HC Deb 20 June 1996 vol 279 c601W
Ms Jowell

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many young people aged 16 to 19 were receiving severe hardship payments for each year since 1992. [32586]

Mr. Roger Evans

The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is set out in the table.

Year Number of directions made
1992 83,406
1993 118,528
1994 111,797
1995 111,523

1. Severe hardship payments are made only to 16 and l7-year-olds who are registered for youth training and would otherwise suffer severe hardship. Access to benefit is via a direction made by the Secretary of State, normally for a period of eight weeks. If the 16 and 17-year-old is still at risk of severe hardship when the direction ends, he or she can apply for a further direction. Information is available only on the number of directions made, not the number of individuals.

2. Since 1988, the Government have further encouraged unemployed 16 and 17-year-olds to take the more positive option of youth training in place of dependence on benefit. Young people over the age of 18 have access to unemployment benefits as adults.