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After School Clubs

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what funds are available under the Government's welfare to work programme for the establishment and maintenance of after school clubs for under eights. [22592]

Mr. Keith Bradley: We will invest an extra £300 million in childcare over the next five years. this will provide an out of school childcare place for up to one million children.

This is a crucial step towards fulfilling our manifesto commitment to a National Childcare Strategy to enable parents to balance their work and family responsibilities.

Cold Weather Payments

Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is (a) the total administrative cost, (b) the administrative cost for each £50 payment and (c) the administrative cost for each £20 payment, under the Winter Fuel Payment Scheme. [23349]

Mr. Denham: The administration of Social Security Benefits is a matter for Peter Mathison, the Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Peter Mathison to Mr. Peter Viggers, dated 28 Janaury 1998:





Interest Rate Calculation

Barbara Follett: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she will change the way the standard interest rate used to make mortgage payments for unemployed home-owners is calculated to include large mortgage lenders which have converted to banks. [24399]

Mr. Keith Bradley: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the my hon. Friend the Member for Eltham (Mr. Efford) on 30 October 1997, Official Report, column 856.

Disability Benefits

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what advice, and in what form, on the possibility of therapeutic earnings is provided to new claimants of disability and incapacity benefits. [24351]

29 Jan 1998 : Column: 372

Mr. Denham: Specific advice about therapeutic work is provided to all new Incapacity Benefit recipients by leaflet IB40 "Notes About Incapacity Benefit". Advice is also provided on request by leaflet IB202 "Incapacity Benefit" which is available from Social Security offices.

New Severe Disablement Allowance recipients are advised to let their Social Security office know if they intend to undertake any work by leaflet SDA28 "Information about Severe Disablement Allowance" and leaflet NI252 "Severe Disablement Allowance". The local Social Security office will then advise the recipient of the therapeutic work provisions. The Severe Disablement Allowance leaflets will be reviewed to consider bringing the information provided into line with the Incapacity Benefit versions.

Disability Living Allowance

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she will make a statement on the consultation process to be followed in the review of disability benefits, with particular reference to (a) the groups to be consulted and (b) the timetable for consultation. [24654]

Mr. Denham: When we have identified specific proposals for disability benefits we will consult disabled people, their organisations and others with an interest. At that point we will make decisions about the details of the consultation exercise, including the timetable. We will not make any changes without consulting on them.

Mr. O'Hara: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if she will make a statement on the amount spent on disability living allowance for people aged 65 years or over; [24868]

Mr. Denham: The information requested is given in the tables.

People aged 65 or over in receipt of disability living allowance (DLA)
Thousands

YearNumber
1992-93(25)226
1993-94(25)258
1994-95(25)294
1995-96(25)333
1996-97(25)373

Source

1. Analytical Services Division: 5 per cent. data.

Notes:

(24) Figures relate to people being paid the benefit and exclude those where payment is suspended.

(25) Figures relate to the end of February.


Estimated proportion of disability living allowance expenditure going to those aged 65 or over

1992-931993-941994-951995-961996-971997-98
Proportion of DLA expenditure going to those aged 65 or over (per cent.)171719192021
Amount (cash terms £ million)3404805807308701,020
Amount (real terms 1997-98 prices £ million)3805306307709001,020

Source:

1. The Government's Expenditure Plans 1997-98 to 1999-2000, DLA caseload statistics (5 per cent. sample) for the end of August in each year except 1992-93. February 1993 caseload data are the earliest available.

Notes:

1. Expenditure rounded to nearest ten million, percentages to nearest one per cent.


29 Jan 1998 : Column: 373

29 Jan 1998 : Column: 373

Child Benefit

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate she has made of the savings in (a) 1999-2000, (b) 2000-01 and (c) 2001-02 from (a) discontinuing with and (b) taxing child benefit for those single parents or couples with salaries of (1) £20,000, (2) £25,000 and (3) £30,000 and over. [24440]

Mr. Keith Bradley: No such estimate has been made.

Child Support Agency

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the current media strategy of the Child Support Agency; what is its (a) current and (b) planned budget; who is responsible for the current strategy; and which media companies the Agency has employed in the strategy. [24471]

Mr. Keith Bradley: All children are entitled to the support of both parents wherever they live. We are looking closely at all aspects of the child support scheme to see where improvements can be made. We aim to bring forward proposals by the summer. The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive, Mrs. Faith Boardman. She will write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Mrs. Faith Boardman to Mr. Derek Wyatt, dated 28 January 1998:









29 Jan 1998 : Column: 374

War Pensions

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the number of (a) men and (b) women who are at present in receipt of a war pension. [24526]

Mr. Denham: The information is set out in the table.

Number of war pensions in payment at 31 December 1997

TotalMenWomen
War Disablement Pensions261,560(26)252,300(26)9,260
War Widows Pensions58,211----
War Widowers Pensions7----

(26) Estimate based on a 5 per cent. sample.



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