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Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the cost of the minimum income guarantee in 2050 in today's prices if it is raised in line with earnings and if the basic state pension is raised in line with prices. 
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Mr. McCartney [holding answer 12 February 2002]: The estimated cost of uprating the MIG in line with earnings is approximately £12 billion in today's prices in 2050.
Mr. Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the locations of debt recovery centres within his Department and those after the planned reductions. 
Malcolm Wicks: Debt Management Services, a unit within the Department, currently has responsibility for approximately 1,800 staff based in 127 sites across the country. These sites are generally co-located with existing Benefits Agency offices. The plan is to consolidate these units into 10 debt centres over the period ending March 2005. Departmental staff outside Debt Management Services also process overpayment work for the benefits administered centrally, such as Retirement Pension. This work is carried out at a further three sites, and is currently under review.
Details of the current and planned future sites are in the following list.
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Sites where benefits are currently administered centrally:
Malcolm Wicks: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Western Isles (Mr. MacDonald) on 31 January 2002, Official Report, column 544W.
Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many former mineworkers applied for an award for vibration white finger; and how many were rejected by the Benefits Agency in the last year for which figures are available; 
(3) how many former mineworkers who applied for vibration white finger were rejected for an award because they had neurological damage in the last year for which figures are available. 
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Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 25 February 2002]: The information is not available in the format requested.
There is no simple, reliable and universally accepted test for vibration white finger. The test used by the Department of Trade and Industry for the settlement of compensation claims against British Coal fulfils the civil burden of proof in finding that former mineworkers have contracted vibration white finger as a result of their employer's negligence. This process involves litigation in individual cases and as such can be lengthy, detailed and expensive.
The test used for the industrial injuries scheme is simple, straightforward to administer and consistent nationally. We have no plans to adopt the tests being used by the Department of Trade and Industry.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he intends to launch the Pension Service; and if he will list the locations of the proposed 26 pension centres and their catchment areas. 
Mr. McCartney: The pension service will be launched on 1 April 2002. Pension centres, which will roll out in stages over the next two years, will process work as set out in the table.
|Government office region||Pension centre locations|
|East Midlands||Derby, Leicester, Nottingham|
|Eastern||Norwich (2 sites)|
|London||Glasgow, Newcastle (Tyneview Park), Dundee (initially)|
|North East||Stockport, Seaham|
|North West||Burnley, Stockport, Warrington|
|South East||Blackpool, Cwmbran, Liverpool, Wrexham|
|South West||Bath, Plymouth|
|West Midlands||Birmingham, Walsall, Wolverhampton|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||Dearne Valley, Seaham, York|
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many new entrants to the civil service were employed in his Department in each of the last five years; and how many in each year were aged 50 and over. 
Mr. McCartney [holding answer 25 February 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by the Cabinet Office on 27 February 2002, Official Report, columns 87580W.
Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many contracts the Department has with Capita; and how much they are worth; 
6 Mar 2002 : Column 419W
Mr. McCartney: The Department for Work and Pensions currently has 12 contracts with Capita, with a total value of £134.1 million.
DWP Accommodation and Office ServicesTyne Tees and Yorkshire
DWP Accommodation and Office ServicesWest Midlands and Mercia
Working Age Specification Framework
Consultancy support to Pension Credit Project Central Design Authority
Winter Fuels Payments Project
Private Sector Led New DealSolihull
Employment Services Estates Corporate Supply
New Deal Next Phase (progress2work)Birmingham North
New Deal Next Phase (progress2work)Birmingham South
Disability Marketing in North-west.
Mr. Borrow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he plans to extend the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to give protection to people with HIV from the point of their diagnosis. 
Maria Eagle: I refer my hon. Friend to my answer given to the hon. Member for Romsey (Sandra Gidley) on 12 December 2001, Official Report, column 904W.
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