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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people were employed in his Department in each of the last four years. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: Figures are published in annual Departmental Reports.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will set out for each of the conclusions in section 6.4 of the Performance and Innovation Unit report, 'Winning the Generation Game', (a) what progress his Department has made and (b) what future plans his Department has for acting on them; and if he will set out against each of the conclusions the targets and deadlines that have been set. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: My Department does not employ any staff directly and so is limited in its capacity to influence the terms on which they are employed.
However I should be delighted to welcome a higher proportion of older people among those being seconded to the Wales Office from other organisations.
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Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will publish the list of the changed circumstances a housing benefit claimant must report. 
Malcolm Wicks: The duty to notify changes of circumstances is set out in regulation 75 of the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987. Subject to the exceptions set out in regulation 75(2), the regulation provides that a person claiming housing benefit has a duty to notify the local authority in writing of any change of circumstances that he or she might reasonably be expected to know might affect his or her right to housing benefit, the amount of benefit or his or her receipt of benefit. It is not possible to provide a definitive list of relevant changes as these will depend on each person's individual circumstances.
How people are made aware of their responsibility to notify changes of circumstances is a matter for individual local authorities to decide upon. However, we have developed a model housing benefit and council tax benefit claim form which local authorities are encouraged to use. The guidance for completing the form includes a list of many of the common changes which must be reported.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will list in date order the housing benefit regulations and amendments to them issued since September 2000; 
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will list the date and nature of each of the changes to housing benefit regulations that have been made since April 1997; 
Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many regulatory changes affecting the administration of housing benefits have been made (a) in each year since 1997 and (b) in each month since July 2000; 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 11 December 2001]: Many of the changes we have made to the housing benefit and council tax benefit schemes since 1997 support our wide-ranging welfare reform initiatives.
We recognise the need to ensure that the impact of such change on local authorities is fully taken into account before implementation. We are, therefore, establishing a
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Regulation Scrutiny Group, including local authority representatives, to consider future proposed regulations, and to report on the implications for local authorities.
The available information on the number of sets of housing benefit regulations, statutory instruments containing regulations amending housing benefit provisions and circulars issued is in the table.
|Year||Sets of housing benefit (HB) regulations||Statutory instruments containing regulations amending HB provisions||Number of HB circulars issued|
(13) To October 31
Information on the number of individual provisions, including how they affect administration, within each set of regulations and amendments to them could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, a list of sets of regulations affecting housing benefit (including amendments to these regulations) made between 1 September 2000 and 10 December 2001 has been placed in the Library.
The numbers of departmental circulars identified as giving guidance on changes to housing benefit rules for each year since 1997 and each month since July 2000 are in the table.
|January to June||21|
(14) To 30 November
Circulars that confirm, consolidate or reinforce previous guidance are not included. Circulars that interpret changes to rules in relation to the Verification Framework are also not included.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what was the figure for expenditure on the housing benefit under occupation pilot that was not specified on page 103 of the 2001 Departmental report. 
Malcolm Wicks: The under-occupation pilot encourages housing benefit recipients living in under- occupied social housing to move to smaller and cheaper accommodation in order to make more efficient use of housing stock. The pilot is expected to run until 2003. Estimated expenditure in 200001 was £17,335. This figure is subject to adjustment on receipt of audited claims from participating authorities.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the (a) costs and (b) savings to the housing benefit budget in each region in England of the introduction of rent restructuring in (i) 200203 and (ii) 200304. 
Malcolm Wicks: The information is not available in the format requested.
Initial estimates suggest that the overall public expenditure cost of rent restructuring, taking account of housing benefit payments, rental income of councils and grant requirements for new housing association developments is broadly neutral.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what percentage of all (a) council and (b) registered social landlord tenants in each London local authority are in receipt of housing benefit; 
Malcolm Wicks: Information is not available in the format requested.
The total number of local authority and social landlord tenants by local authority is not collected centrally. Reliable estimates of the number of pensioners in receipt of housing benefit and living in either local authority or social landlord housing by each London local authority are not available.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of and how many people in receipt of disability living allowance have mental health problems. 
Maria Eagle: At 31 May 2001, about 267,500 recipients of disability living allowancealmost 12 per cent. of the total numberhad mental health problems recorded as
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their principal disabling condition. In addition, about 222,200 recipientsalmost 10 per cent. of the total numberhad learning difficulties so recorded.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of claimants in receipt of the mobility components of disability living allowance do so because of mental health problems. 
Maria Eagle: At 31 May 2001, about 12 per cent. of people who receive the mobility component of disability living allowance had mental health problems recorded as their principal disabling condition. In addition, about 10 per cent. had learning difficulties so recorded.
Valerie Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many awards of disability living allowance have been made in each of the last three years to people suffering with sickle cell anaemia. 
Maria Eagle: This information is not available in the form requested. About 600 awards of disability living allowance are made each year to people with blood disorders recorded as their principal disabling condition. Some of these cases may involve sickle cell anaemia.
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