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Benefits (Post Office Charges)

Volume 977: debated on Monday 28 January 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the cost to his Department of each benefit payment for which the Post Office makes a charge, showing total costs, average cost per payment and what the costs were when each benefit was introduced.

The information is not available in the form requested. The payment to the Post Office for social security benefit encashments are governed by a contract covering all Government business, and the sum paid to the Post Office by the Department in any particular year depends upon a number of factors, not all within the Department's control. The cost to the Department in the financial year 1978–79 of all Post Office counter services is provisionally assessed at £132·5 million and covered 1,091 million individual transactions.