§ Mr. Waller
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what effects are still being felt as a result of industrial action at the Newcastle pensions office; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Whitney
There are still substantial arrears of work leading to delays of up to four weeks in dealing with correspondence. However, substantial progress in clearing the backlog is being made and, in general, payments of pension are being issued on time and the emergency payment arrangements have now ceased.