HC Deb 02 November 1998 vol 318 c395W
Mr. Prior

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on Regulation 53(1) of the Income Support (General) Regulations 1987; and what plans he has to revise this calculation. [56288]

Angela Eagle

The notional (tariff) income from capital in Regulation 53(1) of the Income Support (General) Regulations 1987 reflects 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. For each £250 of capital above £3,000, but below the upper limit of £16,000, £1 per week is taken into account as income. This formula, which does not represent any assumed rate of interest, avoids the many practical difficulties that would arise if actual income were taken into account. We have no plans to revise this calculation. However, we continue to review the benefit rules as part of our commitment to modernise the Social Security system.