Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for each year since 1992, how much compensation for unfair dismissal the Department of Work and Pensions has paid to its employees, broken down by (a) employees of each executive agency and
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(b) employees of other parts of the Department; and how many employees have received compensation in each year. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: The information is not collected in the form requested except for that supplied in relation to the Employment Service. With the exception of the Employment Service approval for the settlement of these claims may be obtained either at area or head office level, these figures are not collated centrally.
|Total payments (£)
|Number of employees
Mr. McCartney: The information is not yet available. Information on the total amount paid into stakeholder pensions on which claims for tax relief on pension contributions have been processed, and the number of individuals covered by such claims, is published by the Inland Revenue on its website. The information does not therefore cover all stakeholder pensions sold. Further details covering the period up to the end of September 2001 will be published on the website at the end of January.
Mr. McCartney: There is no maximum amount of income support or minimum income guarantee payable. The amount payable is dependent on an individuals circumstances and takes account of a number of factors. These include: whether the person is single, married or has dependants; their level of other income and savings; and receipt of other benefits such as attendance allowance.
From April 2001 the minimum income guarantee rate for a single pensioner is £98.15 and £140.55 for a couple. The severe disability premium is £41.55 for a single person or where one member of a couple qualifies and £83.10 for a couple where both qualify.
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winter fuel payment on 1 January; and what steps he is taking to eliminate the backlog in processing winter fuel payments. 
Mr. McCartney: Winter fuel payments are made automatically to people who are in receipt of certain benefits, which include retirement pension. These payments were issued prior to 1 January 2002 and represent the majority of winter fuel payments. Other people who are entitled to a winter fuel payment are required to submit a claim form. If the claim was received before 24 September 2001, payments were also made by 1 January 2002. However, inquiries from individuals regarding payments not yet received are investigated and a payment issued as soon as possible, where appropriate.
Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to introduce changes to the minimum funding requirement for salary- related pension schemes; and if these changes will be applied retrospectively. 
Mr. McCartney: On 7 March 2001 the Government announced proposals to replace the minimum funding requirement (MFR) with a long-term scheme specific standard in the context of a regime of transparency and disclosure, with additional measures to strengthen protection. Implementing these proposals in full will require primary legislation, and we are working with the pensions industry and other interested parties to develop proposals for legislation as soon as parliamentary time becomes available.
On 18 September 2001, we published "The Minimum Funding Requirement: The next stage of reform" which sets out our plans for the next stage of reform of the MFR, including consultation on draft regulations introducing interim changes to the MFR in advance of its replacement. The consultation period on the draft regulations ended on 10 December, and we plan to introduce changes before April this year. The regulations will not be retrospective.
Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will ensure that the review of the security of occupational pensions includes measures to protect the rights of non-pensioners to the fair value of their accrued rights in the event of insolvency. 
Mr. McCartney: On 7 March 2001 the Government published "Security for Occupational Pensions: The Government's Proposals", which set out our proposals for providing more effective security for members of defined benefit occupational pension schemes. Implementing these proposals in full will require primary legislation, and we are working with the pensions industry and other interested parties to develop detailed proposals for legislation as soon as parliamentary time becomes available. As part of this process we are considering what arrangements should apply when a scheme is wound-up with an insolvent employer.
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Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer of 10 December 2001, Official Report, column 610W, on child support, for what reason the December 2001 edition of the Appeals Service suggests that all existing CSA clients will be assessed on the new basis some time in 2003; and if he will make a statement on the extra resources being devoted to the Appeals Service in preparation for the anticipated increase in CSA-related appeals. 
Malcolm Wicks: Changes to the child support scheme will take effect for new cases from April 2002. Existing cases will be transferred once the new scheme is working well, which we expect to be about a year later. Additional funding of £1.7 million has been allocated to the Appeals Service for 200203. This sum includes the staffing costs for 50 additional staff. A further £398,000 has been allocated to implement the necessary changes to IT procedures, and develop new training material for staff and panel members, resulting from the new child support legislation.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the answer of 22 January 2002, Official Report, column 813W, on disability living allowances, in which constituencies (a) the revised arrangements for obtaining relevant information from claimants' general practitioners are being piloted and (b) the alternative system for extra-costs disability benefits based on activities for managing life are being tested; and what activities are encompassed within the phrase 'activities for managing life'. 
Maria Eagle: The revised General Practitioner Factual Report is being trialed in the Wembley Disability Benefits Centre. This centre deals with cases in an area from Oxfordshire in the west, to Great Yarmouth in the east, and from North London up to Peterborough.
The test of the Activities for Managing Life (AML) model involves up to 600 volunteers throughout Great Britain. Volunteers are not selected on a constituency basis, but are drawn from those people making new claims for DLA/AA.
The AML model is based on 16 functional activities necessary for self-care. In addition there are two activities (17 and 18) specifically for children aged 12 or under to test the best way of gathering information on the care needs of children.
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