HL Deb 27 October 2003 vol 654 c15WA
Lord Taylor of Warwick

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How applicants who cannot operate a bank or post office card account will receive state benefits after the system of benefit payment books ceases in 2005. [HL4874]

Baroness Hollis of Heigham

Around 87 per cent of customers already have bank accounts. For those who do not, new easy-to-operate accounts, which are accessible at the post office, are widely available.

We have always recognised that there will be a small group of people who we cannot pay directly into an account and the department is committed to developing an alternative method of payment, which is likely to be cheque based, for those who are genuinely unable to operate any type of bank account. Payment outlets for this exceptions method of payment will include post office branches.