§ Mr. French
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to align the rules for calculating earnings, provided for by the Social Security Benefit (Computation of Earnings) Regulations 1978, with the rules used to calculate earnings in the income support scheme. 162W
§ Mr. Roger Evans
I have today laid the Social Security Benefit (Computation of Earnings) Regulations 1996 before Parliament. The regulations will align, as far as possible, the rules for calculating a person's earnings for the purposes of contributory benefits, non-contributory benefits, increases for dependants and benefits for industrial injuries—except industrial injuries and diseases, old cases—with the rules used in the income support scheme. The change will remove a number of inconsistencies between benefits and reduce complexity in the social security scheme. In a small number of cases the changes may result in either benefit loss or gain.