asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the cost in postage of sending out 1,740,000 postal review forms between 19th April 1976 and 19th April 1977, and the postage prepaid for the return of those forms; if he will ensure in future that these forms are sent by second-class rather than first-class mail; and what estimate he has made of the savings to his department of sending all these forms by second-class mail.
In the year ending 19th April 1977 the cost in postage of sending out 1,740,000 postal review forms was £142,000. Return postage was roughly the same figure.The charge for the Department's postage is based on a composite rate lying between the public first and second-class rates and assessed by reference to the overall proportion of first and second class business found by sampling techniques. A precise estimate of the saving which would arise from sending the postal review forms by second-class post cannot therefore be given.
Following is the information:The use made of first- and second-class post is already under detailed study throughout the Department with the aim of increasing the use of second-class post wherever this can be done without hardship to the addressee or adverse effect on the proper discharge of business. Postal review is included in the study.