§ Mr. Skinner
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will take the necessary steps to have a full and searching inquiry into the £10 Christmas bonus to pensioners, in view of the number of qualified persons that have still to be paid;
(2) whether he is satisfied that sufficient publicity has been given to the 1972 £10 bonus payment for pensioners, in view of the number of qualified persons who have still to be paid;
(3) what is his estimate of the number of pensioners who have yet to receive the £10 Christmas bonus payment.
§ Sir K. Joseph
The only persons who are known not to have been paid are about 600 who were not at their last known address and a further 500 where confirmation of retirement before the qualifying date is awaited before payment 191W can be made. These numbers are falling as pensioners reply to inquiries or notify a new address. Very substantial publicity was given to the special payment at the time and I do not consider further publicity would be justified in view of the small numbers involved. Inquiries from individuals about non-receipt of the 192W payment have shown that some cases due for payment by one of our central offices were missed at the time due to the large numbers involved and the speed with which the operation had to be carried out. I am making some further inquiries into this and will write to the hon. Member.