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29 Oct 2002 : Column 784W—continued

Cold Weather Payments

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the outcome was of the annual review of the Cold Weather Payments scheme. [78550]

Malcolm Wicks: Following advice from the Meteorological Office, the annual review of the Cold Weather Payments scheme has now been completed. Amending regulations were laid on 10 October and will come into force on 1 November, in time for the beginning of the winter period.

In addition to the amendments necessary due to Royal Mail postcode changes, 10 postcode to weather station linkages have been changed on the advice of the Meteorological Office following representations made by hon. Members.

Cold Weather Payments are separate from, and in addition to, Winter Fuel Payments which are paid to eligible people from age 60.

I have written to each of the hon. Members affected by the changes.

Disability Living Allowance

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many DLA application refusals there were in each of the last 10 years; and how many of those refusals were later successfully appealed against. [77853]

Maria Eagle: The information requested is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the table.

Number of rejected Disability Living Allowance claims for the past 10 financial years

Number of DLA applicants rejected on first application


Initial claim rejected information is available only at national level.


ASD Information Centre 100 per cent. data taken from 100 per cent. extract of monthly management information system and rounded to the nearest five.

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The information requested regarding successful appeal against refusal is not available.

Health and Safety Executive

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people are employed by the Health and Safety Executive; what its annual budget was for each year since 1997–98; what its projected budget is for next year; and if he will make a statement on its role and terms of reference. [75614]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The number of people employed by the Health and Safety Executive and its annual budget for each year since 1997–98 was:

YearHSC/E settlement (#)Staff in post(30)
Cash settlements
Resource settlements from 2001–02 onwards
2001–02(31) 198,233,0004,050
2002–03(32) 202,973,0004,217

(30) As at end of year (31 March)

(31) Plus AME #12,377,000

(32) Plus AME #14,212,000


1. All figures include the Health and Safety Commission (HSC), The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL). HSL is an in house agency of HSE.

2. HSC/E settlement figures represent expenditure net of income. Capital budgets are included.

3. From 2001–02 Government Departments moved to a resource based supply as part of the move to full resource accounting and budgeting (RAB). There is however a transitional period for 2001–02 to 2002–03 during which period certain expenditure (e.g. depreciation, notional capital charges) are to be dealt with as Annually Managed Expenditure (AME) and will not appear in the departmental expenditure limit (DEL).

4. The figures above from 1997–98 to 2000–01 are on a cash supply basis; and from 2001–02 on a resource supply basis. Additional budgets for AME budgets are shown separately.

HSE's projected budget (net of income) for 2003–04 is #216,727,000 plus #14,998,000 which would have been recorded against AME in the transitional period (total #231,725,000).

The Health and Safety Executive is empowered to undertake, on behalf of the Health and Safety Commission, any of the functions of the Commission as it is directed. It is also required to give effect to any directions given to it by the Commission. Section 11 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 details the general functions of the Commission, which must be seen in the context of the general purposes outlined in section 1 of the Act. All of these functions may be undertaken by the Executive.

Maternity Benefits

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what benefits are available to individuals not entitled to maternity benefit because of an insufficient contributory history. [77854]

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Maria Eagle: We introduced reforms in 2000 so that entitlement to Maternity Allowance no longer depends on the payment of national insurance contributions. Qualifying conditions for both Statutory Maternity Pay and Maternity Allowance are based instead on a woman's recent employment and earnings history.

Maternity Allowance is now paid to women earning at least #30 a week, but below the lower earnings limit for national insurance contributions (currently #75 a week). As a result, up to 16,000 more low paid women a year can receive improved financial help during their pregnancy.

Sure Start Maternity Grants, worth #500, are also available to help those mothers on low income in greatest need.

Pensioners Resident in Hospitals (Benefits)

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will extend the lengths of time which elapse before benefits are reduced for a pensioner resident in hospital. [77852]

Malcolm Wicks: We have already announced our intentions to extend the length of time certain benefit recipients, including pensioners, may stay in hospital before their benefits are reduced. For these people the period will be extended from six weeks to 13 weeks and we hope to introduce this to coincide with the introduction of the State Pension Credit.

Widowed Spouses Pensions (Remarriage)

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on the loss of widows' and widowers' pension entitlement on remarriage. [77846]

Malcolm Wicks: Bereavement Allowance and Widowed Parents Allowance are available to both men and women of working age who are widowed. The predecessor benefits, Widow's Pension and Widowed Mother's Allowance, were available to women only up to a maximum age of 65. Entitlement to these benefits ends if a widow or widower remarries. This is because they are intended to provide financial support in widowhood and are designed to help the widowed spouse maintain him or herself and any dependant children in the absence of the deceased spouse's income.

If a widow or widower remarries they are treated, for benefit purposes, in the same way as members of any other married couple. Other social security benefits or tax credits may be available to help support the new family depending on their circumstances.


Strategic Investment Board

Valerie Davey: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when the Lord Chancellor's Strategic Investment Board's Annual Report for 2001–02 will be published. [78493]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: Copies of the Strategic Investment Board's first Annual Report, covering the period from 1 January 2001 to 31 March 2002 have now been published. Copies are now available in the Library of the House and via the Lord Chancellor's

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Department's website at This provides full details of the Board's achievements for that period and its recommendations for future investment strategies for the Public Guardianship Office.