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11 Feb 2003 : Column 684W—continued

Departmental Running Costs

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the running costs of (a) the Department and (b) each of its sponsored agencies were in (i) 1997 and (ii) the most recent year for which figures are available. [90703]

Mr. McCartney: The figures are available in:

These are available in the Library.

E-Mail Addresses

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by what e-mail address members of the public may contact (a) him and (b) each of the Ministers in his Department; and for each e-mail address if he will state (i) the date it became active and (ii) the number of e-mails received in each month since activation. [97438]

Maria Eagle: Ministers can be contacted at The Department was formed on 8 June 2001 and the e-mail address was activated shortly afterwards. Separate records are not kept of the number of e-mail messages received.

Housing Benefit

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the latest figures for housing benefit processing times are, broken down by local authority. [88209]

Malcolm Wicks: Under Best Value, we have set a range of performance indicators for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit for English local authorities, three of which are concerned with processing times. There are similar indicators for local authorities inWales and Scotland.

The latest audited best value performance information for English local authorities is for 2001–02 and was published on 12 December on the Best Value Performance Indicators website at A copy is available in the Library.

The most recent corresponding data for local authorities in Wales are for 2000/01. These are published on the Audit Commission website at data 01.shtml. A copy of the relevant extract from this site has been placed in the Library. The Local Government Data Unit for Wales, the Audit Commission in Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government intend to jointly publish performance information for 2001/02 by the end of the current financial year.

The most recent corresponding data for local authorities in Scotland are also for 2000–01 and are in the Accounts Commission publication "Performance Indicators 2000/2001: Benefits, Finance and Corporate Issues", a copy of which is in the Library. Audit Scotland intends to publish performance information for 2001/02 on behalf of the Accounts Commission in mid January 2003.

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The Department collects quarterly un-audited performance information from local authorities across Great Britain. We published this information on the Department's website at on 29 January 2003.Copies are available in the Library.

Ministerial Travel

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many times since 2001 he has taken flights on departmental duties in the UK; how many of these were (a) charter flights, (b) first or club class and (c) by helicopter; and who accompanied him on each trip. [95392]

Mr. McCartney: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Cabinet Office on 22 January 2003, Official Report, column 334W.

Pension Credit

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assumptions underlie the calculation that pensioners on £150 a week will gain £1,100 a year from the pension credit, as set out on 15 January 2002, Official Report, column 629W. [95234]

Mr. McCartney: The assumptions underlying this calculation are that it is a pensioner couple receiving full basic state pension, all additional income qualifies for the savings credit and they are not currently entitled to the minimum income guarantee.

Pension Schemes

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [pursuant to his answer 18 December 2002, Official Report, column 859], whether the data on the number of pension schemes that have completed winding-up and the members of those schemes in the financial years 2000–01 and 2001–02 is likely to be revised. [91585]

Mr. McCartney: As explained in the answer to the previous parliamentary question, the data used was derived from information collected by the Pension Schemes Registry (PSR), which is not designed or intended to provide a comprehensive or continuous statistical record of the number of schemes which wind-up. The PSR registers schemes for tracing purposes and collects the levy from pension schemes, including those in the process of winding-up. New scheme data is being reported to the PSR on a continuous basis. Therefore, the figures aresubject to continuous revision. The figures in the previous parliamentary question showing the number of schemes commencing and in the process of winding up and the number of members of those schemes shown were correct in terms of the information available to the PSR. As new information becomes available on an on-going basis, the figures change. That is because the figures are a snapshot. Since the previous parliamentary question, in the course of itspursuance of unpaid levy liabilities, the PSR has identified further schemeswhich had commenced wind up in previous years and were still in the wind upprocess. These schemes are added to the figures as they are identified. At the same time, the PSR will sometimes identify that

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some schemes had completedwind up in previous years. These schemes are removed from the columnshowing schemes still in the process of winding up and are added to thecolumn showing completed wind ups. Again, this occurs on an on-going basisas the PSR identifies the facts.

However, work to produce the latest available figures has indicated factualerrors in the presentation of the figures for the earlier parliamentary question of 18 December 2002 showing the number of completed wind ups and thenumbers of members of those schemes. These errors relate to technicalaspects of the PSR's database, but the most significant effect was to overstatethe numbers of members in schemes that had completed wind up.

The correct up-to-date figures are as follows:

YearNumber of schemes notifying PSR that they are commencing wind up and are still in the processNumber of members fin schemes notifying PSR that they are commencing wind up and still in the process

YearNumber of schemes that completed winding upNumber of members in schemes that completed winding up
1/4/2000 31/3/20016,047158,118
1/4/2001 31/3/20024,388230,406

I regret that the figures provided previously in relation to schemes which had completed wind up were not fully accurate. The PSR has now put in place procedures to prevent a recurrence.


Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people are estimated to be deferring claiming their state pension, broken down by (a) men and (b) women; and how many of each category are working. [96180]

Mr. McCartney: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is shown in the following table.

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Number of people deferring state pension

Great Britain


1. Numbers do not sum to totals due to rounding.

2. Numbers rounded to nearest 1,000.

3. Northern Ireland and Channel Island cases are not included in the table.

4. Due to data limitations a number of assumptions were required to produce these numbers. Therefore the numbers shown above should be considered to be approximate.


Department for Work and Pensions' calculations based upon administrative data from 31 March 2002.

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