HC Deb 29 July 1998 vol 317 cc324-5W
Mr. Mates

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which local authorities in England and Wales do not disregard war pensions totally when assessing housing benefits and local authority charges; what amount of disregard these local authorities currently apply; which political party controls the local authorities concerned or, where there is no overall control, which party has the most seats on the council; if he intends to extend the statutory requirement to disregard only the first £10 of a war pension in England and Wales; what assessment he has made of procedures in(a) Northern Ireland and (b) Scotland; and if he will make a statement. [52572]

Mr. Denham

I refer the hon. Member to the Written Answer given by my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Withington (Mr. Bradley) to my hon. Friend the Member for Wythenshawe and Sale, East (Mr. Goggins) on 29 July 1997,Official Report, column 231.

Mandatory disregards for War Disablement and War Widow's Pensions already exist in Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. This is in recognition of the special nature of these pensions, and ensure pensioners receive preferential treatment. For example, a war pensioner can currently have between £10 and £175 of his pension disregarded on a statutory basis.