§ Dr. Wright
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what evidence he has on the number of income support claimants in residential and nursing homes who use their personal expenses allowance to pay the fees;
(2) what steps he proposes to take to ensure that under the new community care arrangements from April 1993 the personal expenses allowance for people on income support in residential and nursing homes is not taken to pay home fees.
§ Mr. Burt
Personal allowances are intended to be used by residents for their needs as they see best. The fees charged for residential and nursing homes are a matter for agreement between the parties involved. Some residents contract for charges higher than the Income Support limits and may use the personal expenses allowance to meet the shortfall. The numbers using their allowance in this way is not known.
From April 1993 all residents placed in residential care or nursing homes by local authorities will retain an amount for personal expenses.
§ Ms. Armstrong
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the current number of people in receipt of income support in the smallest available area which includes Consett.
§ 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 and a copy will be placed in the Library.
Letter from M. Bichard to Ms. Hilary Armstrong, dated 8 February 1993:As Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency it is my responsibility to answer questions about relevant operational matters. I am therefore replying to the points raised in your 598W recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security asking what is the current number of people in receipt of Income Support in the smallest available area which includes Consett.The information requested can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, from latest information available, the Agency's Stanley office, which covers the area of Consett, had approximately 11,000 customers who were in receipt of Income Support at 30 November 1992.This information has been supplied by the Income Support Management Information Statistics.I hope you find this reply helpful. A copy will appear in the Official Report. A copy will also be placed in the Library.