§ Mr. Burt
The administration of income support is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to my hon. Friend with such information as is available and a copy will be placed in the Library.
Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. Simon Burns, dated 25 March 1993:As Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency it is my responsibility to answer questions about relevant operational matters. I am therefore replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security asking how many pensioners in (a) the Chelmsford constituency and (b) the United Kingdom are in receipt of Income Support.The constituency of Chelmsford is covered by the Benefits Agency's Essex and South East District, which consists of Southend-on-Sea and Chelmsford offices. The information is not available in the format requested because the boundaries of the district do not correspond exactly with those of the constituency. Additionally, for Income Support purposes all customers are classified as pensioners at age 60.However, as at 28 February 1993, the latest date for which information is available, 11,144 customers aged 60 or over in the Benefits Agency's Essex South East District office were claiming Income Support. The equivalent figure for the United Kingdom as a whole is 1,630,511.I hope you find this reply helpful. A copy of this letter will appear in the Official Report and a copy will be placed in the Library.