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

Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Sickness Benefit on 11th March 1986.


Mr. Alfred Morris Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people received reduced rate sickness benefit in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and how many of these subsequently obtained invalidity benefit.

Mr. Major [pursuant to his reply, 5 March 1986, c.161]: The number of claims giving rise to entitlement to sickness benefit at the reduced rate is provisionally estimated at 41,000 in 1983-84 and 28,000 in 1984-85. The number of these going on to obtain invalidity benefit was 4,000 and 5,000, respectively. I regret that the information is not available for earlier years.

Mr. Alfred Morris Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the annual cost of paying sickness benefit to anyone who had paid or been credited with contributions on earnings of 25 times the lower earnings limit in the relevant tax year.

Mr. Major [pursuant to his reply, 5 March 1986, c. 161]: On the evidence available, an estimated £120 million in 1986-87, of which approximately £2 million is attributable to people with contributions paid or credited on earnings between 25 and 49 times the lower earnings limit.

Mr. Alfred Morris Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the number of people each year who will fail to qualify for invalidity benefit as a result of the proposal in the Social Security Bill to abolish reduced rate sickness benefit.

Mr. Major [pursuant to his reply, 5 March 1986, c.161]: 6,500 in 1987-88.