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Volume 412: debated on Friday 11 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reason the Child Benefit Agency in its letter to beneficiaries about the ending of Post Office payment by benefit book (a) urges recipients to open bank or post office accounts and (b) makes no reference to the Post Office card. [108323]

The Department is running a national and comprehensive information campaign to give customers the facts they need to choose the account option which best meets their needs and circumstances. This started with mailings to customers from October last year and we expanded the campaign from early this year to include the media and press.People are provided with the information they need on all of their "banking options", including which accounts can be used at Post Office branches. All customer information mentions the Post Office card account and sets out clearly what they need to do to open one. It will be up to the customers themselves to decide which type of account they wish to have their money paid into, and those people who want to open a Post Officecard account will be able to do so.