Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on War Pensions on 14th July 1986.
Mr. Kirkwood Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) whether he is satisfied with the present clearance rate of cases at the war pensions office at Norcross;
(2) what is the average time of clearance of individual cases dealt with by the war pensions office at Norcross for the past five years for which figures are available.
Mr. Major Claims for war pensions are complex and can involve looking back over a period of 40 years or more. Service and medical records have to be obtained and medical examinations may have to be arranged. Even straightforward claims can thus take several weeks. During 1984, retirements, ill-health and promotions among the medical staff at Norcross caused delays. Although still not entirely satisfactory, the position has gradually improved since then and the average clearance time during the quarter ended 31 March 1986 was 22.6 weeks.
The following table shows the average time for clearance of war pensions claims at Norcross in the last quarter of the past five years.
Quarter ended | Time in weeks
31 December 1981 | 17.0
31 December 1982 | 16.5
31 December 1983 | 16.7
31 December 1984 | 34.3
31 December 1985 | 24.7