§ Mr. Clappison
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research his Department has undertaken into the impact on benefit claimants in areas affected by industrial strike action. 
§ Mr. Nicholas Brown
We have ensured that benefit claimants are not adversely affected by the industrial action by introducing contingency arrangements. Benefit payments have continued to be made in the offices affected using those staff who have remained at work supported, where appropriate, by staff redeployed from other areas. Where it has not been possible to make benefit payments under the normal procedures due to a lack of sufficient numbers of experienced staff, Pathfinder offices have made interim payments at an amount equivalent to the full benefit rate.