§ Sir David Steel
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to amend regulation 37 of the Council Tax Benefit (General) Regulations 1992 which calculates notional income from invested capital in the light of the reduction of interest rates since the regulation was introduced in 1988; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Roger Evans
The formula is not intended to represent any rate of return from capital invested and is not linked in any way to interest rates. It does not, therefore, alter in line with any fluctuations in these rates. Rather it is a means of ensuring that help is targeted on those who need it most. Base rates at the time the regulation was introduced were 8 per cent., 57W and although they rose to a peak of 15 per cent. in October 1989, where they remained for over a year before falling to today's level of 5.75 per cent., the formula has remained the same.
We keep the capital rules under review, but there are no current plans for change.