Benefit Take-up

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 15th October 2001.

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Photo of David Willetts David Willetts Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 2:30 pm, 15th October 2001

Will the Minister confirm that pension organisations are very worried that older people will not receive their benefits if they cannot cash giro cheques at their local post offices? There is much uncertainty about the Government's plans for a universal bank. I hope that the Minister will today end that uncertainty by answering three specific questions. First, is the universal bank proposal still on track? Secondly, has the Department been asked to take the lead in a review of the universal bank proposal? Thirdly, how many benefit claimants do the Government expect to open universal bank accounts? Following his rather cavalier answer to the question asked by Mr. Roy, it would be helpful to receive real answers and not be referred to a chart.