Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to transfer the charging process for offences from the police to the Crown Prosecution Service; and if he will make a statement. 
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Hilary Benn [holding answer 13 June 2002]: The recommendation to this effect in the Review of Criminal Courts is under consideration and the Government's response will be announced in a White Paper before the summer recess.
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 17 June 2002]: The latest available information on the number of persons detained in prison solely under Immigration Act powers relates to 30 March 2002 and is as follows:
The Government are committed to pursuing a strategy of detaining both immigration offenders and asylum seekers in dedicated removal centres. Prisons are used for a small number of detainees who cannot be managed within the immigration removal estate.
Information on Immigration Act detainees as at 29 June 2002 will be published on 30 August 2002 on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/ rds/immigration1.html.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 10 May 2002, Official Report, column 384W, on Premier Services, when a copy of the service aspect of the contract with Premier Services in connection with the operation of Dungavel detention centre will be placed in the Library. 
Ann Keen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to publish a response to the consultation on the review of sexual offences, "Setting the Boundaries: Reforming the Law on Sex Offences"; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Blunkett: I intend to publish a response to the consultation and the recommendations in "Setting the Boundaries", setting out proposals for legislation in the autumn. At the same time, I shall publish proposals for reform of the Sex Offenders Act 1997 following the review of its provisions and subsequent consultation. I will introduce modernised and strengthened legislation on sex offences and sex offenders as soon as parliamentary time allows.
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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what regional organisation his Department has; and if he will list the counties and unitary authorities in each region in (a) 1997 and (b) 2002. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: The Department for Work and Pensions does not have a regional organisation as such. It is a national organisation covering Great Britain, and operates out of a number of locations around the country. However, the work of three of its executive agencies is organised on a regional basis. The regional structures of Jobcentre Plus, The Pension Service and the Child Support Agency are shown in their Business Plans which are available in the Library of the House, or on the Department's web site (www.dwp.gov.uk).
Other departmental businesses operate through centres spread across the country, but without a formal regional organisation. Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) sponsored by the Department do not have formal regional organisations. The Independent Living Funds in particular work closely with local authorities.
|Women aged 60
|Men aged 65
GAD 2000 Based Mid-Year Population Projections
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Mr. McCartney: The estimated cost of winter fuel payments in winter 200203 is around £1.7 billion. These payments are made to most people aged 60 or over, not just those in receipt of a state retirement pension.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost would be of increasing the basic state pension (a) for the single pensioner to £120 per week for the over 75s and (b) for married couples to £150 a week for the over 75s in 200203. 
Mr. McCartney: The information is not available in the format requested. However, such information as is available shows that the additional cost of increasing the maximum rate payable of a category A, AB or B basic state pension to £120 per week for those aged 75 and over would be £8.4 billion in 200203.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer of 20 May 2002, Official Report, column 42W, why the practice of up-rating basic state pension increments in line with the percentage increase in the rest of the basic pension was not followed in April 2001; and why the practice was resumed in April 2002. 
Mr. McCartney: Once retirement pension is in payment, social security legislation requires that the value of all the components of RP must be uprated each year by at least the level of price inflation, which was 3.3 per cent. for the April 2001 uprating. In accordance with that requirement, all increments, including basic pension increments were uprated by 3.3 per cent., while basic state pension was increased by substantially more than the rate of price inflation.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer of 10 June 2002, Official Report, column 880W, on the cost of the basic state pension if increased in line with prices, what assumptions he made regarding (a) fluctuations in the rate of inflation and (b) the incidence of inflation rates below 2.5 per cent. 
Mr. McCartney: We assumed that fluctuations in the rate of inflation are consistent with predicted inflation from the Treasury Economic Assumptions (of January 2002) until the year 2008, after which we assume long-run inflation is constant each year at 2.5 per cent. Thus inflation rates after 2008 are assumed to never be below 2.5 per cent.
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In addition, the costs take account of our guarantee to increase the basic state pension by at least £100 a year for single pensioners and £160 for couples in the 200304 and in future years by 2.5 per cent. or the increase in the September retail prices index, whichever is the higher.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost would be of increasing the basic state pension (a) for the single pensioner to £120 a week and (b) for married couples for £150 a week in 200203. 
Mr. McCartney: The information is not available in the format requested. However, such information as is available shows that the additional cost of increasing the maximum rate payable of a category A, AB or B basic state pension to £120 per week would be £17.7 billion in 200203.