§ Mr. Darling
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people in local authority supported lodgings in(a) Scotland, (b) England and (c) Wales lost the £17.50 addition in April when the payment of their benefit was divided between income support and housing benefit; what representations he has received about the removal of this addition; if he intends to review it; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
People in supported lodgings should not have seen any reduction in their total benefit income when the new arrangements were introduced in April. Many will have received more benefit overall, because they gained access for the first time to normal income support allowances and premiums which recognise the special needs of the elderly and the disabled. The remainder were entitled to transitional protection which will continue for as long as they remain in supported lodgings.
We have received no recent representations on this issue and have no plans to change the current arrangements.