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1979-1987 : Mr Major’s Written Parliamentary Answer on Income-Related Assistance

Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Income-Related Assistance on 14th April 1986.


Sir Brandon Rhys Williams Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the current total number of people in Great Britain dependent on income-related assistance; and what is his estimate of the number that will be dependent on income-related assistance in 1988 and 1990.

Mr. Major I regret the precise information requested is not available. The latest estimate of the number of people wholly or partly dependent on the main income-related benefits relates to 1983 when an estimated 14 million people were living in families receiving supplementary benefit, housing benefit or family income supplement. This estimate is derived from family expenditure survey data for 1983 and therefore excludes persons not living in private households.

No firm estimates are available for 1988 or 1990, but on the basis of the illustrative rates quoted in Cmnd. 9691 it is estimated that the average numbers in 1988 receiving benefit will increase by around 200,000 in the case of family credit because of substantial improvements over FIS, remain broadly the same for income support and that somewhat over 750,000 fewer householders will receive housing benefit. This assumes a 20 per cent. minimum rates contribution but does not take account of any households excluded from housing benefit through the proposed capital rules.