Single Persons (Supplementary Benefit)

Oral Answers to Questions — Pensions and National Insurance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st August 1966.

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Photo of Mr William Worsley Mr William Worsley , Chelsea 12:00 am, 1st August 1966

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance on what evidence she based her decision to fix the rate of supplementary benefit for a single person at approximately 60 per cent. of that of a married couple.

Photo of Miss Peggy Herbison Miss Peggy Herbison , Lanarkshire North

The decision was taken in the light of long experience, in the administration of the present scheme, of the living expenses of people whose incomes need to be supplemented.

Photo of Mr William Worsley Mr William Worsley , Chelsea

Is the Minister saying, therefore, that she simply accepted the figure of 60 per cent. because it has been going on since the time of Beveridge and that the Government are doing no social research whatever to look into the relationship between these two benefits?

Photo of Miss Peggy Herbison Miss Peggy Herbison , Lanarkshire North

No, Sir. A detailed survey into the expenditure of various kinds of households receiving assistance has been carried out, not at the time of Beveridge but in the autumn of 1964. The findings of that survey confirmed that the proposed relationship is just about right.