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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on new bereavement benefits; what efforts have been made to publicise this benefit to the public; and under what circumstances someone would be eligible for the benefit. 
Malcolm Wicks: Bereavement Benefits were introduced on 9 April 2001 and are available to both men and women for the first time. They concentrate the help available where and when it is needed most, on immediate needs and on families with children. Entitlement is based on the National Insurance record of the deceased spouse.
Since March 2000 the Department has issued leaflets on the new bereavement benefits to doctors' surgeries, Post Offices and benefit advisers. Articles explaining the new benefits were placed in a variety of magazines prior to their introduction in April 2001. In addition, to ensure that as many men as possible were able to claim Widowed Parent's Allowance from the outset, the Department identified over 11,000 potential male beneficiaries from the Child Benefit computer system and sent them claim forms in March 2001.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much of the proposed expenditure on the pension credit in 200304 is attributable to (a) the guarantee credit and (b) the savings credit. 
Mr. McCartney [holding answer 6 December 2001]: It is estimated that our proposals for the Pension Credit will increase benefit expenditure by approximately £1 billion in 200304 when Pension Credit is introduced in October 2003. This expenditure is in addition to the expenditure of approximately £2¼ billion on the Minimum Income Guarantee which has been forecast for the same period.
Of the additional expenditure of £1 billion: approximately £220 million is attributable to the changes to Housing and Council Tax Benefits; approximately £450 million is attributable to the savings credit; and, the remainder is attributable to the other proposed changes such as the way in which capital is treated.
As our response to the consultation exercise "The Pension Creditthe Government's proposals" makes clear, the qualifying age for the savings credit has been set at age 65 because we are required by law to treat men and women in the same way. Age 65 is the first point at which the state pension, including the State Earnings
10 Dec 2001 : Column: 622W
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assumptions he proposes to make about the increases in claimants' pensions during the period between an initial pension credit claim and a routine reassessment of that claim. 
Mr. McCartney: We propose to automatically uprate the pension credit each year taking into account changes in the state and non-state pensions the pensioner normally has during the five year assessed income period. The calculation will be based on information provided by the pensioner at the start of the award.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate (1) the cost of abolishing the rule which withdraws severe disability premium from those who are cared for by someone who is receipt of ICA; 
|Benefit||Costs (£ million per annum)||Potential gainers|
|Income Support (including Jobseeker's Allowance (income based))||70||35,000|
|Council Tax Benefit||less than 2.5||10,000|
1. The costs and potential gainers have been estimated from a Policy Simulation Model which models the benefit rules in 200102.
2. The estimates are based on data taken from the 19992000 Family Resources Survey, uprated to 200102 prices, benefit and earnings levels.
3. Costs are rounded to the nearest £5 million except for Council Tax Benefit where the cost would be less than £2.5 million. Potential gainers are rounded to the nearest 5,000. Costs and gainers include estimates for people who would become newly entitled to the income-related benefits in the event of such a change.
4. Potential gainers cannot be summed to a total because of overlap across the different benefits.
5. The estimates are based on small sample sizes and are therefore subject to a degree of uncertainty.
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The Prime Minister [holding answer 6 December 2001]: The Civil Service Code requires all civil servants to undertake their official duties with integrity, impartiality and honesty. This applies to all activities including the minuting of ministerial meetings.
The Prime Minister: The terms of reference of the Senior Salaries Review Body have been revised as follows to allow the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the National Assembly for Wales and the Greater London Authority to ask for advice on the pay, pensions and allowances of their members and office holders.
The Review Body on Senior Salaries provides independent advice to the Prime Minister, the Lord Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Defence on the remuneration of holders of judicial office; senior civil servants; senior officers of the armed forces; and other such public appointments as may from time to time be specified.
The Review Body also advises the Prime Minister from time to time on the pay and pensions of Members of Parliament and their allowances; on Peers' allowances; and on the pay, pensions and allowances of Ministers and others whose pay is determined by the Ministerial and Other Salaries Act 1975. If asked to do so by the Presiding
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Officer and the First Minister of the Scottish Parliament jointly; or by the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly; or by the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales; or by the Mayor of London and Chair of the Greater London Assembly jointly; the Review Body also from time to time advises those bodies on the pay, pensions and allowances of their members and office holders.
Government policies for improving the public services including the requirement on Departments to meet the output targets for the delivery of departmental services;
the funds available to Departments as set out in the Government's departmental expenditure limits;
the Government's inflation target."
changes in national pay systems, including flexibility and the reward of success; and job weight in differentiating the remuneration of particular posts; and
the need to maintain broad linkage between the remuneration of the three main remit groups, while allowing sufficient flexibility to take account of the circumstances of each group."
to relate reward to performance where appropriate;
to maintain the confidence of those covered by the Review Body's remit that its recommendations have been properly and fairly determined; and
to ensure that the remuneration of those covered by the remit is consistent with the Government's equal opportunities policy."
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