HC Deb 08 June 1998 vol 313 cc472-3W
28. Helen Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans she has to increase the number of benefit advisers working in the Benefits Agency. [42955]

Mr. Keith Bradley

Staff throughout the Agency offer a range of advice to customers. In line with Ministers' aims of achieving welfare reform and providing an Active Modern Service, we are developing an integrated approach to provision of advice, both in respect of benefit entitlement and in terms of broader welfare considerations. This approach reflects the principle that customers can be better served by greater co-ordination of services which have traditionally been provided by wholly separate organisations.

We are currently evaluating the ways in which such co-ordination might best be achieved. This may involve the deployment of more caseworkers, not only within the Benefits Agency, but also in partner organisations such as Employment Services, Local Authorities, other DSS Agencies and the wider welfare community including the private sector.

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