§ Mr. Rowlands
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of the number of people in receipt of invalidity benefit in the Merthyr/Rhymney/Cynon benefit district who are over the age of 58 years; and who will be exempt from the changes on the grounds of severe disability.
§ Mr. Hague
This is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available.452W
Letter from Michael Richard to Mr. Ted Rowlands, dated 9 March 1995:
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your Parliamentary Question about Invalidity Benefit (IVB) recipients in the Benefits Agency's Merthyr/Rhymney/Cynon district.
All customers over the age of 58 on 13 April 1995 who have been continuously in receipt of IVB since 1 December 1993 will be automatically exempted from the new all work test for Incapacity Benefit.An estimate has been made using information derived from a statistically valid sample obtained by computeer scrutiny of IVB caseloads on 21 January 1995.The estimate of the number of people in the Merthyr/Rhymney/Cynon area in receipt of IVB over the age of 58 who will be exempt from the new all work test is 3,360.I hope you find this reply helpful.
§ Mr. Rowlands
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people are currently receiving invalidity benefit in the Merthyr/Cynon/Rhymney benefit district; what percentage this is of the total population of working age; and what are the average percentages for(a) the Welsh and (b) the English and Welsh averages.
§ Mr. Hague
The available information is in the table.
People in receipt of invalidity benefit and percentage of working population People in receipt of invalidity benefit 3 Percentage of the working population Merthyr/Cynon/Rhymney district 123,834 17 Wales 2172,000 10 England 21,184,000 4 England and Wales 21,356,000 4
1 Figure obtained from a 100 per cent clerical count of cases in the Benefits Agency offices on the last working day of January 1995. The figure will include some people who have claimed but are not actually receiving invalidity benefit because they are in receipt of a higher overlapping benefit.
2 Invalidity benefit recipients at 3 April 1993, based on a I per cent. sample of claimants, rounded to the nearest thousand.
3 The working population has been taken to be 16 to 64 for men and 16 to 59 for women. Estimated mid-year population figures supplied by the population estimates unit, Office of Population Censuses and Surveys.