HC Deb 18 July 1996 vol 281 cc622-3W
Sir Andrew Bowden

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what account he took of the research by York university, commissioned by his Department, in drawing up the Housing Benefit General Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 1996; [34333]

(2) when he intends to publish the research commissioned by his Department into service charges in relation to supported housing; and if he will make a statement. [34334]

Mr. Roger Evans

The proposed amendment would restate the current position concerning which service charges can be met by housing benefit on the basis that the service relates to the provision of adequate accommodation. It was proposed after a commissioner's decision in an income support case cast doubt on the meaning of binding case law on this point, possibly leading to unplanned housing benefit expenditure in respect of charges for personal services. Early results of research by the centre for housing policy at the university of York suggested that payments of housing benefit were already being used for this purpose, confirming the need to regularise the position. We expect to publish the final results of the research before the end of the year.

Mr. Alan Howarth

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assessment he has made of the impact of the proposed Housing Benefit (General) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 1996 on(a) the availability of (i) sheltered accommodation, (ii) departments' supported accommodation where housing benefit is currently payable and (iii) residential accommodation provided by social services departments and (b) community care policy. [35688]

Mr. Evans

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has already advised the chairman of the Social Security Advisory Committee and the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Waterson), that these regulations have been withdrawn pending an inter-departmental review of the funding of services in supported accommodation. This review will consider matters such as the impact of the proposed legislation on accommodation supply and community care policy.

Sir Andrew Bowden

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list as a proportion of all pensioners those(a) pensioners, (b) single male pensioners aged under 75 years, (c) single female pensioners aged under 75 years, (d) single pensioners aged under 75 years, (e) pensioner couples aged under 75 years, (f) single male pensioners aged 75 years and over, (g) single female pensioners aged 75 years and over, (h) single pensioners aged 75 years and over and (i) pensioner couples where at least one partner is aged 75 years and over receiving income from occupational pensions; and if he will provide figures for the mean and median amount received for the latest year for which figures are available. [36257]

Mr. Heald

The information is in the table.

Proportion with income from occupational pensions (per cent.) Mean amount (£ per week) Median amount (£ per week)
All pensioner units 62 73.60 38.60
Single male pensioners under 75 50 180.80 141.60
Single female pensioners under 75 64 51.00 29.20
Single pensioners under 75 61 58.10 31.00
Pensioner couples with head under 75 74 100.10 60.60
Single male pensioners 75 and over 61 164.10 132.40
Single female pensioners 75 and over 49 42.60 21.30
Single pensioners 75 and over 52 49.00 23.80
Pensioner couples with head over 75 66 81.40 44.10
1 These results are based on a relatively small sample size. Therefore these results should be treated with a higher degree of caution than usual.

1. Proportions are rounded to the nearest whole percentage, amounts are rounded to the nearest 10p.

2. Information is based on the family expenditure Survey 1993 and the GAD survey of occupational pension schemes. All amounts are in July 1993 prices.

3. A pensioner unit is defined as a single pensioner over state pension age (SPA) and a couple where the husband, or head, is over SPA. To provide consistency the age of the head has been used to define the age of the couple.

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