asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether his Department recruits volunteers to report on the circumstances of their neighbours who may be on benefit.
I assume the hon. Member has in mind those claimants who may not be entitled to benefit. I wish to make it clear that the Department does not recruit people for such a purpose. The Government are, however, determined to root out fraud and abuse of the social security system, and I am grateful for this opportunity to stress that—as has been the case for many years—the Department's specialist staff are prepared to follow up specific information which may indicate fraud or abuse and which is voluntarily and in good faith put to the Department by members of the public.