§ Mr. Alan Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of(a) the cost and (b) the numbers gaining from raising the lower capital threshold from £3,000 to £8,000 for disability working allowance claims. 
§ Mr. Andrew Mitchell
The estimated cost of raising the lower capital limit for disability working allowance from £3,000 to £18,000 is approximately £1 million at 1996–97 prices and benefit levels, for around 1,000 cases.
Notes1. The 1994–95 family resources survey has been used to estimate the effect of this proposal. However the data do not contain a sufficient number of DWA cases to allow the direct modelling of DWA options on the policy simulation model. Instead, the changes have been modelled using all childless benefit units as a proxy for DWA cases without children, and all family credit benefit units as a proxy for DWA cases with children.2. The use of proxy groups means that these estimates are subject to relatively wide margins of error. Estimates will only be accurate to the extent that the proxy groups have the same characteristics as DWA cases, which is unlikely to hold in reality. Estimates should be treated with caution.3. Estimated expenditure is rounded to the nearest £1 million, with caseloads to the nearest 1,000.4. The figures should be treated only as broad estimates and not as actual.