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Supplementary Benefit (Fraudulent Claims)

Volume 14: debated on Thursday 3 December 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Heeley, Official Report, 28 October, column 369, whether he is now in a position to say whether in any of the 421 cases where benefit was either terminated or reduced a prosecution has yet arisen.

Records were not maintained in a form which provides the information requested by the hon. Member. The inquiry referred to in my hon. Friend's answer on 1 June 1981—[Vol. 5, c. 257]—was concerned to protect public funds rather than to obtain evidence to justify criminal proceedings, though such proceedings would have been considered where such evidence became available.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Heeley, Official Report, 28 October, column 369, in which region the special inquiry was instigated; and what is the total number of single mothers receiving supplementary benefit in that region during the period concerned.

The inquiry referred to was carried out in the area administered by the Department's north-west Manchester regional office. The total number of women who received supplementary benefit as single mothers in that region between February 1980 and February 1981 is not known, but it was estimated that on 3 December 1980 there were 23,000 such beneficiaries.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Heeley, Official Report, 28 October, column 369, in how many of the 421 cases benefit was terminated; and in how many of those a further successful claim from the person concerned was received within the period.

This information could now be obtained, if at all, only at disproportionate cost. However,