To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of benefit recipients in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK have (i) applied for and (ii) opened Post Office Card Accounts. 
The information is not available in the format requested. National figures only are available.A report containing Department of Work and Pensions figures for the number of clients opting for a Post Office card account, broken down by client group up to 27 June 2003, is available in the Libraries of the House.I understand from Post Office Ltd. that by 4 July 2003, 20,000 Post Office card accounts had been opened. This figure is not broken down by category of benefit recipient. The number of Post Office card accounts should grow rapidly over the coming weeks and months as those people opting for a card account complete the application process.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the statement of 14 July 2003, Official Report, House of Lords, column 621, by the Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Lord Sainsbury, on Post Office card account users, what the Government's current estimate is of the number of users; and if she will make a statement. 
The migration to Direct Payment is at a very early stage and the figures are volatile, but, based on customer choices so far, the Government now expect the eventual number of Post Office card accounts to be in excess of our 3 million operating assumption. A report containing Department of Work and Pensions conversion figures up to 27 June 2003 is available in the Libraries of the House.