HC Deb 26 June 1967 vol 749 cc68-9
25. Mrs. Lena Jeger

asked the Minister of Social Security what progress has been made in issuing written explanations of entitlement to supplementary benefits in cases where such explanations are not requested by the recipients.

Miss Herbison

As I explained to the House during the Committee stage of the Ministry of Social Security Bill, this was one of the administrative arrangements associated with the new scheme which could not be introduced immediately because of the amount of extra work involved. It has not so far proved possible to introduce it because of heavy pressure on the staff.

Mrs. Jeger

When might it be possible to start this scheme, in which I know my right hon. Friend is personally very interested? Is it not often the most undemanding, shy and puzzled people who do not insist on getting these explanations who would be most assisted by getting them?

Miss Herbison

I want to introduce this as speedily as possible; but I have discovered that, because of the more than 600,000 applications for the new supplementary pension, the members of my staff in these offices have been carrying a very heavy burden and working under very great strain. Their loyalty has been wonderful. I must wait until the strain is eased before I can add anything further to their burden.

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