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War Widows' Pensions

Mr. Dover: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement about the level of resources allocated to the payment of war widows' pensions. [2832]

Mr. Heald: These are matters for Mr. John Sheppard, the acting chief executive of the War Pensions Agency. He will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from John Sheppard to Mr. Den Dover, dated 28 November 1995:


National Insurance Numbers

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people have been prosecuted in each year since 1987 for using bogus national insurance numbers. [1989]

Mr. Heald: There is no separately identifiable offence of using a bogus national insurance number. However, the use of a false NINO can form the basis of a prosecution under section 112 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 or other legislation such as the Theft Act 1978. A person may be guilty of an offence if he supplies to the

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Department, for a purpose connected with social security legislation, information he knows to be false. The number of prosecutions involving false or misappropriated NINOs is not separately available.

Social Fund

Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what amounts, in cash terms, have been spent on the administration of the social fund for each year since its inception; and what percentage of the total fund this represented in each year. [2082]

Mr. Roger Evans: Social fund administration costs are met separately from expenditure from the regulated and discretionary fund. The figures requested are set out in the table; 1993-94 is the latest year for which figures on administration costs are available.

Year Administration cost (£ million) Percentage of gross expenditure Percentage of total gross expenditure plus recoveries
1988-896130.324.5
1989-907732.122.1
1990-9113248.533.3
1991-9216348.233.5
1992-9320851.935.3
1993-9427061.141.4


The table compares administration costs in each year since 1988-89 to the fund's gross expenditure--that is, the money paid out. However, the fund's business involves paying money out and recovering the amounts awarded as loans. A more accurate reflection of the work needed to operate the fund would therefore be a comparison between administration costs and gross expenditure plus recoveries, and this information is also given in the table.

In 1990-91 the basis of the calculation of administration costs changed, and so direct comparisons with previous years are not possible.

In both 1992-93 and 1993-94 the rise in administration costs is largely attributable to expenditure on the new social fund computer system, which was purchased and put in place during those years.

Local Government

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the Acts of Parliament including Consolidation Acts that affect local government that have been introduced by his Department since January 1994. [39]

Mr. Burt: The Jobseeker's Act 1995 section 18.

Residential Care and Nursing Homes

Mr. Robin Cook: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was (a) DSS income support expenditure for residents in private and voluntary residential nursing homes and (b) the number of claimants in Scotland between 1979 and 1994. [1142]

Mr. Roger Evans: No data for Scotland are available prior to 1988. The available information is set out in the table:

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Number of claimants and income support expenditure on residents in residential care and nursing homes in Scotland

Number of claimants
Year Residential care Nursing homes Residential allowance Annualized Cost £ million
19886,0004,000--62
19896,0004,000--65
19909,0006,000--98
19919,0009,000--145
199210,00012,000--201
199310,00011,000--219
19948,0009,0005,000208

Notes: 1. Figures prior to 1994 are a "snap-shot" taken at a particular month each year. From 1988 the month of the inquiry was May. 2. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest thousand and expenditure to the nearest million. 3. Expenditure for 1994 has been calculated by adding together the estimated quarterly expenditure May 1993-February 1994 (number of cases multiplied by average Income Support multiplied by 13). Expenditure prior to 1994 has been calculated by multiplying the number of cases by the average weekly Income Support and multiplying by 52. For 1990 and 1991 average Income Support for Scotland is not known and the figure for Great Britain has been used. 4. Residential Allowance was introduced in April 1993. Figures for 1993 are negligible. For 1994 the figures shown are for preserved rights cases split by residential care and nursing homes and Residential Allowance for which no equivalent split is available. Source: Income Support Quarterly Statistical Inquiries--Residential Care and Nursing Home Inquiries May 1991-1994. Income Support Quarterly Inquiries--Board and Lodging Inquiry 1988-1990.


Cold Weather Payments

Ms Lynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many pensioners received cold weather payments in each region over the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [1091]

Mr. Roger Evans: The information is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Benefits (Savings)

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of the financial savings that will be made by (a) the proposed changes to entitlements to social security benefits for asylum seekers, (b) other announced changes to entitlements to social security benefits and (c) other planned changes to entitlements to social security benefits; and if he will make a statement. [2349]

Mr. Roger Evans: The savings as a result of the proposed changes to social security benefits for asylum seekers are estimated to amount to £300 million a year by the year 2000-01.

As a result of measures announced today and in the previous two Budgets it is estimated that £5 billion a year in benefit expenditure will be saved by 2000-01.

Both these figures are in 1995-96 prices.

Disability Working Allowance

Mr. Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the average length of time a claimant

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receives disability working allowance, including awards on renewal. [1836]

Mr. Andrew Mitchell [holding answer 24 November 1995]: As at 30 April 1995, the average length of time a claimant received disability working allowance, including awards on renewal, was 46 weeks 1 .


WALES

Staff (Town and Country Planning)

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many members of staff are employed in the town and country planning section of the Welsh Office at Cathays park; and if he will make a statement. [2804]

Mr. Hague: The number of staff employed by my Department who work on town and country planning matters is 50.8 full-time equivalents.

These include staff working in planning inspectorate in Wales.

Beef Special Premium Scheme

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when the beef annual premium was paid to farmers in Wales in (a) 1991, (b) 1992, (c) 1993, (d) 1994 and (e) 1995. [2803]

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The Welsh Office assumed responsibility for the scheme in 1993. Payments were previously made, under the different scheme rules that were then in place, by the Intervention Board, as and when cattle were presented for slaughter or marketed with a view to slaughter.

Since the Welsh Office took over the scheme, payments began in the following months:



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