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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 3rd June 1986.


Mr. Nellist Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people are presently in receipt of supplementary benefit in Coventry; and what was the comparable figure in May 1979.

Mr. Major 39,769 people are in receipt of supplementary benefit at the two Coventry local offices compared with 22,088 in May 1979.

Mr. Frank Cook Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) since the introduction of the Supplementary Benefits (Requirements) Amendment Regulations in November 1985 (a) how many requests local offices of his Department have received under schedule 2A, paragraph 5(4)(m) of those regulations for him to use his discretion in order to avoid exceptional hardship being suffered, (b) how many such requests have been referred on to the section dealing with them in headquarters and (c) in how many cases he has used his discretionary power;

(2) since the introduction of the Supplementary Benefits (Requirements) Amendment Regulations in November 1985 (a) how many requests have been received by each of the Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar, Eston and Hartlepool offices of his Department under schedule 2A, paragraph 5(4)(m) of those regulations for him to use his discretion in order to avoid exceptional hardship being suffered, (b) how many such requests from each of the above local offices have been referred on to the section dealing with them in headquarters and (c) in how many cases for each of the above local offices he has used his discretionary power.

Mr. Major Requests to local social security offices under schedule 2A, paragraph 5(4)(m) of the Supplementary Benefit Requirements Regulations are referred to headquarters. In respect of the individual offices mentioned by the hon. Member, four requests have been forwarded, all from the local office in Middlesbrough, of which one was successful. Overall, 94 requests have been received, of which 21 were successful.

Mr. Clay Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people were in receipt of supplementary benefit in (a) the northern region and (b) Sunderland for each year since 1979.

Mr. Major Sunderland is covered for social security purposes by the Department's offices at Sunderland (South) and Sunderland (North) and is situated in the Department's north-eastern region. North-eastern region was formed in 1982 by the amalgamation of the former Yorkshire and Humberside region with the major part of the former northern region. The table shows the total number of people receiving supplementary benefit in(a) both Sunderland local offices and (b) Northern and Yorkshire Humberside regions together for 1979-81 and north-eastern region from 1982 onwards. Figures given show the position at 6 May 1986, the latest available, and at comparable dates for each of the years since 1979.


Year | Sunderland | Region

1979 | 22,859 | 489,380

1980 | 23,137 | 497,297

1981 | 26,456 | 524,270

1982 | 31,272 | 663,069

1983 | 33,490 | 710,426

1984 | 36,248 | 756,721

1985 | 37,572 | 791,634

1986 | 38,678 | 804,115

Source: 100 per cent. count of live cases in action.