§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his latest estimate of the annual cost of restoring the full rate of income support to all persons in the 18 to 24-year-old age group. 
§ Mr. Roger Evans
The estimated annual cost in 1996–97 of raising the income support rate for 18 to 24-year-olds to that payable for people aged 25 and above is £305 million.
1. Estimates are based upon the 1995 "Income Support Quarterly Statistical Enquiry" and the 1994–95 "Family Resources Survey" uprated to 1996–97 levels.
2. The estimated figure assumes jobseeker's allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit levels are similarly increased.
3. Expenditure is rounded to the nearest £5 million.