HC Deb 31 March 1981 vol 2 cc73-4W
41. Mr. Freud

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people have been imprisoned in the last year for failing to pay fines imposed under (a) the Social Security Act 1975; (b) the Child Benefit Act 1975 and (c) the Supplementary Benefits Act 1976.

Mr. Rossi

This information is not available, since imprisonment for default is a matter for the individual court; but I am advised that such cases are likely to have been rare. Courts are required to have regard to an offender's means in assessing liability for financial penalties, and imprisonment for default is regarded very much as a last resort.