asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many persons in receipt of benefit, expressed both numerically and as a percentage of the whole have applied to have benefit paid directly into a bank or other account for each of the last three years for which figures are available.
This payment method is not available to social security beneficiaries at present and no statistics are kept on the number of people who have applied to have their benefits paid in this way. The Government agree in principle that people should be able to have their benefits paid direct into bank accounts if they so choose, and are considering the financial and administrative implications of introducing such a payment method.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received from the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters on Sir Derek Rayner's proposals for the payment of benefits monthly or fortnightly; and if he will make a statement.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received from sub-postmasters concerning the proposals to pay pension and allowance payments fortnightly rather than weekly.
My right hon. Friend has replied to the letter that the National Federation sent him last December and a reply will be sent shortly to the further letter it sent recently. The Government are fully aware of the importance which local communities attach to the availability of post offices.