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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:48 am on 18th December 1987.

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Photo of Mr Bob Cryer Mr Bob Cryer , Bradford South 10:48 am, 18th December 1987

Will the Minister confirm that the Government do not take into account the costs of administration and of the detailed work necessary for prosecutions against people who make false claims for supplementary benefits? Will he confirm that this is the last possible day on which he could make this statement, so the Government have left it to the last possible moment? Will he confirm also that this matter has been outstanding for 21 months, yet the Government have failed to make remedial payments in time for Christmas? Many people on low incomes will face a miserable Christmas because of the Scrooge-like attitude of the Government. Instead of handing the money over to Lady Bountiful charities, why did the Minister not think of using the extra £9 million to extend television concessionary licences to more pensioners, many of whom will not be able to watch television this Christmas because they cannot afford the licence fee?