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Social Security Benefits

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the administrative cost is to his Department of paying benefits claims by means other than post office card accounts and bank accounts; and how many and what proportion of benefit claims are paid in this way. (185595)

The total cost of paying benefit claims by cheque is currently around £1.79 per transaction. This is made up of various components including stationery, postage and costs incurred by the Alliance and Leicester Commercial Bank plc. Around 300,000 (less than 2 per cent.) of customers are paid solely by cheque. The vast majority (98 per cent.) are paid by Direct Payment into an account.