8 October 2012

Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 19 December 2011, Official Report, column 916W, on social security benefits: foreign nationals, whether nationality information is now being captured for benefit applications; and on what date any such information will be published.

Mr Hoban (Fareham, Conservative) : Currently the Department for Work and Pensions benefit systems do not record the nationalities of benefit claimants as a matter of course as nationality is not a qualifying factor.

Going forward, the Government will be exploring ways in which we can—regularly and effectively—data match our records and review the immigration status of claimants to ensure that benefit is being properly paid and to prevent fraud. With the introduction of universal credit, the Government will be looking to develop ways to record nationality and immigration status at source.

An ad hoc report on the nationality of national insurance number applicants was published in January 2012 and is available at the following link