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Family Allowance Books

Volume 979: debated on Monday 25 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the extra cost in printing, production and distribution of family allowance books every 13 weeks rather than every 52 weeks as previously.

The net extra cost of providing child benefit order books at 18-week intervals rather than 52 is about £800,000. This estimate is based on the increased cost of issuing three books a year instead of one and the savings which arise when an uprating takes place. Savings are made because of the reduced local office involvement in an uprating and the calculation assumes that six months notice is given of an uprating, as in 1978.The 18-week system also ensures that families do not have to relinquish their order book when they become entitled to more benefit. This facility is important especially for low-paid families, and will greatly assist in reducing any interruption in payment of benefit due to changed circumstances.