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Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what has been the total cost of (a) the Millennium Dome and (b) the Millennium Experience in each year since 1996. 
Dr. Howells: Expenditure incurred on the Millennium Experience by the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) was as follows:
|April 1997March 1998||90|
|April 1998March 1999||179|
These figures include the cost of the London Riverside new year's eve celebrations of 31 December 1999. It is not possible to separate the amount of expenditure by NMEC on the dome as the national programme included elements both at the dome itself and throughout the country. Expenditure incurred by NMEC before 1 April 1997 is included under 199798. The figure for 2001 takes account of rebates and savings on costs provided for in the previous years' accounts.
Expenditure on the Millennium Dome by English Partnerships was as follows:
|March 1999-February 2001||6.70|
All costs incurred by English Partnerships will be recovered from eventual sale proceeds.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many members of his staff in each of the past two years have been granted a day's paid leave to work as a volunteer; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. McCartney: The Department's special leave policy actively supports voluntary public service by allowing staff both paid and unpaid leave for public duties, including carrying out voluntary work. However the information on the number of staff granted paid leave to enable them to carry out voluntary work is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in his Department are involved in monitoring and developing pensions policy. 
Mr. McCartney: There are currently around 150 people in the teams responsible for developing, designing, supporting and monitoring state and private pension policy. Many more people across the Department, including staff providing the day-to-day service to customers, computer specialists, statisticians, economists and legal advisers, contribute to planning for and delivering the Government's agenda for both today's and future pensioners.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer of 17 April 2002 to the hon. Member for Hertsmere (Mr. Clappison), Official Report, column 1004W, on welfare, what plans he has to calculate the proportion of the total welfare bill spent on those living below 60 per cent of the median income. 
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many appeals against decisions made at (a) all-work tests and (b) personal capability assessments were (i) heard and decided and (ii) decided in the appellant's favour in each of the last 10 years; 
Maria Eagle: This is a matter for Neil Ward, Chief Executive of the Appeals Service. He will write to the hon. Gentleman.
Letter from Neil Ward to Mr. Paul Holmes, dated 24 June 2002:
|Income support case load||3,824,000||3,834,600||3,876,700||3,949,600|
|Incapacity benefit case load||2,299,700||2,267,400||2,310,400||2,342,900|
|Severe disablement allowance case load||371,600||370,100||367,500||362,300|
|Number of appeals heard||56,910||53,580||37,935||30,880|
|Number of appeals found in favour of the appellant||23,410||22,625||15,535||13,110|
|Average waiting time, in weeks, between receipt at the Appeals Service and first hearing||22.7||17.2||11.7||12.1|
I hope this is helpful.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff were employed by his Department on (a) 2 May 1997 and (b) 31 May 2002. 
Mr. McCartney: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office (Douglas Alexander) on 13 June 2002, Official Report, column 1402W.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in what circumstances benefits can be paid to polygamous spouses; and what benefits can be paid to polygamous spouses. 
Malcolm Wicks: Income-related benefits (income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit) are payable to people in polygamous marriages where the relationship has been solemnised by a marriage ceremony in a country where polygamous marriages are permitted, and where the general conditions of entitlement are met.
The amount of benefit payable includes personal allowances for the male spouse and one partner at the appropriate couple rate and, for each other partner, the difference between the higher rate for a couple and the higher rate for a single person. In general there is no financial advantage to claiming for those in polygamous marriages. Having separate claims for a couple and for other members of the marriage would normally result in more benefit being paid. Benefit entitlement for any additional partners is restricted to an allowance which is less than the rate for single people.
In addition, any member of a polygamous marriage can claim a contributory or non-contributory social security benefit in his or her own right where he or she satisfies the relevant conditions of entitlement.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the costs of the introduction of pensioner credit in 2003 and in each of the subsequent five years. 
Mr. McCartney: I refer my right hon. Friend to table A.2 (page 156) of the Economic and Fiscal Strategy report and Financial Statement and Budget report April 2002 (HC 592).
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which assessment he has made of the cost of
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introducing a winter fuel allowance, equivalent to that received by pensioners, for those in receipt of disability benefits. 
Mr. McCartney: The cost of extending the winter fuel payment scheme in this way would be approximately £510 million each year.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on his recently published latest estimates of occupational pension receipt among the newly retired. 
Mr. McCartney: The "Pensioners' Income Series" publication contains guidance about how to interpret the information contained within it. In particular, it warns that great care should be taken when interpreting changes in income over short periods of time since random sampling fluctuations mean that estimates should be regarded as broad indications of trends only.
Table 12 of the "Pensioners' Incomes Series 200001" contains estimates of the proportion of pensioner units with occupational pension income and the average amount for those in receipt from 199495 to 200001. It shows that 59 per cent. of recently retired pensioner units received income from occupational pensions in 200001, lower than the corresponding estimate for 19992000 of 64 per cent. Estimates for both singles and couples were lower in 200001 than in 19992000, but the drop was greatest for singles from 51 per cent. in 19992000 to 44 per cent. in 200001.
There are various possible explanations for these changes, including the possibility that they are due to random sampling fluctuation. More years of FRS data would be needed to confirm whether this is the case.
The "Pensioners' Income Series" publication warns that the time series of results based on the Family Resources Survey (FRS) 199495 to 200001 is too short to provide an accurate picture of detailed changes in pensioners' incomes over time. It also warns that estimates of proportions in receipt of occupational pension income should be treated with caution because they may be subject to under-reporting by respondents to the FRS.
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Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will provide a breakdown by gender of his latest estimates of occupational pension receipt among the newly retired. 
Mr. McCartney [holding answer 21 June 2002]: The information required can only be supplied for Single Pensioners. As published in the Pensioners' Incomes
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Series publication, estimates for pensioner couples cannot be split by gender, as the extent of income sharing within the pensioner units is not known.
Information for "All Single Pensioners" and for "Single Male Pensioners" and "Single Female Pensioners" is in the table.
|Proportions in receipt of occupational pension income|
|All single pensioners||51||51||52||51||44|
|Single male pensioners||57||54||59||56||52|
|Single female pensioners||48||50||48||48||39|
|Average amount of occupational pension income for those in receipt (£pw)|
|All single pensioners||88||93||93||97||95|
|Single male pensioners||104||107||103||108||115|
|Single female pensioners||77||83||86||89||79|
|All single pensioners||55||63||58||62||57|
|Single male pensioners||62||66||65||66||81|
|Single female pensioners||49||57||52||58||47|
1. Estimates of the percentage of pensioner units in receipt of occupational pension income are based on respondents' own assessment and may be subject to under reporting.
2. Recently retired single pensioners are defined as single women aged 6064 or men aged 6569.
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