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National Insurance

Volume 715: debated on Wednesday 9 December 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord McKenzie of Luton on 5 November (WA 78), how many National Insurance numbers have been issued to European Union nationals and how many to non-European Union nationals in each of the last five years; and to nationals of which countries more than 1,000 National Insurance numbers per year have been issued. [HL138]

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many national insurance numbers have been given to individuals in error in each of the past three years. [HL232]

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many national insurance numbers have been given to foreign nationals in error in each of the past three years. [HL245]

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many national insurance numbers have been revoked in the past five years. [HL247]

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many national insurance numbers given to foreign nationals have been revoked in the last five years. [HL248]

The department undertakes rigorous checks on the identity of all adult national insurance number applicants and only when it is satisfied with the identity of an individual will a number be allocated.

There are limited occasions where it is identified that an individual has been issued two national insurance numbers in error. In this situation one of the numbers will be cancelled.

It is not possible to provide figures in respect of foreign nationals from this information. Figures for the past five full years and the latest part year are in the table:

Occasions when an individual has been issued more than one national insurance number and one number has then been cancelled

Year

Number of cases

2004

513

2005

491

2006

534

2007

1517 (see point 4 below)

2008

642

2009 (part)

541

Notes:

1. Figures relate to calendar years.

2. Figures for 2009 relate to the period 1 January to the 22 November.

3. Figures relate to the year the National Insurance Number was cancelled from the Department for Work and Pensions IT records.

4. The figure for 2007 is disproportionately high as it reflects an IT problem which occurred during the transfer of National Insurance Number accounts from the former Departmental Central Index to the improved Customer Information System. The problem was immediately rectified. The figure for 2007 (excluding these IT problem cases) is 562.

Source: Data is Department for Work and Pensions Management information.

In addition to the above table, a further 25 national insurance numbers were identified as having been incorrectly issued to individuals who did not satisfy that requirement shortly after the introduction of the proof of right to work requirement in 2006. These national insurance numbers were not cancelled as in isolation they do not provide access to the benefits system or right to work in the UK.