§ Earl Russell
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What would be the cost of restoring full entitlement to social security benefits to 16 to 17 year -olds (a) at the present rates for those under 18 and (b) at full adult rates. [H L400]
§ Baroness Hollis of Heigham
We believe that every young person should have the opportunity to achieve their potential. That is why our aim is to engage 16 to 17 year-olds in education, training or work with114WA training, rather than starting their adult lives dependent on the benefits system.
Departments are working together to develop and implement the proposals in the Government White Paper Learning to Succeed and the Social Exclusion Unit's report Bridging the Gap which are aimed at supporting young people in making a successful transition from childhood to adult life.
The estimated annual cost of restoring full entitlement to social security benefits to 16 to 17 year-olds would be £100 million at present rates and £250 million at full adult rates. These costs do not make any allowance for possible changes in labour market behaviour as a result of these changes.
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest £50 million.
2. Figures are based on data taken from the 1997–98 Family Resources Survey.
3. Answer assumes that full adult rate refers to the rate for single people aged 25 and over.