HC Deb 05 July 1999 vol 334 c636
14. Mr. John Healey (Wentworth)

What reduction in incomplete or incorrect first-time benefit claims he estimates will result from the introduction of the ONE service. [88039]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Social Security (Angela Eagle)

The first pilot offices offering the ONE service opened for business on 28 June. One of the many advantages of the new service is that advisers will be able to help clients to complete their claim forms during the initial work-focused interview. We therefore anticipate that there will be fewer incomplete or incorrect first-time benefit claims.

Mr. Healey

Will my hon. Friend acknowledge that one of the understated strengths of the concept of the ONE service is the opportunity to get claims complete and correct from day one? Will she therefore consider making that objective one of the yardsticks by which the pilots are judged?

Angela Eagle

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We believe that there are large administrative gains to be made from preventing the duplication of work and the chasing of incorrect forms, and from ensuring that people can get their benefit payments quickly. They can then concentrate more effectively on how to get off benefit and back into work. I can confirm that that is one of the things that we will be measuring in the monitoring and implementation process, and we will be expecting significant beneficial effects.