Benefits

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd May 1988.

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Photo of Mr Barry Jones Mr Barry Jones , Alyn and Deeside 12:00 am, 23rd May 1988

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the impact on individuals and on the provision of services in Wales for which he is responsible of recent changes in housing benefit and other benefit payments in (a) Clwyd and (b) Wales in general.

Photo of Mr Peter Walker Mr Peter Walker , Worcester

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that housing benefit and social security changes will be monitored by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services and he will fully confer with the Welsh Office on the results of the changes.

Photo of Mr Barry Jones Mr Barry Jones , Alyn and Deeside

May I tell the right hon. Gentleman of the dismay of one of my constituents, a world war 2 veteran, who fought from the Normandy beaches through to Hamburg and who now finds that he will lose housing benefit of £18 per week because he has a British Rail pension? I must tell the right hon. Gentleman that there are many other similar cases throughout Wales. Will he tell his Cabinet colleagues that the regulations are hurtful to vulnerable people, and will he urge the Prime Minister to think again about the harsh effects the regulations are having throughout Britain?

Photo of Mr Peter Walker Mr Peter Walker , Worcester

When one looks at the total changes, allowances as well as housing benefit, there are, as the hon. Gentleman will be aware, some people who have benefited as well as some people being put at a disadvantage. Perhaps the people who have obtained additional benefit from the changes had considerable need. As the hon. Gentleman knows, a review has already taken place, with a considerable range of changes. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services has promised that he will examine the effects of the total changes in detail. I am sure that if it is shown that further action may be needed, my right hon. Friend will take such action.