§ Mrs. Gillian Shephard
The Department's highly complex £1.7 billion strategy for the computerisation of the payment of social security benefits is proceeding as planned. The pilot exercise in 23 local offices has been completed and the systems are being introduced nationally office by office.
§ Mrs. Shephard
My hon. Friend asks about the speed of completion. As one would expect with an operation of this scale, the Department has had some anxiety about teething problems with the introduction of the computerised programme. We are, in fact, proceeding according to programme but because of staff anxieties about some of the problems of introducing specific programmes we are extending the time scale for staff savings to July 1990. Within those limits, the programme is proceeding according to plan.
§ Mr. D. N. Campbell-Savours
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Why was no Opposition Member called to ask a supplementary question to Question No. 10?
§ Mr. Speaker
Because the hon. Member for Liverpool, Broadgreen (Mr. Fields) was not present. I called Mr. Michael Stern for the next Question.