To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people he estimates are suffering under compensation for the loss of benefit incurred due to the retail prices index error and the fact that their benefits are embodied in only one order book; if he will reconsider his decision not to compensate fully all those people; and if he will make a statement.
Of those receiving special payments, it is estimated that about 175,000 are not fully compensated for the error in the retail prices index because they have two or more benefits combined in one order book. About 90 per cent. of those with combined order books are fully compensated or overcompensated. We do not propose to make any extensions to this aspect of the special payments exercise, which has combined as far as was possible fairness with speed of payment.