§ Mr. Waller
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the amount of benefit overpaid during the strike by computer staff at his Department's Newcastle upon Tyne office.
§ Mr. Newton
It is not possible to provide any reliable estimate of the total amount overpaid during the strike. The only information collected centrally about overpayments, is the amount written off as irrecoverable. This is not available until some time after the event and it would not be practicable to distinguish between overpayments resulting from the dispute and those due to other causes.