To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give the latest estimate of the cost of the operational strategy, indicating how and why this differs from the original estimate.
The latest available estimate is in the order of £1,800 million up to the end of March 1999. The reasons for the difference between this figure and the estimate made in 1982 were examined by the Committee of Public Accounts in its 24th report—HC 179. I refer the hon. Member to that report.