§ Ms. Mowlam
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from how many people deductions were made under the Payments for Debt (Emergency Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971 in each of the years from 1979 to 1989 inclusive.
§ Mr. Ian Stewart
[holding answer 20 June 1989]: The number of people from whom deductions have been made is not available, but the number of debt cases, recorded by the four main creditor bodies, in respect of which deductions were made in 1988–89 under the Payments for Debt (Emergency Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971 was 16,479. Directly equivalent information for the earlier years is not available, but I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 25 October 1988, Official Report at column 137.
With effect from April 1988, the major proportion of deductions from benefits against arrears of rent, rates, electricity and gas charges have been made under the provisions of the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987, and the 1988–89 figure given already referred to excludes deductions under these regulations.