§ Mr. Wilson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the current weekly level of earnings disregard which is allowed for those in receipt of supplementary benefits for reasons other than unemployment; when it was last reviewed; and if he will estimate the level if it were increased in line with inflation since the last review;
(2) what is the current weekly level of earnings disregard which is allowed for those who receive supplementary benefit because of unemployment; when the level was last reviewed; and if he will estimate the level if it were increased in line with inflation since the last review.
§ Dr. Boyson
The current supplementary benefit earnings disregard is £4 a week for all claimants, whether their need for supplementary benefit arises because of unemployment or for some other reason. It was set at this level in November 1980 for the unemployed and in November 1975 for other claimants. If increased in line with inflation since these dates, the disregard would now be £5 for the unemployed and £9.50 for other claimants.
For single parents there is an additional disregard of half of any earnings from £4 to £20 a week. This was introduced in November 1980 and if increased in line with inflation would now apply to earnings from £5 to £25.
§ Mr. Alfred Morris
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the saving to supplementary benefit which will result from clause 7 of the Health and Social Security Bill.
§ Dr. Boyson
Given the relatively small numbers involved, it is not possible to provide a reliable estimate.