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Departmental Cost Effectiveness

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 21 January 2008, Official Report, column 1547W, on departmental cost effectiveness, what the administrative cost to his Department was of paying benefits into bank accounts in each of the last 10 years; and how many and what proportion of benefits claims were paid directly into bank accounts in each of the last 10 years. (185593)

Information is not available in the format requested.

The following table shows (a) the number of benefit accounts paid into a bank or building society account and (b) the proportion of benefit accounts paid into a bank or building society account in each of the last five years.

Phasing out order books and paying the vast majority of customers by direct payment will save the taxpayer around £1 billion between 2005 and 2010.

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

Administrative cost of paying into a bank account (£ million)

1.2

2.8

4.1

4.4

14.2

Number of benefits accounts paid into a bank account2 (million)

8.4

12.3

14.9

15.3

15.8

Proportion of benefit accounts paid into a bank account2 (percentage)

44.2

62

74.6

76.1

78

1 Includes forecast for final quarter of financial year. 2 Figures have been provided by DWP Information Directorate and are based on snap shot as at October of that year.

Figures refer to the number of benefit accounts live and in payment on the specified date, and not the number of benefit claims, customers, or POCA accounts. People in receipt of more than one benefit/pension are counted for each separate benefit/pension in payment. People who have their benefit/pension combined and paid at the same time are only counted through the paying benefit