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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what evidence he has of failure by local authorities to verify details on claim forms for housing benefit and community charge benefit; how many local authorities have failed so to verify; and if he will list them in the Official Report.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard
It is the responsibility of local authorities to decide what information it is reasonable to ask for in order to determine an individual's entitlement to housing benefit or community charge benefit. Administrative practices vary from authority to authority and information is not collected centrally on the detail of these practices.