|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
10 Dec 2003 : Column 474Wcontinued
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the passported benefits for (a) Guarantee Pensions Credit, (b) Savings Pension Credit and (c) Council Tax Benefit. 
|Benefit/Scheme||Administration||Department||Passported byPension CreditGuarantee Credit||Passported byPension CreditSavings Credit alone|
|Assisted Prison Visits||England, Scotland and Wales||Home Office||Yes||No|
|Court Fees Exemption||England and Wales||Department for Constitutional Affairs||Yes||No|
|Dental Treatment||England, Scotland and Wales||Department of Health||Yes||No|
|Discretionary Grant for the Disabled||England||Office of the Deputy Prime Minister||Yes||No|
|Discretionary Grant for the Disabled||Wales||Welsh Assembly||Yes||No|
|Home Energy Efficiency Scheme||England||Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs||Yes||Yes|
|Home Energy Efficiency Scheme||Scotland||Scottish Executive||Yes||Yes|
|Home Energy Efficiency Scheme||Wales||Welsh Assembly||Yes||Yes|
|Improvement and Repair Grants||Scotland||Scottish Executive||Yes||No|
|Milk Tokens for Pregnant partners||England, Scotland and Wales||Department of Health||Yes||No|
|Optical Vouchers and Sight Tests||England, Scotland and Wales||Department of Health||Yes||No|
|Seat Beltsno need to pay for medical evidence for exemption||England, Scotland and Wales||Department for Transport||Yes||No|
People who qualify for a guarantee credit only or who qualify for a guarantee credit and a savings credit will generally get help through Housing Benefit towards all of their eligible rent payments, provided these are reasonable, minus deductions for any non-dependants living with them.
People who receive only the savings credit will not be entitled to full Housing Benefit. Instead, the amount of Housing Benefit they receive will depend upon their income (including their savings credit), their personal circumstances and the amount of their eligible rent. However, the personal allowances used in the Housing Benefit calculation have been enhanced to reflect the maximum savings credit figure. This will ensure that people do not lose the gains from the savings credit in the calculation of their Housing Benefit. This enhancement will apply to all Housing Benefit claimants, aged 65 or over, irrespective of whether they are receiving the maximum savings credit or no savings credit.
Welsh further education tuition fee remission policy is at the discretion of the Further Education College. People in receipt of Pension Credit may (subject to the other criteria) be eligible for a payment from the Social Fund.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners (a) have requested, (b) have received and (c) are currently on a waiting list to receive a home visit from the Pension Service local service; and what the average waiting time is before a pensioner can expect to receive a visit. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Pension Service is primarily a telephony-based service delivered through a network of pension centres across the UK. However, for a variety of reasons, not all older people are able to conduct their business in this way and require either a home appointment or an appointment at a location convenient to them. These customers are referred to local service. During October 2003 (latest available statistics), 45,925 such customers were referred to local service from pension centres and 43,601 received home appointments.
There are no 'waiting lists'. The standard for local service is that customers will be offered a convenient home or surgery appointment within 10 working days. Latest available statistics show that this standard is being met in 96.1 per cent of cases. Home visits are sometimes postponed by the customer while relevant documents are obtained or to enable a relative to be present.
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by what means the policy for purchasing timber and timber products of (a) the Department, (b) the Appeals Service, (c) the Child Support Agency, (d) JobCentre Plus and (e) the Pension Service ensures that they are obtained from legal and sustainable sources. 
Maria Eagle: The Department's PFI Estates PartnerLand Securities Trilliumsupplies the majority of timber products for the Department and all its executive agencies. They were made aware of the requirement to purchase timber from legal and
10 Dec 2003 : Column 475W
sustainable sources in September 2000, by e-mail and during the regular progress meetings that are held between the Department and Land Securities Trillium.
Land Securities Trillium provide an annual report to the Department, giving information on all their suppliers, the type of timber product supplied and details of all supporting verification. This report is then subject to independent verification.
The roll out of the new Jobcentre Plus service means that there are some contracts for refurbishment of sites that are being let outside of the Department's main PFI estates contract. Details of the model contract specification were circulated to the relevant procurement team. A requirement for evidence of the sustainability of timber was included within all contracts. The Department is currently reviewing what evidence has been supplied to date.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps are being taken to encourage men aged between 60 and 65 to apply for the winter fuel allowance for the 200304 winter. 
Malcolm Wicks: Each year, we are able to identify most men who are likely to become newly eligible for a winter fuel payment using current departmental records and they are sent claim forms automatically with an invitation to make a claim.
An extensive publicity campaign is carried out from June each year and continues throughout the year. The campaign includes: advertisements in national and local press; a leaflet and poster made available in a variety of venues, a dedicated Winter Fuel Payment Helpline and information on the internet.
Malcolm Wicks: We expect all those entitled who are not paid automatically, including men aged between 60 and 64, to claim their entitlement to Winter Fuel Payments. In order to achieve full take up we issue claim forms to all those in the target group and publicise the availability of Winter Fuel Payments.
10 Dec 2003 : Column 476W
The qualifying week is set in legislation for the third week in September to enable the Department to establish the correct amount of winter fuel payment and make automatic payments to the vast majority of those entitled at the time the payment is most needed.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many winter fuel payment claim forms have been issued in 2003 in the Perth constituency; and how many claim forms have been submitted. 
Malcolm Wicks: The number of winter fuel payment claim forms issued so far this year to people who are likely to become eligible for a winter fuel payment in the Perth constituency is 696, and of those 446 have been returned.
Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Winter Fuel Payment claim forms have been issued in 2003 in (a) Merseyside and (b) St. Helens; and how many claim forms have been submitted. 
Malcolm Wicks: The number of Winter Fuel Payment claim forms issued so far this year to people who are likely to become eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment in Merseyside is 31,005, and of those 20,698 have been returned.
The number of Winter Fuel Payment claim forms issued so far this year to people who are likely to become eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment in St. Helens is 2,133, and of those 1,547 have been returned.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|