asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many women in the United Kingdom receive social security payments of 3p per week or 6p per fortnight; what administrative cost is involved in making such payments; and if he will consider replacing weekly and fortnightly social security payments with one annual lump sum payment at Christmas.
It is not the general practice of the Department to pay sums of 13p or less weekly or fortnightly. In the past they have been paid four-weekly by order book, but this method of payment is in process of being changed to a single payment by Girocheque every quarter. There may, however, be individual cases of brief transitional entitlement where payments of very small amounts are made. The payment of small amounts of pension annually is being considered as part of a general review of methods of paying social security benefits undertaken in consultation with Sir Derek Rayner.