§ 48. Dr. Edmund Marshall
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will amend article 7(1)(b)(ii) of the Supplementary Benefits (Determination of Questions) regulations 1980 so that, when there is an increase in rent or rates payable weekly by a tenant who is in receipt of supplementary benefit, the level of benefit is increased in the benefit week beginning prior to the date of the rent or rates increase.
§ Mrs. Chalker
No. Supplementary Benefits (Determination of Questions) Regulation 7(1)(b)(ii) represents a continuation of policy introduced by the Supplementary Benefits Commission in 1978.
In relation to rent and rates its effect is that, where there is a general increase, all the claimants will be entitled to the higher rate of benefit in the same calendar week. Under the previous system claimants with rent increases due on the same day could have been entitled to increased benefit in different weeks depending on the start of their benefit week. The new system is equitable to claimants and simplifies administration. Although some claimants will receive their increased benefit a day or two after a rent and rates increase, they are likely to have a degree of flexibility about when they pay these.