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Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 4:09 pm on 12th April 2000.

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Photo of Stephen Byers Stephen Byers Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry 4:09 pm, 12th April 2000

My hon. Friend is right and there is a conflict at the heart of the Conservatives' position on the issue. They introduced and extended ACT as a way of delivering benefits, for what were good and legitimate reasons. People have voted with their feet and have chosen to have their benefits paid into bank accounts. In November 1999, 50 per cent of new retirement pensioners chose ACT, and 54 per cent. of new child benefit customers did so. People are making that choice and the Government cannot and should not ignore those trends.