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Dr. Cable: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many regulatory impact assessments have been produced by his Department since August 2001; and if he will list those produced (a) following initial consultation with affected parties about the most appropriate methodology for assessing costs and other impacts and (b) which set out full commercial impacts, including profitability, employment, consumer prices and competitiveness, as recommended in Good Policy Making. 
Mr. Wills: The Lord Chancellor's Department has produced two partial regulatory impact assessments since August 2001. The partial regulatory impact assessments, which were included in the relevant consultation papers, relate to:
General pre-action protocol.
Gillian Merron: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what recent research she has commissioned into the effect of shared residency orders on benefits for non-resident parents when custody is divided equally. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Lord Chancellor's Department has not commissioned any research specifically on the effect of shared residence on benefits for non-resident parents. The Children Act 1989 makes the welfare of the child the court's paramount consideration. The Department has therefore undertaken a research review and commissioned research on the impact on children of family breakdown. Income-related benefits for non- resident parents are a matter for the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
Mr. Flook: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans the Government have to bring forward the draft legislation contained within Law Commission Report No. 270. 
Mr. Wills: Following the publication of the Law Commission's Report No. 270: "Limitation of Actions", the Lord Chancellor is currently considering the recommendations contained in the report and will announce his decision before the summer.
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Mr. McCartney: The Government's MIG take-up campaign has so far resulted in more than 127,000 successful claims with newly eligible pensioner households gaining on average an extra £20 per week. Advertising and media costs of the campaign have amounted to £4.015 million.
Mr. McCartney: As at August 2001 there were 2,000 minimum income guarantee (MIG) claimants in the Loughborough constituency. Estimates of the numbers of people who may be eligible for, but who have not claimed the MIG, are not available below national level.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate how many of the single pensioners who have failed to take up their entitlement to the minimum income guarantee are (a) male and (b) female. 
Mr. McCartney: Estimates of take-up for the minimum income guarantee (MIG) by single male and single female pensioners were published in "Income Related BenefitsEstimates of Take Up in 1999/2000", a copy of which is held in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the cost to public funds in (a) 200001 and (b) 200102 of regulations introduced by his Department in 200001. 
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the cost in (a) 200001 and (b) 200102 of the national teleclaims service for retirement pension. 
Mr. McCartney: The national teleclaims service for retirement pension has been in operation from October 2000. The cost in 200001 was £1,003,327 and is estimated at £2,265,801 in 200102. For both years, such costs include a subsidy for inbound calls made by customers at local call rates.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the (a) number of recipients of working families tax credit who are also in receipt of housing benefit (i) in England and (ii) each English region and (b) estimated current net cost of discounting working families tax credit for the purposes of calculating housing benefit for existing claimants. 
It is estimated that the net cost in 200001 of discounting working families tax credit in calculating entitlement to housing benefit for benefit recipients in Great Britain at May 2000 would have been £250 million.
|Government office region||Number of housing benefit recipients also receiving working families tax credit|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||20,000|
1. The data refer to households, which may be a single person, a couple or a family.
2. The figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand.
3. Figures include those people in receipt of either the standard working families tax credit or the 30 hour premium working families tax credit.
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System, annual one per cent. sample, taken in May 2000. This is the latest available data source that provides the number of housing benefit recipients who also receive working families tax credit.
Mr. Coleman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what was the total grant available to local authorities in 200102 following the introduction of the discretionary payment scheme to those persons who require additional assistance to pay their rent or council tax; 
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(3) what are the estimated savings to his Department from the abolition of Regulation 61 payments and the introduction of the discretionary payment scheme for those persons who require additional assistance with rent or council tax; 
(4) what was the budget available to local authorities in 200001 for Regulation 61 payments; and how much of this money (a) was direct grant and (b) had to be funded from the general fund of local authorities; 
(5) what consultations his Department had with the local authority associations regarding the abolition of the Regulation 61 payment scheme. 
Malcolm Wicks: From 2 July 2001 we replaced the exceptional hardship and exceptional circumstances schemes with improved arrangements that are broader in scope than the old Regulation 61 provisions. Subject to certain conditions, local authorities are now able to give additional payments to any person whose housing benefit or council tax benefit is restricted where they are satisfied the person is in need of further financial assistance with housing costs. Unlike the old scheme there are no prescribed definitions of either "exceptional hardship" or "exceptional circumstances".
The total budget available to local authorities in 200001 for exceptional hardship payments under Regulation 61(3) was £50 million of which the Government contribution was £20 million. Each local authority was allocated a share of the £20 million. In the same year the budget available to each local authority for exceptional circumstance payments under Regulation 61(2) was 0.1 per cent. of its total housing benefit expenditure in that year. No Government contribution was made towards these payments.
The total budget available to local authorities under the new arrangements from their introduction on 2 July 2001 until 31 March 2002 is £37.5 million, of which the Government contribution is £15 million.
We consulted the local authority associations in the usual way about these changes. In addition, a user group of local authority representatives was actively involved in the development of the new arrangements.
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