§ Mr. Deakins
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the average payment of housing benefit to pensioners receiving supplementary benefit; how much of this is attributable to rates; and by how much this average payment will be reduced as a result of recipients having to meet 20 per cent. of their rates bill out of basic income.
§ Mr. Major
It is estimated that the average payment of housing benefit to pensioners receiving supplementary benefit was about £15 a week in May 1985, the latest date for which information is available. About £4.80 of this was attributable to domestic rates after non-dependant deductions. It is estimated that this figure would be of the order of £1 lower if 20 per cent. of recipients' domestic rates bills were ineligible for benefit.