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Angela Eagle: Following advice from the Meteorological Office, the annual review of the Cold Weather Payments scheme has now been completed. Amending regulations were laid on 6 October 2000 and will come into force on 1 November, in time for the beginning of the winter period.
One of the weather stations used in the scheme last winter, Eskmeals, which is situated on the Cumbrian coast, is closing. It has therefore been replaced in the scheme by the weather stations at Walney Island, which is a little further south along the coast. There have also been some changes by Royal Mail to postcodes, which have been reflected in the amending regulations.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the effect of raising the level of the Minimum Income Guarantee to £90 on the number of pensioners receiving (a) Income Support, (b) Housing Benefit and (c) Council Tax Benefits assuming that the starting thresholds for the Housing Benefit were adjusted in line. 
Mr. Bayley: The estimated effect of raising the level of the Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) to £90 on successful new claims would be 65,000 Income Support/MIG claims, 10,000 Housing Benefit claims and 20,000 Council Tax Benefit claims--assuming that the thresholds for Housing Benefit were adjusted in line.
For the first time, cash help with the transition from welfare to work will be available to most longer term claimants of a range of benefits. Lone parents will continue to benefit from the Lone Parent Run-On, but other claimants of Income Support (IS), Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), Incapacity Benefit (IB), or Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) who are 25 or over and have been on benefit for at least a year, and who are moving into full-time work which is expected to last for five weeks or more, will now get a flat rate non-taxable
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payment of £100. Jobseekers who are under 25 will continue to benefit from the intensive help offered by the New Deal for Young People.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if his proposed preserved rights scheme for entitlement to inherited SERPS entitlement will cover all of those who were actively misled about the rules of the SERPS scheme whether or not they then made a decision in the light of that misinformation which was to their detriment. 
Mr. Rooker: The scheme will provide redress for those people who received incorrect or incomplete information about SERPS inheritance, who relied on that information in deciding what, if any, arrangements to make to protect the financial position of their spouse or themselves, and who would or might have acted differently if they had received correct and complete information.
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the First Secretary of the National Assembly concerning the recognition of St. David's Day as an official holiday in Wales; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: The First Minister has written to me asking whether the UK Government would consider making St. David's Day an additional bank holiday in Wales. I meet with my right hon. Friend on a regular basis when we discuss this and similar matters.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer of 7 July 2000, Official Report, column 315W, regarding Lords-lieutenant, what expenditure was incurred by his Department in support of each Lord-lieutenant in the financial year 1999-2000. 
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Mr. Paul Murphy: Following the rectification of an accounting error, total expenditure in the financial year 1999-2000 has been revised downwards to £17,680.75. This includes stationery costs of £1,890.58, which cannot be apportioned between the eight lieutenancies.
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The National Service Framework (NSF) for Older People, to be published later this year and introduced from April 2001, will help to ensure that ageism is not tolerated in the NHS. The NSF will for the first time set national standards and define service models for older people's health and social care.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the 10 preparations most prescribed by National Health Service general practitioners during the last year for which figures are available, stating, in each case, (a) the average cost during that year of the ingredients in each preparation dispensed and (b) the total number of prescriptions issued during the year. 
Mr. Denham: The table gives details of the number of items and net ingredient cost for the top 10 preparations (in terms of items) dispensed in the community. The majority of these will have been prescribed by general practitioners.
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|Drug name||Items (Thousand)||Cost (£000)||Cost per item (£)|
|Aspirin Disper-Tab 75mg||10,848.3||3,640.4||0.34|
|Salbutamol-Inha 100mcg (200D)||8,527.9||25,334.9||2.97|
|Losec-Cap E/C 20mg||3,903.2||156,654.3||40.13|
1. The prescription information is from the Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) system and is based on a full analysis of all prescriptions dispensed in the community, ie by community pharmacists and appliance contractors, dispensing doctors and prescriptions submitted by prescribing doctors for items personally administered in England. Also included are prescriptions written in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man but dispensed in England. The data do not cover drugs dispensed in hospital or private prescriptions.
2. The net ingredient cost (NIC) is the basic cost of a drug. This cost does not take account of discounts, dispensing costs, fees or prescription charges income.
3. Most of these items were prescribed by general practitioners; the main exception being Amoxycillin which dentists prescribed almost 1 million items.
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