§ Mr. Denham
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the total number of households claiming family credit in each year since 1989, in the area covered by Benefits Agency offices serving Southampton; and what was the expenditure in each year in current prices. 
§ Mr. Roger Evans
The administration of family credit is a matter for Peter Mathison, chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available.
Letter from Peter Mathison to Mr. John Denham, dated 5 March 1996:
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what was the total number of households claiming Family Credit (FC) in each year since 1989, in the area covered by Benefits Agency (BA) offices serving Southampton; and what was the expenditure in each year in current prices.
The information is not available in the format requested. This is because the FC computer system holds records of the total number of claims received, awarded and disallowed on a national basis. Details are not broken down into individual towns or areas. The information is only available from 1993 as details relating to FC claims are normally destroyed after 18 months.
However, statistics are available which indicate the number of families in receipt of FC within a BA office area at a particular date. Unfortunately, the scan does not identify at what stage of the 26 weeks entitlement the awards are at that date. The statistics available for the Southampton Branch Office are as follows. They are provisional and subject to change.
Date of scan Families in receipt of family credit at that date 20 August 1993 1,966 15 April 1994 2,051 10 November 1994 2,224 13 April 1995 2,292 10 November 1995 2,462 16 February 1996 2,534
Details of benefit expenditure is only available on a national basis.
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