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Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many households in the Jarrow constituency have a free television licence under the scheme for pensioners aged over 75 years. 
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Janet Anderson: TV Licensing, which administers this concession for the BBC as Licensing Authority, is not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued. However, estimates based on the 1991 Census indicate that there were approximately 4,700 people aged 75 or over in the Jarrow constituency.
Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will conduct an inquiry into the handling of the case of the Cheney pension scheme by the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority. 
Mr. Darling: With the agreement of the board of the occupational pensions regulatory authority, I have asked Sir Gerald Hosker QC to conduct an independent inquiry into the handling within Opra of the Cheney case and also to consider and report on whether changes in procedures are necessary to assist in the detection of misuse of pension funds.
Miss Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many pensioners in Morecambe and Lunesdale benefit from the minimum income guarantee; and what estimate he has made of the number of pensioners in the Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency who fail to claim the minimum income guarantee. 
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Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assessment he has made of the study of annuities carried out by the Retirement Income Working Party; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Rooker: The Retirement Income Working Party report is one of a number of proposals that have been put forward as alternatives to the annuity purchase requirement for pension schemes. An announcement will be made in due course if it is decided that any changes to the current rules are needed.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make an assessment of the extent to which those who have deferred purchasing an annuity and have opted for income drawdown have found themselves subsequently dependent on means-tested benefits. 
Mr. Martin Bell: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if the proposed increase to be paid to existing state pensioners were to be applied to men aged 60 to 65 years, how much that pension would be for (a) 2001-02 and (b) 2002-03. 
Mr. Rooker: Men currently do not receive a basic State Retirement Pension before the age of 65 years and entitlement is dependent upon the individual's National Insurance record. It would not be dependent upon the numbers of pensioners.
Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the basic State Pension in 2040 as a percentage of (a) full-time average earnings in 2040, (b) male full-time average earnings in 2040 and (c) female full-time average earnings in 2040, (i) before the changes announced in the pre-Budget statement and (ii) following the changes in the pre-Budget statement assumptions on price and wage inflation. 
|Before PBR||After PBR|
|Average male earnings||8||9|
|Average female earnings||11||12|
1. Projected average earnings figures are based on the New Earnings Survey 2000.
2. The future value of the basic State Pension is based on pre-Budget report assumptions.
3. Long-term real earnings growth is assumed to be 1.5 per cent.
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Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what assessment he has made of the cost of increasing the savings limit for (a) Severe Disability Allowance and (b) Income Support to (i) £5,000, (ii) £6,000, (iii) £10,000 and (iv) £15,000; 
Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Beaconsfield (Mr. Grieve) of 18 January 2001, Official Report, column 384W, on benefit fraud, if he will calculate on the same basis the data for (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) the United Kingdom. 
|Year||England||Wales||Northern Ireland||United Kingdom|
1. Children refers to all children aged under 16.
2. A workless household is a household that includes at least one person of working age where no one is in employment.
3. The percentages given in the reply for England, Wales and Northern Ireland have not been adjusted for the small proportion of households where the household economic activity is not known. An adjustment has been made to the UK figures, so the methodology for calculating these figures is slightly different.
Labour Force Survey, Spring Quarters (covering March to May). The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a quarterly sample survey of over 60,000 households in the United Kingdom.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the Chief Constable of the RUC will appoint district commanders for each of the reorganised policing districts in Northern Ireland; what the job specification is for the posts; what criteria and selection procedures are to be used in making the appointments; if independent assessors will take part in the appointment process; and if the posts are to be advertised outside the RUC. 
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Mr. Ingram: It is the Chief Constable's intention to appoint commanders for the new district command units with effect from 1 April 2001. The criteria for appointment, post criteria and person specification are detailed in the list and have been applied following consultation with the Superintendents' Association for Northern Ireland and the Police Authority for Northern Ireland. Both have been involved throughout the selection process. Because of the very tight time scales imposed, advertising for these positions outside the Royal Ulster Constabulary was not practicable on this occasion; however, it will be considered for future appointments.
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Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he is taking to ensure a wide range of candidates apply for the posts of district commander in the Police Service of Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Ingram: Given the time scale imposed and in order to apply a fair and equitable selection process, all eligible superintendents and those on the select list for promotion to superintendent were assessed against specific criteria. The process necessitates taking into account officers at these ranks whose current posts are to be suppressed following restructuring of the organisation in accordance with the implementation plan.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will instruct the present Police Authority not to make more than one appointment to the rank of Assistant Chief Constable; and if he will permit the incoming police board to advertise the post of Assistant Chief Constable and officers without obligation to consult the list of candidates prepared by the current Police Authority. 
Mr. Ingram: The Police Authority for Northern Ireland is presently running a competition for a position of Assistant Chief Constable in the Royal Ulster Constabulary. The process was initiated because of the retirement of an ACC and following advice from the Chief Constable, who indicated that there was an urgent operational need for the post to be filled.
Since the competition was initiated, a second post has been identified as becoming vacant in the near future. It will be for the Police Authority, with the advice of the Chief Constable, to decide on the operational need if the second post should be filled at this time.
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