Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Personal Incomes on 6th November 1986.
Mr. Leighton Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many full-time employees earn less than the state minimum benefit level.
Mr. Major In 1983, the latest date for which information is available, the number of assessment units (as defined for supplementary benefit purposes) headed by a person in full-time employment whose net resources (net earnings, after housing and work expenses) were below their supplementary benefit scale rate was around 130,000. If all the in-work income-related benefits to which they were entitled were claimed and if those ineligible for supplementary benefit are excluded (because they have capital in excess of £3,000), this number would fall to around 90,000.
Mr. Gordon Brown Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will provide a regional breakdown for England and Wales using “Low Income Tables” for 1979 and 1983, of the numbers of people who fall below the supplementary benefit level, who are on supplementary be and up to 140 per cent. of supplementary benefit, broken down by economic status, and family type, showing what proportion each group makes up of the particular region’s population.
Mr. Major I regret that the statistics cannot be broken down reliably in the manner requested.