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Social Security Benefits: Low Incomes

Volume 495: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment her Department has made of the effect on customers from low-income socio-economic backgrounds of recent changes to the frequency of benefit payments. (275746)

The changes made to frequencies and paydays are a key step in the, long-term, simplification of the benefits system. Before implementing this policy we consulted extensively with customer representative groups to ensure that customer's interests were fully considered.

We do, however, recognise that the initial move from weekly payments to fortnightly payments may be difficult for some of our customers but have addressed this by making a repayable loan equal to the customer's weekly benefit.