asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress is being made in the plans to computerise the social security system.
The Department has major computer installations, sited at Newcastle, Washington, North Fylde, Reading and Livingston, which handle a wide variety of social security benefit activities. These include the payment of retirement and widows' pensions, child benefit, unemployment benefit and supplementary allowances paid with unemployment benefit. Individual records are maintained on computer of all insurance contributions.The Department is now reviewing the computer support including the use of microcomputers to be given to its network of local offices in the context of the operational strategy referred to in my hon. Friend's reply of 8 December 1980.—[Vol. 995, c.