§ Mr. Alan Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many(a) male and (b) female claimants of income support where the claimant (i) is signing on as unemployed and (ii) is sick or disabled, are also claiming for an adult dependant; and what is the average amount of benefit payable in each case. 410W
§ Mr. Roger Evans
The information is set out in the table.
Unemployed and sick or disabled income support claimants with adult dependants—August 1995 Male claimants Female claimants Number of cases Average weekly income support Number of cases Average weekly income support Unemployed 349,000 £96.29 19,000 £84.15 Sick or disabled 282,000 £76.81 92,000 £81.40
Short-term sick cases paid by Automated Credit Transfer are not included.
§ Mr. Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of the cost of raising the income support earnings disregard for lone parents to £25 per week; and how many people would gain from these changes. 
§ Mr. Evans
The information is set out in the table:
1996–97 cost and gainers Cost (£ million) Income support gainers Increasing the income support earnings disregard for lone parents to £25 20 45,000
1. The cost includes the cost of increased numbers on Income Support, including any additional entitlement to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.
2. Gainers, include people additionally entitled to Income Support as a result of the change.
3. Figures are based on the 1994 Quarterly Statistical Enquiry and the 1991/1992/1993 Family Expenditure Survey, uprated to 1996/7 levels. Costs are rounded to the nearest £5 million, gainers to the nearest 5,000.
4. The total cost includes the cost of Jobseeker's Allowance from October 1996. The effect on the back to work bonus has not been estimated, as it not possible to quantify reliably future behavioural effects.
§ Mr. Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people were disqualified from income support where the claimant's partner was working for more than 16 hours a week; and what is his estimate of the cost of abolishing the hours limit for partners. 
§ Mr. Evans
Information is not available in respect of the number of people disqualified from income support where a partner works more than 16 hours a week.
The estimated cost of abolishing the hours rule for partners of income support claimants is about £150 million to £200 million per annum. This is at 1996–97 levels of incomes and prices, and includes the cost of jobseeker's allowance, income-related, from October 1996. The figures take no account of possible behavioural changes, or the increase to 24 hours a week for partner's hours from October 1996.