the IS Management Information Statistics.For the purpose of calculating relevant percentages, Doncaster has been defined as the Metropolitan District of Doncaster. The Office of Population and Census advise that the latest figure available for the population was 288, 854 at April 1991. For the reasons given above, it is not possible to provide a percentage figure related to IS.I hope this information is helpful. A copy will appear in the Official Report and a copy will also be placed in the Library.
Income Support May 1989 22,513 May 1990 22,332 November 1991 26,216 November 1992 28,771 August 1993 29,241
Housing benefit Percentage 1988–89 24,500 8.4 1989–90 24,000 8.3 1990–91 23,000 7.9 1991–92 22,500 7.7 1992–93 24,000 8.3It should be noted that these figures are averages of the quarterly counts for each year quoted and have been rounded to the nearest 500. Some of the recipients of Housing Benefit may also be in receipt of Family Credit or Income Support.
Family Credit Percentage 24 November 1989 1,491 0.5 2 November 1990 1,657 0.5 31 October 1991 1,769 0.6 30 October 1992 2,415 0.8 29 October 1993 2,888 0.9It should be noted that the above percentages show claimants as a percentage of the Doncaster population in receipt of each benefit. Dependants are not included in the calculation.