asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many Christmas bonuses for 1981 were not paid timeously; what proportion of the total number this represents; when the delayed bonuses were paid; whether any are still outstanding; and what are the reasons for the delay.
Some 10·4 million beneficiaries were entitled to the 1981 Christmas bonus. The Department has investigated about 9,500 cases where an eligible beneficiary has claimed not to have received the bonus. It is necessary to trace the relevant cashed foil from the beneficiary's order book to check whether payment was made. To date these checks have shown that in some 6,000 cases the bonus was not paid. This represents about 0.06 per cent. of the eligible total. Bonus payments are belong issued as soon as the checks have been made. About 200 cases are still outstanding and these should be cleared within the next few days. The original non-payments were due to clerical error. I regret any inconvenience caused by the late payment.