HC Deb 09 December 1982 vol 33 cc577-8W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will make a statement on the action taken by his Department to bring charges against the dentist Hugh Hourigan of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, found guilty at Aylesbury Crown court of claiming more than £300,000 illegally from the

Summary information on social security earnings rules: December 1982
Benefit Earnings limit or disregard Effect on benefit of earnings
1. Category A or B retirement pension (including basic component, invalidity addition, increments, and increases for dependants) £57 a week* If the retirement condition is satisfied then for up to five years after minimum pension age pension reduced by 5p for each lop of the pensioner's earnings between £57 and £61 and by 5p for each 5p earned over £61. the rule ceases to apply after age 65 (women) or 70 (men)
2. Increase of benefit for wife or woman having care of child(ren) of beneficiary receiving
(a) Sickness or injury benefit, maternity allowance or unemployment benefit (beneficiary under pensionable age) £15.45 a week* No increase payable if the wife's/dependant's earnings exceed the limit shown
(b) Sickness, injury or unemployment benefit (beneficiary over pensionable age) £18.85 a week* No increase payable if the wife's/dependant's earnings exceed the limit shown

National Health Service; what were the costs involved in bringing this action; what were the results; and what action has or will be taken to claim back this £300,000.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

The action which resulted in the conviction to which the hon. Gentleman refers was taken by the Dental Estimates Board, the police and the Director of Public Prosecutions. Information on the cost of the criminal prosecution is not available. The Buckinghamshire family practitioner committee which had made the arrangements with Mr. Hourigan for the provision of general dental services, had in 1979 already commenced civil proceedings to recover moneys improperly paid to Mr. Hourigan, and had also taken steps to prevent the removal of Mr. Hourigan's assets out of the jurisdiction of our courts. Having regard to the prosecution of those civil proceedings, it would not be proper for me at this stage to go into any further details.