§ Mr. Alan Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of the cost of introducing a taper of(a) 50 per cent. and (b) 70 per cent. on earnings above each of the earnings disregards for (i) income support, (ii) housing benefit and (iii) council tax benefit; and how many people would gain from these changes. 
§ Mr. Roger Evans
The information requested is set out in the table.
50 per cent, tapered earnings disregard 70 per cent, tapered earnings disregard Income support taper Cost £130 million £230 million Income support gainers 180,000 200,000 Housing benefit taper Cost £1.4 billion £2.4 billion Housing benefit gainers 800,000 1 million Council tax benefit taper Cost £500 million £1.4 billion Council tax benefit gainers 1.2 million 2.6 million
1. The cost of the income support taper includes the cost of increased numbers on income support, including any additional entitlement to housing benefit and council tax benefit.
2. Gainers include numbers additionally entitled to benefit.
3. Figures are based on the 1994 QSE and the 1991/1992/1993 Family Expenditure Survey, uprated to 1996/7 levels. Costs for income support are rounded to the nearest £5 million, gainers to the nearest 10,000. For housing benefit and council tax benefit costs are rounded to the nearest £0.1 billion, gainers are rounded to the nearest £0.1 million.
4. Figures for IS include the effect of jobseekers allowance from October 1996. The effect on the back to work bonus has not been estimated, as future behavioural effects are very uncertain.408W
§ Mr. Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many(a) couples and (b) lone parents claimed the child care allowance in respect of claims for (i) family credit, (ii) disability working allowance, (iii) housing benefit and (iv) council tax benefit, (1) since its introduction, (2) during 1995–96 and (3) currently. 
§ Mr. Evans
The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is set out in the table:
Cumulative to February 1996 Current as at February 1996 Family credit Couples 2,000 1,000 Lone parents 34,000 22,000 Disability working allowance Couples 17 9 Lone parents 90 72
1. Family Credit 5 per cent. sample of all awards.
2. Disability Working Allowance 100 per cent. of all awards.
1. Numbers for Family Credit have been rounded to the nearest thousand.
2. Figures for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit are not yet available.
3. Data are provisional.