§ Mr. Robin Cook
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many applications he has received since April 1988 from hon. Members on behalf of 19-year-olds, or the families of 19-year-olds, for extra-statutory payments of income support to be made in order to allow such students to complete courses of non-advanced education; and how many of such applications have been successful.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
Since April 1988, we have received 31 such requests. Extra-statutory payments are made only where legislation is faulty, and does not meet our intention. This is not appropriate in these circumstances; accordingly, none of the applicants has been successful.
§ Mr. Frank Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will detail how councillors' expenses are taken into account when computing eligibility for income and support and family credit; and if he will give the reference to the regulations which determine these rules.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
Councillors' expenses are treated in the same way as the expenses incurred by anyone in employment and receiving income support or family credit.
Payments made in respect of income tax, socal security contributions and one half of a contribution towards an occupational or personal pension scheme are disregarded under regulation 36(3) of the Income Support (General) Regulations 1987 and regulation 20(3) of the Family Credit (General) Regulations 1987. In addition, payments received for employment expenses which are wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred are not treated as earnings and are also disregarded under regulation 220W 35(2)(c) of, and paragraph 3 of schedule 9 to, the Income Support Regulations and regulation 19(2)(b) of, and paragraph 32 of schedule 2 to, the Family Credit Regulations. However, any payments for employment expenses which are not wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred are treated as earnings in the normal way in accordance with regulation 35(1)(f) of the Income Support Regulations and regulation 19(1)(d) of the Family Credit Regulations.
§ Ms. Short
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many 16 and 17-year-olds had made applications for income support on grounds of extreme hardship and how many had been granted at the end of January, February and March 1989; and how many at the same dates had been granted income support on grounds of being within exempted categories, shown by category and by region.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
The number of applications from 16 and 17-year-olds on grounds of "severe hardship" and the number of directions given to enable benefit to be paid, at each of the dates specified, are in the following table:
Cumulative totals—period ending Totals 27 January 1989 Applications received 3,492 Directions given 2,332 24 February 1989 Applications received 4,770 Directions given 3,092 31 March 1989 Applications received 6,336 Directions given 4,104
1. Based on 100 per cent. count of applications received.
2. Information relates to the number of applications received rather than to the number of individual young people involved. Some individuals may have received more than one direction.
3. Figures are cumulative to the last Friday in each month.
The numbers of 16 and 17-year-olds granted income support because they fall within one of the groups defined in regulations ceased to be collected after October 1988. They could be obtained now only at disproportionate cost.