HC Deb 11 April 1968 vol 762 c1572
23. Sir B. Rhys Williams

asked the Postmaster-General if he will extend the service to be provided by the Post Office giro, so as to use it for payment of National Insurance benefits and family allowances.

Mr. Mason

Arrangements are in hand to pay some benefits by giro payment order when the service begins. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Social Security does not consider this a suitable method for the payment of regular long-term benefits.

Sir B. Rhys Williams

Does not the Postmaster-General agree that the operations of the National Insurance Fund and, indeed, of the Pay-As-You-Earn Income Tax system, have become completely obsolete and incomprehensible; and that the advent of the Post Office giro is a golden opportunity to review the whole basis of cash transactions between the individual and the community so that in future they can be handled by electronic data-processing equipment?

Mr. Mason

The giro system will deal initially with unemployment and sickness benefits. The hon. Gentleman's initial point is not a matter for my Department.

Mr. Onslow

Where those transactions involve sending mail under the frank "O.H.M.S.", will that mail go at first-or second-class rate?

Mr. Mason

That supplementary question does not arise from the Question on the Order Paper.