§ Mr. Alan Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of(a) the costs of and (b) the numbers gaining from an increase in disregards from (i) £5 to £8.15, (ii) £10 to £16.40, (iii) £15 to £24.50, (iv) £25 to £34.10 in (1) income support, (2) housing benefit and (3) council tax benefit. 
§ Mr. Roger Evans
The information is set out in the table.
Benefit Total annual cost £ million Gainers Income Support/Job Seekers Allowance (IR) 50 140,000 Housing Benefit 90 320,000 Council Tax Benefit 30 310,000
1. Costs are rounded to the nearest £10 million. Gainers are rounded to the nearest 10 thousand. Behavioural effects are not taken into account. Figures for Income Support include increases in the cost of income-related Jobseeker's Allowance.
2. The number of gainers in each case refers both to those already receiving the benefit whose eligibility increases and those who will become eligible for the benefit as a result of the changes made to the earnings disregards in October.
3. The costs of increasing the Income Support/Jobseeker's Allowance disregards also includes the costs of increased entitlement to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit as a result of people floating onto Income Support because of the increased disregards. The figure for gainers only includes Income Support/Jobseeker's Allowance gainers.
1. Modelled using the 1991/1992/1993 Family Expenditure Surveys and the May 1994 Quarterly Statistical Enquiry uprated to 1996/97 levels of incomes, prices and benefits.