HC Deb 18 March 1993 vol 221 cc390-1
3. Mr. Clifford Forsythe

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many Housing Executive tenants are receiving housing benefit.

Mr. Atkins

On 5 March 1993, 110,367 Housing Executive tenants were receiving housing benefit.

Mr. Forsythe

Under what legislation is confidential benefit information shared between the Department of Health and Social Security and the Housing Executive, leading on the one hand to many housing benefit claimants losing benefit, and on the other allowing hundreds of giro drops to continue in Northern Ireland?

Mr. Atkins

As the hon. Gentleman will be aware, my noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State has particular responsibility for this matter. I know that he has been in conversation and correspondence with the hon. Gentleman. I will ensure that the hon. Gentleman's concerns are related to my noble Friend. I suspect that the detail for which the hon. Gentleman is looking requires a detailed letter in response, and that I will try to provide.