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Millennium Dome

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. [64580]

Dr. Howells: Expenditure incurred on the Millennium Experience by the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) was as follows:

£ million
April 1997–March 199890
April 1998–March 1999179
April–December 1999330
January–December 2000177
January–December 200118

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 1997–98. 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:

£ million
March 1999-February 20016.70
July-December 20019.75

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. [39735]

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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.

Pensions Policy

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. [39987]

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.

Welfare Spending

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. [52153]

Malcolm Wicks: None.


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; [58756]

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:

The number of all work test/personal capability assessment appeals heard (in relation to current IS, IB and SDA case loads), found in favour of the appellant, and the average time taken between receipt at the Appeals Service and first hearing

Income support case load3,824,0003,834,6003,876,7003,949,600
Incapacity benefit case load2,299,7002,267,4002,310,4002,342,900
Severe disablement allowance case load371,600370,100367,500362,300
Number of appeals heard56,91053,58037,93530,880
Number of appeals found in favour of the appellant23,41022,62515,53513,110
Average waiting time, in weeks, between receipt at the Appeals Service and first hearing22.717.211.712.1

I hope this is helpful.

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Staff Numbers

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. [60895]

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.

Polygamous Spouses

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. [59905]

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.

Pensioner Credit

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. [61255]

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).

Winter Fuel Allowance

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. [62389]

Mr. McCartney: The cost of extending the winter fuel payment scheme in this way would be approximately £510 million each year.

Occupational Pensions

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. [61385]

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 2000–01" contains estimates of the proportion of pensioner units with occupational pension income and the average amount for those in receipt from 1994–95 to 2000–01. It shows that 59 per cent. of recently retired pensioner units received income from occupational pensions in 2000–01, lower than the corresponding estimate for 1999–2000 of 64 per cent. Estimates for both singles and couples were lower in 2000–01 than in 1999–2000, but the drop was greatest for singles from 51 per cent. in 1999–2000 to 44 per cent. in 2000–01.

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) 1994–95 to 2000–01 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. [63690]

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.

The proportion of recently retired pensioners with occupational pension income and the average amounts for those in receipt,
1994–05 to 2000–01

Proportions in receipt of occupational pension income
All single pensioners5151525144
Single male pensioners5754595652
Single female pensioners4850484839
Average amount of occupational pension income for those in receipt (£pw)
Mean amounts
All single pensioners8893939795
Single male pensioners104107103108115
Single female pensioners7783868979
Median amounts
All single pensioners5563586257
Single male pensioners6266656681
Single female pensioners4957525847


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 60–64 or men aged 65–69.

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