§ Mr. Willetts
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much extra grant per year would need to be paid from central Government to local authorities if take-up of all income-related benefits was to be 100 per cent. assuming that current take-up rates are at the mid-point in the range of estimates provided by the Government. 
§ Mr. Pond
We estimate that a 100 per cent. take-up of income related benefits in 2003–04 would increase centrally funded housing benefit and council tax benefit expenditure by £1.7 billion. Subsidy for local authorities to administer housing benefit and council tax benefit claims is distributed by the Department using a caseload based formula on a definitive sum. Any changes in caseload, or type of caseload, may affect the amount allocated to individual authorities, but not the overall allocation.
- 1. Estimates are consistent with Budget 2003 estimates of 2003–04 Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (HB and CTB) expenditure.
- 2. The estimate of the increased funding is rounded to the nearest £100 million
- 3. Current take-up rates are mid-point 2000–01 estimates from "Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up in 2000/2001", published by DWP.
- 4. Centrally funded benefit expenditure is defined as all HB and CTB benefit expenditure not funded by local authorities.
- 5. Estimates are based on the assumption that local authorities would contribute the same proportion of HB and CTB benefit expenditure as at present.
DWP Information and Analysis Directorate, Benefit Forecasting