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London Organised Fraud Investigation Team

Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) for what reason the offices of the London Organised Fraud Investigation Team were re-opened on the 9 November, and who had responsibility for this decision; [67718]

Mr. Timms: While this Department provides support, including funding, the Association of London Government (ALG) is responsible for the management of the London Organised Fraud Investigation Team (LOFIT). The ALG established a management committee to carry out this function on which this Department had observer status.

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Decisions on all aspects of the management of LOFIT, including access to the premises, finance and personnel matters and handling of outstanding cases, were for the ALG to make as the managing body. The decision to close LOFIT down was taken by the ALG. The Secretary of State and the then Minister of State were made aware of the ALG's decision.

Income-related Benefits

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will calculate the current proportion of the total population in receipt of one or more of the main income-related benefits. [68091]

Angela Eagle: As at May 1997, there were 7,990,000 recipients of one or more of the main income-related benefits in Great Britain. This represents 13.9 per cent. of the total population.















Income Support and Supplementary Benefits

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list for each year since 1979 the proportion of (a) the total population and (b) lone parent families in receipt of (i) income support and (ii) supplementary benefits. [68108]

Angela Eagle: The information is in the table.

Percentage population who claimed income support or supplementary benefit and the number of these claims which were made by lone parents, for each year since 1979

YearIS and supplementary benefit (prior to 1998) claimants (Thousand)Percentage of total population claiming IS or supplementary benefit (prior to 1988)Lone parents claiming IS or supplementary benefit (prior to1988) (Thousand)Percentage of population who are lone parents claiming IS or supplementary benefitPercentage of lone parent population claiming IS or supplementary benefit
19792,8555.23060.636.5
19803,1185.73160.636.4
19813,7236.83690.741.0
19824,2677.84150.844.6
19834,3497.94490.8n/a
19844,6098.44920.952.4
1985n/an/an/an/an/a
19864,9388.95751.057.0
19874,8968.86291.159.9
19884,3527.86941.363.7
19894,1617.57561.465.2
19904,1807.57931.464.5
19914,4878.08711.567.0
19925,0889.09571.769.8
19935,64310.01,0131.870.3
19945,67510.01,0391.868.8
19955,67010.01,0561.967.7
19965,5499.71,0591.966.2
19973,9586.91,0141.8n/a
19983,8536.79611.7n/a

Notes:

1. Numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand.

2. Income support replaced supplementary benefit in April 1998.

3. Data are not available for 1995.

4. Numbers are given at a point in time. For 1979, the month was November. For 1980, to 1984 the month was December. In 1986 and 1996, the month was February and from 1987 to 1998, the month was May.

5. Sample sizes: 1977-82 supplementary pension cases 1 in 200; supplementary allowance cases 1 in 50. 1983-87 supplementary pension cases 1 in 200, supplementary allowance cases 1 in 50. 1988-1993 1 in 100. 1994 to date 1 in 20.

6. The numbers of income support and supplementary benefit claimants for the period prior to 1996 include claims for income support for the unemployed. In October 1996, jobseeker's allowance replaced income support as the benefit claimed by the unemployed. The figures from 1996 onwards therefore do not include any claims by the unemployed.

7. The numbers of lone parents claiming income support for the period prior to 1996 may include claims by unemployed lone parents. The figures provided for 1996 onwards will not include unemployed lone parents.

8. An estimate of the 1998 population of Great Britain has not published by the Office for National Statistics. We have therefore used the population estimate for 1997 when completing our calculation for 1998.

9. LFS estimates subject to revision following released of Adjusted Household Database.

Source:

1. Supplementary Benefit Statistics Annual Enquiries, 1979 to 1987.

2. Income Support Statistics Annual Enquiries, 1988 to 1993.

3. Income Support Statistics Quarterly Enquiries from May 1994 to May 1998.

4. Population figures are taken from the Office for National Statistics, Estimated Resident.

5. Population figures for 1979 to 1997.

6. Population Trends.


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Pensioners

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to ensure that those pensioners who will be affected by the changes in SERPS inheritance will not be affected further; and what plans he has to amend these changes. [67915]

Mr. Timms: We have no plans to alter those provisions of the Social Security Act 1986 which, from 6 April 2000, reduce inherited SERPS from 100 per cent. to 50 per cent.





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    4. The halving of inherited SERPS was not widely publicised at the time. It was included in publicity about the Pensions Act 1995. From Spring 1996, information has been included in Leaflets NP46 (A Guide to Retirement) and NP45 (A Guide to Widows' Benefit). A bulletin has recently been issued to staff in the Benefits Agency to ensure that they are fully aware of the change and can advise claimants accordingly.


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