§ Mr. Alan Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of(a) the cost and (b) the numbers gaining from an increase in the earnings disregard to £25 for people in receipt of the disability premium in (i) income support, (ii) housing benefit and (iii) council tax benefit. 
§ Mr. Roger Evans
The estimated cost and number of cases gaining from a £10 increase in the earnings disregard is set out in the table:
Benefit £ million Gainers Income support 5 15,000 Housing benefit 10 20,000 Council tax benefit 5 25,000
1. The answer is for 1996–97 and has been modelled on the May 1995 "Income support Quarterly Statistical Enquiry" and the 1994–95 "Family Resources Survey" uprated to 1996–97 levels of benefit and earnings.
2. It has been assume that all disregards are increased simultaneously.
3. Costs are rounded to the nearest £5 million and gainers to the nearest 5,000.
4. This is a deadweight estimate: behavioural changes have not been costed.
5. The housing benefit and council tax benefit changes, brought about by people floating onto income support, are included in the cost of and number of gainers in housing benefit and council tax benefit rather than income support.