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1979-1987 : Mr Major’s Written Parliamentary Answer on Supplementary Benefit

Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Supplementary Benefit on 23rd January 1987.


Mr. Hancock Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people receiving supplementary pension have had their gas bills paid directly by his Department for each of the last three years ended on 31 March.

Mr. Major The information is as follows:


Year | Numbers

1982 4,000

1983 3,000

1984 5,000

The source of these figures is the annual statistical inquiry. The information relates to the number for whom these arrangements applied in December of each year and is the most recent available.

Mr. Hancock Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people receiving supplementary pension have had their electricity bills paid directly by his Department for each of the last three years ended on 31 March.

Mr. Major The information is as follows:


Year | Numbers

1982 | 6,000

1983 | 4,000

1984 | 5,000

The source of these figures is the annual statistical inquiry. The information relates to the number for whom these arrangements applied in December of each year and is the most recent available.

Mr. Hancock Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people receiving supplementary benefit have had either their gas or electricity bills paid directly by his Department for each of the last three years ended on 31 March.

Mr. Major The information is as follows:


Energy Type | 1982 | 1983 | 1984

Electricity | 120,000 | 140,000 | 150,000

Gas | 69,000 | 92,000 | 111,000

The source of these figures is the annual statistical inquiry. The information relates to the numbers for whom these arrangements applied in December each year and is the most recent available. Some people will have had both their electricity and gas paid direct and will therefore be included in both sets of figures.

Mr. Hancock Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if there has been any change of policy in the last three years with regard to those receiving supplementary benefit or pension in respect of direct payment of gas and electricity bills or rent arrears; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Major Policy relating to the direct payment of gas and electricity for those receiving supplementary benefit is agreed by the industries concerned and the Department in the form of a joint statement of intent. This agreement has not been changed since 1982. There have been no policy changes in the arrangements for direct payment of rent arrears since the housing benefit scheme was introduced in 1982-83.