HC Deb 28 July 1997 vol 299 c19
23. Mr. Pike

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she will change the system of benefit payments in respect of mortgage interest payments to monthly payments. [9051]

Mr. Keith Bradley

We are undertaking a general review of housing benefit and housing finance, but, at the present time, we have no plans to change those specific arrangements.

Mr. Pike

Does my hon. Friend recognise that, although there may be no immediate plan to make a change, if he discusses the matter with benefit officers it will be found that there will be tremendous advantages in making 12 payments annually instead of 13 four-weekly payments, which cause great confusion to the recipient and to the bank or building society concerned?

Mr. Bradley

I am grateful for my hon. Friend's comments. As part of our general modernisation of social security, we shall study any method that streamlines the system. I am grateful for his comments on that matter, and can assure him that I will include it in the general review of which I have spoken.

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