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Pensioners (Christmas Bonus)

Volume 958: debated on Thursday 16 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proportion the administrative costs of paying pensioners a Christmas bonus was of the total amount paid out in each year in which the payment has been made; what is his estimate of the proportion in 1978; by what percentage increase he estimates the administrative costs in 1978 will exceed those in 1977; and if he will make a statement.

The information requested is as follows for Great Britain:

BonusBenefit expenditure £millionAdministrative costs £millionCol. (3) as a percentage of Col. (2)
The administration costs increased markedly between 1974 and 1977, mainly because the Post Office encashment charges, postal charges and staff salaries increased over that period.The administration cost increase of nearly 12 per cent. between 1977 and 1978 is due mainly to an increase in Post Office encashment costs arising from their need to meet higher cash handling charges by the banks.