HC Deb 24 October 1986 vol 102 cc1030-1W
Mr. Corbett

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people claimed supplementary benefit in the Birmingham, Erdington constituency in 1979 and 1985; what percentage change that represents; and what was the percentage change in (a) staff handling supplementary benefit claims and (b) all staff at his Department's Kingsbury road, Erdington and Walsall road, Perry Barr offices for the same period.

Mr. Lyell

Birmingham, Erdington constituency is covered by two of the Department's offices, Erdington and Perry Barr, but their boundaries are not conterminous with the boundary of the constituency.

Comprehensive figures are not available before 1982–83 and information on the number of individuals who claimed supplementary benefit is not available in the form requested.

Information that is available for the offices is as follows:

Erdington Perry Barr
Number of new and repeat claims to supplementary benefit (including unsuccessful)
1982–83 21,503 13,619
1985–86 21,534 20,039
Percentage change +0.1 +47.1
Number of people receiving supplementary benefit1
1982–83 13,629 13,027
1985–86 16,348 14,510
Percentage change +20.0 +11.4
Percentage change in complement 1982–83 to 1985–86
Supplementary benefit staff +29.8 +32.9
All staff +6.1 +7.4
1 Based on 100 per cent. count of cases in action at May.

Direct comparisons between numbers of staff and claims and misleading as work loads vary considerably by type and duration of claim and the action that has to be taken. All these factors vary over time as a result of legislative, policy and procedural changes. Examples of such changes are the introduction of housing benefit and postal claim forms.

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