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Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if the Government will have access to information on stakeholder pensions to enable it to ascertain whether sales are to people outside or within its target group. 
Mr. Rooker: We are planning to collect a range of statistical data. It is intended that this data will, in due course, include information about the level of members' earnings which will enable us to determine how many sales are to people in the target group, as part of the total market for Stakeholder Pensions.
Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what the basis is for his calculation that it would be advantageous for a person earning £9,500 to contract out of the state second pension into a stakeholder pension. 
Mr. Rooker: Stakeholder pensions will be open to people at all income levels but are primarily intended for moderate earners--those earning between around £10,000 and £20,000 a year--as well as higher earners. It will be for individuals to decide whether or not to use a stakeholder pension to contract out of the state scheme, but National Insurance rebates for people who do contract out are set at a level which reflects the cost of providing the state benefits forgone. The state second pension is structured to provide extra help in the state scheme above that available from SERPS for people on earnings up to around £20,000. The new contracting-out arrangements have been designed so that members of contracted-out
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Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what percentage of women's average earnings flat rate Statutory Maternity Pay represents; and what was the highest percentage it has ever represented. 
Mr. Bayley: The flat rate of Statutory Maternity Pay was 27 per cent. of average women's earnings in 1999-2000, the latest year for which there are figures. This percentage was at its highest in 1987-88 when it reached 28 per cent.
Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what the total extra cost of flat rate Statutory Maternity Pay would be if it were extended from 12 weeks to up to the child's first birthday. 
Mr. Alan Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate for 2000-01, the (a) gross and (b) net difference between the cost of the actual pension increase and (i) an increase of 2.5 per cent., (ii) an increase in line with earnings and (iii) the provision made in the Department's estimates. 
The extra cost of an increase in line with earnings would be £1,310 million gross, £1,000 million net. The estimates made in the Departments Report assume a 1.1 per cent. increase and as this was the level of increase there is no difference.
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Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the Government's plans for the extension of the Housing Benefit Verification Framework; and how the Government intends to achieve this extension, with particular reference to incentives or penalties for local authorities failing to (a) comply fully with the scheme or (b) commit themselves to a date. 
Angela Eagle: We are working in partnership with local authorities in developing and implementing anti- fraud initiatives such as the Verification Framework. Local authorities are in a position to consider their specific needs and local circumstances before deciding when to take forward these initiatives.
That said, we continue to encourage all local authorities to implement the Verification Framework. We have made £100 million available to enable all authorities to implement the Framework by 2001. In addition we have introduced changes that mean that authorities which are compliant with the Framework can claim additional subsidy under the Weekly Benefit Savings Scheme.
Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list for each local authority in Great Britain, for each of the last two financial years, weekly benefit savings for (a) thresholds, (b) claimed savings, (c) amount of additional subsidy claimed and (d) amount of subsidy penalty applied. 
Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many written parliamentary questions tabled to his Department between 19 October 1999 and 20 April did not receive substantive answers, citing as the reasons commercial or other confidentiality. 
Mr. Rooker: Of the 1,815 questions we received during this period, we were unable to give substantive answers to three questions where we cited the information was commercial in confidence and one answer where the information was confidential.
Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his reply of 10 July 2000, Official Report, column 389W, for what reason the Director of the Disability and Carer Benefits Directorate did not sign the reply of 4 July to the hon. Member for Walsall, North concerning a constituent; and why the letter gave no explanation of why the Director was unable to sign. 
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Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) of 25 May 2000, Official Report, column 619W, how many pensioners are in receipt of the Minimum Income Guarantee (a) in total and (b) in each parliamentary constituency, for each year for which figures are available. 
(1) Before April 1999 this would have been expressed as Income Support
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