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Mrs. Gordon: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what (a) number and (b) percentage of employees took early retirement on grounds of ill health related to back pain in the last five years for which figures are available. 
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Mr. Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many, and what percentage of, children were in households with below half average income in each year from 1990 to 1999, calculated on the basis of the (a) Family Expenditure Survey and (b) Family Resources Survey, for Great Britain only, and on the basis of (i) equivalising and (ii) not equivalising net disposable household income. 
Mr. Bayley: The information requested on the basis of equivalised income is published annually in editions of Households Below Average Income, copies of which are in the Library. The latest available information relates to 1998-99.
Information is not available on the basis of not equivalising household income. Equivalising income is an inherent component of ranking households by income, for income distribution statistics such as those referred to here.
Angela Eagle: People who are in receipt of Social Security benefits may undertake unlimited amounts of voluntary activity including participation in community projects without its affecting their benefit providing other eligibility conditions continue to be met. Any expenses they incur in connection with their voluntary work may also be reimbursed in full without it affecting their benefits.
We are aware of the concerns expressed in the Policy Action Team report on Community Self Help and the Performance and Innovation Unit's report on Active Ageing (Winning the Generation Game) that, nevertheless, barriers to volunteering still exist and we are considering the issues raised.
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Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many (a) former service personnel and (b) members of their families have made appeals to the Pensions Appeals Tribunal since 1970 for compensation arising out of their participation in experiments at the chemical defence establishment Porton Down; how many have been awarded compensation; and how many are awaiting adjudication. 
Mr. Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many Jobseeker's Allowance cases, resulting from refusals to claims based on regulations 51(2)(c) and 51(2)(b)(i) of the Jobseeker's Allowance Regulations 1996, are being stayed; and how many of the claimants involved are (a) men and (b) women; 
(3) what representations he has received in relation to the payment of Jobseeker's Allowance to term-time only workers; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) if he will estimate the cost of restoring the entitlement to Jobseeker's Allowance for term-time only workers. 
Angela Eagle: We have received representations about entitlement to Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or Income Support (IS) from ancillary workers and their representatives. The current legal position is that ancillary workers with an ongoing contract of employment, who are not entitled to Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or Income Support (IS) during term-time because of the hours they work, are also not entitled to JSA or IS during the school holidays.
This position, which reflects the original JSA provisions introduced in 1996, was confirmed by the decision of the Court of Appeal on 14 October 1999. The retrospective effect of the Court of Appeal decision means that there was never any entitlement to JSA during the school holidays for this group of ancillary workers. Leave to appeal to the House of Lords against the Court of Appeal decision was granted on 11 April.
Claims to JSA or IS by term-time workers are decided on an individual basis. We understand that no claims are being stayed under the formal staying provisions. However, the Appeals Service advise that as at 30 June there were 3,532 appeals involving term-time workers where decisions have been deferred pending the decision of the House of Lords. In addition, on the directions of Commissioners, 114 appeal cases are awaiting the outcome of the House of Lords cases. The gender breakdown is unknown and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Information to estimate the number of men and women affected by regulation 51(2)(c) and regulation 51(2)(b)(i) of the Jobseeker's Allowance Regulations 1996 for each of the last four years is not available.
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When JSA was introduced in 1996 the original intention of the legislation was that ancillary workers who were not entitled to benefit during term-time were also not entitled during school holidays. We have no accurate data on which to base a reliable estimate of the cost of extending entitlement to ancillary workers who are not entitled to JSA or IS during the school holidays because of the hours they work during term-time.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what the cost of social security fraud in the Ribble Valley was in each of the years between 1994 and 2000, broken down by type of benefit. 
Mr. Rooker: Since 1998, Area Benefit Reviews (ABRs) have provided a continuous measurement of fraud and error in Income Support (IS) and Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA). It is currently not possible to provide a breakdown for other benefits.
Fraud figures are now available for each of the Benefits Agency's 13 Area Directorates (ADs). It is not possible to provide estimates of levels of fraud for specific towns, cities, counties or constituencies. Ribble Valley is part of AD8, which stretches from Liverpool and Chester in the south up to Workington in the north.
The BFI previously reported on the London borough of Croydon in March 1999. Since then the authority has responded positively to their recommendations, introducing the verification framework, providing more training for benefit staff and investigating items of post returned under the 'Do Not Redirect' mail scheme.
Inspectors also found that Croydon had improved working practices, verification procedures and how greater assurance that claims it pays are valid. This has contributed to Croydon administering 15 per cent. fewer claims and a fall in benefit expenditure of over £6 million in 1999-2000.
Although Croydon has made progress the report states it can do more to improve the security of benefit administration. This involves more rigorously applying sanctions, such as prosecutions and administrative penalties to make fraudsters pay for their actions and using all counter fraud measures available under new statutory powers, such as appointing inspectors.
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The report provides recommendations aimed at helping the council address existing weaknesses and to improve the administration of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, as well as counter fraud activities.
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