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Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if CAT marking covers the costs of asset management of unit trusts forming part of (a) stakeholder pensions and (b) individual savings accounts; and what plans he has to compare and benchmark such costs that are included in tax supported savings products. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: All stakeholder pension schemes must comply with the statutory restriction on charges set out in the Stakeholder Pension Schemes Regulations 2000--S1 1403, and the Stakeholder Pension Schemes Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000.
Firms may chose to offer CAT standard stocks and shares individual savings accounts. The charging limits for CAT standard ISAs are set out in the document "CAT standards for individual savings accounts" issued by HM Treasury in December 1998, and which can be found on the Treasury website at: http://www/hm-treasury.gov.uk/ pub/html/savings/details.html
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The Financial Services Authority plans to launch comparative tables later this year. It expects these to cover, inter alia, personal pensions, including stakeholder pensions, and unit trust ISAs, and to provide information on price.
Mr. Ottaway: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason the guidance from the Insurance Directorate to all companies of 18 December 1998, on guaranteed annuity option costs and policyholders' reasonable expectations was withdrawn on 20 July. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: As I made clear to the House in an Adjournment debate on 19 December 2000, Official Report, column 56WH, the reason the advice was changed was to take into account the clarification of the law given in the authoritative judgment of the House of Lords on 20 July 2000 in Equitable Life Assurance Company v. Hyman.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to ensure that compliance with the financial services legislation is not disproportionately burdensome for not-for-profit organisations offering low cost healthcare cash plans; what recent representations he has received on this matter; and if he will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 requires the Financial Services Authority to follow the principle that regulatory burdens imposed on a person or organisation must be proportionate. We have received some representations on behalf of organisations in this sector.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he began his review of Inland Revenue rules on partial or flexible retirement; if he will publish his guidelines for the conduct of this review; and when he expects the review to be concluded. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: I refer my hon Friend to the answer I gave to the right hon. Member for Hitchin and Harpenden (Mr. Lilley) on 13 December 2000, Official Report, column 175W.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security to the latest date for which figures are available, how many responses there have been to the minimum income guarantee take up campaign; how many pensioners (a) received and (b) were refused the minimum income guarantee; how many of those who were refused
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had too much capital; and of those who claimed, how many would not be eligible under the new income rules. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many (a) inquiries, (b) applications and (c) decisions have resulted from the minimum income guarantee advertising campaign. 
Mr. Rooker: We have had 800,000 responses to the minimum income guarantee take-up campaign. There have been 143,000 additional new claims processed, of which around 62,500 have been successful. The main reasons why those that applied for the minimum income guarantee were unsuccessful were either too much income or too much capital (54 per cent. too much income--41 per cent. too much capital).
Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the cost of raising the minimum income guarantee for (a) a single pensioner and (b) a pensioner couple by (i) £5, (ii) £10 and (iii) £15 per week. 
Mr. Rooker: The information is as follows:
|Increase over April 2001 announced rates||Cost in £ billion|
(53) £92.15 singles and £140.55 couples
1. Costs are rounded to the nearest £100 million
2. The Policy Simulation Model (PSM) for Income Related Benefits was used for these calculations
3. The PSM for 2001-02 models the benefits system and is based on data from the Family Resources Survey (FRS) for 1997-98, uprated to 2001 prices
4. The costs exclude residential care or nursing home cases.
5. Costs for entitlement are based on figures, which have not been calibrated to administrative records and as with all survey data may be subject to survey errors.
Mr. Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many pensioners in the Vale of Clwyd (a) qualify for the minimum income guarantee and (b) qualified for the winter fuel payment in 2000. 
Mr. Rooker: Around 11 million winter fuel payments have already been made this winter and the latest information shows that 16,278 payments were made in the Vale of Clwyd to those entitled. However, we are still receiving, processing and making payments on claims for this winter, so figures are not exact.
There are around 2,700 recipients of the minimum income guarantee in the Vale of Clwyd parliamentary constituency.
1. Figures for the minimum income guarantee are based on a 5 per cent. sample and are therefore subject to a degree of sampling error.
2. Pensioners are defined as where the claimant, and/or partner are aged 60 or over.
3. Figures for the minimum income guarantee are rounded to the nearest 100.
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4. Cases for the minimum income guarantee are allocated to each Parliamentary Constituency by matching the postcode against the 2000 version 1 ONS Postcode Directory.
Income Support Quarterly Statistical Enquiry, August 2000.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will break down the cost of the minimum income guarantee take-up campaign into the amount spent on (a) letters, (b) television advertising, (c) other advertising, (d) the telephone helpline and (e) other costs. 
Mr. Rooker: The information is:
|(b) Television and (c) other advertising||4.0|
|(e) Other costs||4.0|
The telephone helpline is not part of the take-up campaign, it is a permanent feature.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much it will cost to (a) increase the minimum income guarantee to £100 in April 2001 and (b) to introduce at the same time a benefit for pensioners with savings, assuming that it goes to single pensioners and married couples with an income of less than £135 a week, that it has a 60 per cent. taper, and that it interacts with existing means-tested benefits in exactly the same way as the existing minimum income guarantee. 
Mr. Rooker: The costs of such a proposal would depend on its detailed structure, and on a number of interactions with the rest of the social security system. We will be in a position to bring forward estimates of such a proposal once we have completed the pension credit consultation exercise.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will pilot ways of increasing the take-up of benefits by using local authorities to help identify and contact those likely to qualify; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Rooker: We want all potential beneficiaries to take-up their benefit entitlement. We are working with local authorities and voluntary organisations to develop ways of encouraging claims.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the proportion of pensioners in (a) rural and (b) urban areas who opt to have their pensions paid into a bank account by means of automated credit transfer. 
Mr. Rooker: The information is not available in the format requested.
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