asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the number of notices of assessment issued to claimants last year who requested information on how their benefit is calculated; and what plans he has to give supplementary benefit claimants wage slips setting out how their benefit is computed.
The information requested in the first part of the Question could not be obtained without disproportionate effort. Claimants may have a written explanation of how their benefit is computed on request; notices giving the Commission's decisions make this clear. A notice explaining the assessment is always issued in certain specific types of cases; for example where wage-stop is involved, and in others where the assessment is complex. But considerable staff costs would be incurred if explanations were issued automatically in all cases and the Commission consider that other improvements in administration should have priority for the time being.