HC Deb 02 July 1997 vol 297 cc205-6W
Mr. Hinchliffe

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she will review the notional income levels from capital for benefit entitlements. [5057]

Mr. Keith Bradley

We want to develop a Social Security system that supports work, savings and honesty. Our first steps are to focus on helping people off welfare and into work and to review the central areas of insecurity for older people. As time and resources permit, we will be examining other aspects of current benefit rules.

The notional (tariff) income from capital attempts to strike a balance between encouraging people to save and an expectation that people with more substantial savings can make some contribution towards their living expenses from those savings. The tariff is currently applied if a person has over £3,000 in capital, unless they are in a residential care or nursing home, or in certain types of residential accommodation, in which case it is applied only on savings over £10,000.