§ Mr. Simon Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people claimed both family credit and housing benefit in 1989–90; and how many he estimates will do so in 1990–91.
§ Mr. Speller
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will amend the family credit regulations to treat mortgage interest relief on a basis similar to the treatment of rents in the housing benefit regulations.
§ Mrs. Gillian Shephard
We have no plans to do so. Family credit makes no provision related to the actual cost of any outgoings in the individual case. To do so, whether for mortgage interest or any other form of outgoings, would fundamentally change the nature of the scheme.