§ Mr. Steinberg
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the average time taken to reply to hon. Members' letters in each of the last six months for which figures can be calculated.
§ Mr. Moore
From August 1988 to January 1989 a total of 7,852 letters were received for ministerial reply. The average time taken to reply over this period is as follows, with DHSS figures for a year earlier shown in brackets.
(Calendar days) Month Average time Previous year August 1988 28 (31) September 1988 31 (34) October 1988 28 (35) November 1988 29 (33) December 1988 30 (39) January 19891 44 (53) 1 January figures reflect the reduction in activity over the Christmas and new year holiday period. For replies issued in the first 10 days of February 1989, the average time was 33 days.