HC Deb 19 December 1989 vol 164 cc175-6W
Mr. Bradley

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the number of people on family credit immediately before the start of the recent family credit publicity campaign; what was the number of successful claims during the campaign; what was the number of unsuccessful claims during the campaign; what is the number of claims currently awaiting processing; what is the number of people now receiving family credit; and if he has plans to follow up this campaign.

Mr. Newton

[holding answer 5 December 1989]: A further publicity campaign to promote awareness of family credit began on 6 November and is still continuing. A full evaluation of the effectiveness of the campaign will not be possible for some time, but in the first five weeks after it began a total of 107,000 claims were received compared with only 68,800 in the same period in 1988. Of the 107,000 claims, 62,200 were new claims from families not receiving an existing award, compared with 49,500 new claims in the five weeks before the campaign began. On 8 December, 63,600 claims were awaiting a response to inquiries (mainly from employers).

Fuller information is available about the campaign conducted in the spring of 1989. During the nine weeks of TV publicity, nearly 260,000 claims were received. Separate information about the outcome of these particular claims is not available, but of all the claims decided in the three months following the start of the campaign over 160,000 received awards and some 134,000 were unsuccessful.

At the end of March 1989, immediately before the spring campaign, about 280,000 families were receiving family credit. The number increased by the end of July to 313,000, and the latest indications are that by the end of September it rose further to about 320,000. (This latter figure was previously thought, as a result of a computer error, to have been reached two months earlier, thus the July figure is a correction of those published previously.) This estimate of about 320,000 is the latest available indicator of caseload prior to the start of the current campaign.