§ Mr. Stuart Holland
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take measures to improve the staffing levels at Department of Health and Social Security offices in order to ensure that the social security system can award and pay claimants their correct entitlements efficiently and without delays.
§ Mr. Newton
Staffing levels in the Department's Local Offices are determined by the operation of the complementing system. This is described in a note which I have placed in the Library. The hon. Member will see from the note that this system is based on a range of performance and thus efficiency which it it reasonable to expect staff to reach. The complementing system is to be reviewed jointly with the Department's trades union side, and a parallel study of the problems of inner-city offices is already under way.