Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Social Security (Hippies) on 13th June 1986.
Mr. McCrindle Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he has any plans to set up a register of social security claims by hippies;
(2) what evidence he has of duplicate social security claims by hippies; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Major The Department’s Wales and southwestern region has set up an index of supplementary benefits claims made by large groups of nomadic claimants. This is a fraud prevention device which helps to confirm their identity when, in the course of their travels, they make claims in different offices. The index has been used in handling claims from members of the hippy convoy. Similar action will be taken in other areas if appropriate. A number of claims have been refused because officials were not satisfied with evidence of identity produced by the claimants, and some claims which appear to be fraudulent are being investigated with a view to prosecution if appropriate.