§ Mr. Betts
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what is the cost of the current £10 mandatory disregard of war disablement pensions and war widows pensions for(a) housing benefit and (b) council tax benefit; 
(2) what is the cost to local authorities of the use of the discretionary disregard of war disablement pensions and war widows' pensions for (a) housing benefit and (b) council tax benefit. 
§ Mr. Roger Evans
The benefit cost of the mandatory disregard of the first £10 of a war disablement pension or a war widow's pension is broadly estimated to be around(a) £5 million in housing benefit1 and (b) £5 million in council tax benefit1.
In addition, the mandatory disregard of the supplementary pension paid to some 80 per cent. of war widows—currently worth £51.71 a week— and of any mobility supplement (£37.75); constant attendance allowance (£19.85–£79.40); exceptionally severe disablement allowance (£39.70); or severe disablement occupational allowance (£19.85) paid to a war disablement pensioner cost an estimated further £10 million in additional housing benefit and council tax benefit payments1.
In 1994–95, the latest year for which information is available, local authorities reported expenditure of around (a) £30 million on their local schemes for housing benefit and (b) £10.5 million on their local schemes for council tax benefit.
1 Estimates based on the 1991, 1992 and 1993 Family Expenditure Surveys uprated to 1996–97 levels. Expenditure is rounded to the nearest £5 million.