§ Mr. Alan Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what estimate he has made of the cost of extending the eight-week linking rule for incapacity benefits as qualifying benefits for disability working allowance to two years; and how many people would gain from this change; 409W
(2) what is his estimate of the cost of introducing a taper of (a) 50 per cent. and (b) 70 per cent. on earnings above the limit for exempt work for (i) incapacity benefit and (ii) severe disablement allowances; and how many people would gain from these changes; 
(3) what is his estimate of the cost of extending the eight-week linking rule for incapacity benefit to two years. 
§ Mr. Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the average number of children per family claiming(a) family credit and (b) disability working allowance (i) in total and (ii) where the oldest child is aged under (1) five years and (2) 11 years. 
§ Mr. Rogers Evans
The information is set out in the table.
Average number of children in families receiving family credit and disability working allowance Family credit Disability working allowance All cases 2.0 1.9 Oldest child aged under 5 years 1.4 1.4 Oldest child aged under 11 years 1.8 1.8
1. Average number of children per family are expressed to one decimal place.
2. For Disability Working Allowance, the average number of children has been expressed as the average number in families with children.
3. Data for Family Credit and Disability Working Allowance are for October 1995 and January 1996 respectively.
1. Family Credit 5 per cent. sample of awards.
2. Disability Working Allowance 100 per cent. count of claims.