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Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many families receive child dependency increases for (a) retirement pension, (b) bereavement benefit, (c) incapacity benefit and (d) invalid care allowance. 
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|Numbers in receipt of CDI|
|(a) Retirement pension(20),(22)||16,700|
|(b) Bereavement benefit/widow's benefit(20),(22)||50,600|
|(c) Incapacity benefit(21),(22)||94,400|
|Severe disablement allowance(21),(22)||5,800|
|(d) Invalid care allowance(23)||46,725|
(20) RP/BB/WB Source: Pensions Strategy Computer System at 30 September 2001 based on 5 per cent. sample. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 100, and exclude the Channel Islands and overseas cases. Figures for bereavement benefit are for those receiving widowed parent's allowance or widowed mother's allowance (42,000).
(21) Figures are for IB/SDA recipients at 30 November 2001, and are taken from a 5 per cent. sample of the benefit computer system, which excludes a small number of cases held clerically. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 100.
(22) All 5 per cent. samples are subject to sampling variation.
(23) Figures from the Invalid Care Allowance Computer System based on a 100 per cent. extract as at 31 December 2001. Figure has been rounded to the nearest five.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: The administration of New Deal, which includes the Environmental Task Force provision in both Darlington and Doncaster, is reviewed at regular intervals as part of the contract review process. Environmental Task Force provision in Doncaster is currently delivered by Doncaster metropolitan borough council. The contract expires in September 2002, having been extended by six months to allow time for competitive tendering for a new three year contract. Environmental Task Force provision in Darlington is currently delivered by YMCA Training Ltd. (Darlington). The contract expires in March 2003.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many letters (a) he and (b) the chief executive of the Benefits Agency have received from hon. Members about clients of each Benefits Agency local office; and how many (i) clients were dealt with and (ii) residents are covered by such local offices in the most recent year for which information is available. 
Malcolm Wicks: Ministers received 12,698 letters from hon. Members during 2001 on both Benefits Agency and other matters relating to the Department for Work and Pensions and the former Department of Social Security. The chief executive of the Benefits Agency received 2,529 letters from hon. Members in 2001. The other information sought is not held in the format requested.
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Department since January 2001; and what proportion of these have observed Criterion 5 of the Code of Practice on Written Consultation. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: The Department for Work and Pensions was formed in June 2001 from the former Department of Social Security and parts of the Department for Education and Employment. Eighteen consultation documents have been issued since June 2001. These relate to matters which have a national impact, and therefore fall under the remit of the Code of Practice on Written Consultation. All bar two of these consultations was able to give a full 12 weeks for interested parties to respond.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to relocate executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies under the remit of his Department to Scotland. 
The report was produced on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions by the Employers Forum on Age. It explores early steps taken by a number of large employing organisations to introduce more flexible retirement policies.
It forms part of the research carried out for the Age Positive campaign. The campaign promotes to employers the benefits of an age-diverse workforce, and encourages the recruitment and retention of older workers and the adoption of flexible working practices. Evidence from the campaign shows that the business benefits of employing older workers include reduced absenteeism, reduced shrinkage, reduced staff turnover and higher productivity.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answers of 12 March 2002, Official Report, column 959W and of 10 April 2002, Official Report, column 242W, on winter fuel payments, if he has now concluded his discussions with the European Commission about the extent of the United Kingdom's legal obligations under European regulations on winter fuel payments; and if he will make a statement. 
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Maria Eagle: Motability is an independent charitable company incorporated by Royal Charter. It has overall responsibility for all operations of the Motability Scheme. Finance for the vehicle programmes is provided by Motability Finance Ltd. (MFL), an independent service provider to the charity. MFL is owned by a partnership of six of the major clearing banks, Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland (incorporating National Westminster), Barclays, Lloyds TSB, and HSBC, who provide finance for the Motability Scheme at preferential rates.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the activities pursued by his Department that have had a particular impact on the Isle of Wight since 7 June 2001. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 10 June 2002]: The Department for Work and Pensions was formed in June 2001 from the former Department of Social Security and parts of the Department for Education and Employment. We are currently undertaking a fundamental overhaul of the welfare system, transforming it from a passive organisation paying out benefits to an active system that fights poverty, creates opportunity and helps people become self-sufficient and independent. This is making a significant contribution to the Government's overall objectives of:
promoting work as the best form of welfare for people of working age while protecting the positions of those in greatest need; and
combating poverty and promoting security and independence in retirement for today's and future pensioners.
The number of people in work is at historically high levels of over 28.2 million, and in the Isle of Wight the proportion of working age people in work currently stands at 70.9 per cent. Unemployment in the Isle of Wight has fallen by 2.5 per cent. over the last year while the number of long-term unemployed, has been cut by over a quarter. Our New Deals have helped lone parents, the young unemployment, the long-term unemployed, disabled people, the over-50s and partners of the unemployed to move from benefit into work. Nationally well over 600,000 people have been helped into work by the New Deals and in the Isle of Wight over 1,900 have been helped into work.
Older people are disproportionately affected by fuel poverty. This winter (200102) we have made available a winter fuel payment of £200 for each eligible household to help with their heaviest fuel bill. We estimate that around 33,000 older people in the Isle of Wight have received a payment this winter.
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4,600 pensioner families in the Isle of Wight are receiving the minimum income guarantee which helps our poorest pensioners. Some 31,400 pensioners in the Isle of Wight will benefit from this year's increases in the basic state pension of £3 a week for single pensioners and £4.80 for couples. Those over 75, of whom we estimate there are about 14,800 in the Isle of Wight, may quality for free TV licences.
Other reforms include the new pension credit in 2003 designed to ensure that pensioners benefit from their savings and the introduction of the state second pension from this April. Both of these initiatives will help provide greater security for tomorrow's pensioners. We have also announced that from October 2003 benefits currently reduced after a hospital stay of six weeks will not be reduced until 13 weeks. This will benefit both pensioners and people of working age.
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