HC Deb 26 November 1964 vol 702 c211W
Sir J. Lucas

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give instructions that any Government Department which inadvertently overpays workers over a period shall stand half the cost and reclaim only half the overpayments, in view of the inconvenience caused to weekly wage earners concerned and to their families.

Mr. MacDermot

No. It is a long established principle that recovery should be attempted whenever the Exchequer suffers loss through overpayments. In order to avoid hardship, departments may, with Treasury authority, waive recovery of all or part of the overpayment. I am satisfied that this discretionary approach is more likely to do justice both to the individual and to the Exchequer than a more rigid rule.