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Pakistan

Mr. Andy King: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations have been made to the Pakistani Government concerning the recent kidnap and gang rape of Naira Nadia; [155330]

Mr. Wilson: We raised our concerns about the reports of the recent kidnap and rape of Naira Nadia with the Pakistani authorities on 22 March. We called for a full

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investigation into the reports. If they are substantiated, we look to the appropriate authorities in Pakistan to ensure that the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.

We continue to monitor closely the position of religious minorities in Pakistan as well as the increasing infringements of women's human rights, and will continue to raise our concerns with the Pakistani authorities.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Disability Living Allowance

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what recent changes have been made to the rules affecting claims to Disability Living Allowance from people with mental health problems. [155415]

Mr. Bayley: There have been no recent changes to the rules for Disability Living Allowance specifically in respect of people with mental health problems.

Chemical Warfare Experiments

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will send a team from the War Pensions Agency to the United States of America to evaluate the system under which the US Government provide pensions to former military personnel who have experienced illnesses as a result of taking part in chemical warfare experiments. [154764]

Mr. Bayley: There are no plans to send a team from the War Pensions Agency to the USA.

Work/Pensions Ratio

Mr. John M. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what the ratio was between the number of people in work and the number of recipients of State Retirement Pension in (a) 1971, (b) 1981, (c) 1991 and (d) 2001; and what the projected ratio is for 2011. [155122]

Mr. Rooker: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the table.

Number of people in work compared with number of recipients of
State Retirement Pension: Great Britain

People of working age in employment(47),(48),(49)People in receipt of State Retirement Pension (RP)(50),(51),(52),(53)Ratio between number of people in work and number receiving RP
1971--7,647n/a
1981(50)22,7679,0802.5
1991(50),(51)25,0309,9912.5
2001--11,000n/a
2011--12,370n/a

(47) Source: ONS Labour Force Survey figures, taken in the spring of each year, not seasonally adjusted. 1971, 2001 and 2011 figures are not available.

(48) Men aged 16-64 and women aged 16-59.

(49) People aged 16 or over who did some paid work in the reference week (whether as an employee or self-employed); and those who had a job they were temporarily away from (eg on holiday); those on Government-supported training and employment programmes (from spring 1983); and those doing unpaid family work (from spring 1992).

(50) Includes those whose status was not stated.

(51) Includes those on Government-supported training and employment programmes.

(52) Source: 1971, 1981 and 1991 RP figures from DSS ASD, and are December, June and March respectively, based on a 10 per cent. sample taken from the Pension Strategy Computer System 2001 and 2011 figures are GAD mix-tax year projections, and are consistent with December 2000/Budget 2001 PES estimates.

(53) Historic RP figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand, projections (2001 and 2011) to the nearest ten thousand.

(54) Includes Overseas RP Cases.

(55) RP figures exclude Additional Pension only and Graduated Pension only cases--about 150,000 cases in 1981--except for 1971 figure, which includes such cases.


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Pensions

Mr. Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate he has made of the annual cost of (a) administering weekly payments in cash for State Pensions, including payments to the Post Office and (b) making payments of pensions to pensioners by Automated Credit Transfer. [153753]

Mr. Rooker: The information is not available in the format requested.

From available information we are able to estimate that the total annual cost for 1999-2000 of the respective methods of payment for Retirement Pension and Widows Benefit customers (the relevant data are not collated separately) was as follows:

£ million
Automated Credit Transfer(56)1
Order Book(56)167
Giro(56)2

(56) In the region of


Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the total annual cost to public funds if, on the death of a spouse, the surviving widow or widower were to receive their deceased spouse's full State Pension for a period of 90 days following bereavement. [155878]

Mr. Rooker: In 2001-02, widows and widowers of pensionable age will continue to be able to inherit both basic State Pension and gross additional pension (SERPS) at up to 100 per cent. of their deceased spouse's entitlement. The additional annual cost of paying inherited graduated Retirement Pension at 100 per cent. instead of 50 per cent. for 90 days following bereavement is estimated to be £3 million.


Note:
Estimates provided by the Government Actuary's Department and rounded to nearest £1 million.

Grants (London Boroughs)

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list (a) each category of grant and (b) the amount of each grant paid by his Department to each London borough in (i) 1997-98, (ii) 1998-99, (iii) 1999-2000 and (iv) 2000-01; and what the projected figure is for 2001-02. [155432]

Mr. Rooker: The Department pays a number of subsidies to local authorities. Information has been placed in the Library.

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Pension Credits

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what legal advice his Department has received on the payment of pension credits to men and women at different ages; and if he will place that advice in the Library; [154818]

Mr. Rooker: In developing the detailed design of the Pension Credit consideration will be given to the treatment of men and women, with a view to ensuring that the rules taken comply with our obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights and community law.

NIRS2

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 6 March 2001, Official Report, columns 167-68W, on NIRS2, how many cases received by Benefit Agency offices from NIRS2 were awaiting review on 31 January. [153168]

Mr. Rooker [holding answer 12 March 2001]: As at 31 January 2001, the Department had processed over 2.9 million of the total referrals (3 million) from NIRS2 since 19 April 1999. Our latest figures show that, as at 28 February, 74,739 cases remain under review.

Carers (Shrewsbury and Atcham)

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many carers in Shrewsbury and Atcham will gain from the carer premium; and if he will make a statement. [154651]

Mr. Bayley: It is estimated that in around 2001-02 around 200 people will benefit from the increase in the carer premium in the income-related benefits in the Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency.


Notes:
1. The figures are based on data taken from the November 2000 5 per cent. scans of the Income Support computer systems, and from 1999 1 per cent. samples of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit claims.
2. Due to the small sample sizes involved these figures are subject to a high degree of sampling error and should be used only as a guide.


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