§ Mr. Meacher
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the number of young people affected by each change listed in the reply to the hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett),Official Report, 27 July, columns 878–84, and the cost or saving incurred by his Department as a result.
§ Mrs. Gillian Shephard
[ holding answer 15 December 1989]: The cessation of entitlement to income support for most 16 and 17-year-olds in September 1988 was estimated to have affected approximately 100,000 young people and reduced expenditure by around £100 million. The vast majority of young people who chose to participate in YTS received a training allowance at a rate exceeding income support. The additional costs of these allowances, and the cost of training provision, were borne by the Department of Employment's Training Agency. At the same time, the extension of eligibility to child benefit during the child benefit extension period affected around 43,000 young people at a cost of £4.85 million a year including the consequential effects on dependency additions. The overall cost of increasing personal allowances for income-related benefits by 50p above inflation from April 1989, including increases for children aged under 16, was estimated at around £70 million in a full year. In July 1989 extra help was provided for 16 and 17-year-olds receiving income support who have to live independently, and all those receiving housing benefit only, affecting around 17,000 young people at a cost of £3.7 million a year.
Further information could be produced only at disproportionate cost.