The present capital rules give the greatest help to those with the lowest savings. The rules continue to be kept under review, but no further change is proposed at present. Substantial changes were made only last year to the amount of capital that a person can have and still receive income-related benefits.
Does the Minister recognise that most of the people claiming housing and poll tax benefit under the existing regulations believe that, in 1991, £3,000 is a fairly modest amount of savings? Should not the tariffed income basis, which takes 20·8 per cent. interest, be amended? When people begin to lose in that way, should not something be done to give them a better deal?
The hon. Gentleman should do his sums again. He will find that there is a clawback of only 1·6 per cent. interest from those at the lower end of the income scale. The present system means that it is better to have a tariff than to take into account the actual income of those with low savings, because that is precisely the point at which the tariff benefits them. I know of nowhere else where interest would be assumed to be just 1·6 per cent.