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

Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Benefits on 11th March 1987.


Mr. Alfred Morris Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the level of spending on social security benefits for sick and disabled people in each of the years 1978-79 and 1986-87; how this expenditure breaks down between the different social security benefits for sick and disabled people; what was the average annual increase in expenditure for the period 1979-80 to 1986-87 inclusive in real terms; how much of that increase in real terms was attributable to (a) increases in the real value of the social security benefits concerned and (b) increases in the number of people claiming each of the benefits; and what was the average annual increase in such expenditure in real terms for the period 1974-75 to 1978-79 inclusive.

Mr. Major Over the period 1979-80 to 1986-87, real expenditure on social security benefits for sick and disabled people increased by an average of £230 million a year (at 1986-87 prices): roughly 70 per cent. of the increase was due to increases in the number of recipients and the remainder to increases in the average amount paid. The average annual real increase over the period 1974-75 to 1978-79 was £195 million (at 1986-87 prices). A breakdown of total expenditure among individual benefits is given in the table.


Expenditure on social security benefits paid to sick and disabled people | 1978-79 | 1986-87 (in £ million)

Sickness benefit | 700 | 160

Invalidity benefit | 840 | 2,610

Industrial disablement benefit | 220 | 430

Attendance allowance | 170 | 780

Invalid care allowance | 5 | 190

NCIP/Severe disablement allowance | 70 | 260

Mobility allowance | 50 | 510

War disablement pension | 220 | 380

Supplementary benefit | 170 | 460

Housing benefit | 50 | 470

Christmas Bonus | 10 | 20

Other industrial injuries benefits | 5 | 5

Total | 2,500 | 6,260