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12 Jan 2004 : Column 560Wcontinued
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners are not receiving their pension credit entitlement (a) in England and (b) in London; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: The information is not available in the form requested. However, we estimate that there are approximately 3.15 million pensioner households in England and 450,000 in London likely to be eligible for pension credit. While we want everyone who is eligible to take up their entitlement, we have to recognise that some may choose not to apply.
We have today published the latest monthly pension credit progress report, including numbers of recipient households in each parliamentary constituency in Great Britain.
It shows that we continue to make good progress. As at 31 December 2003, more than 2.5 million pensioners were receiving pension credit. In the hon. Member's constituency, 4,204 households are receiving pension credit with an average award of £58.62 per week.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many (a) individuals and (b) households who had not previously been in receipt of the minimum income guarantee were in receipt of (i) the guarantee credit and (ii) the savings credit on (A) 14 October, (B) 11 November and (C) 10 December; 
Malcolm Wicks: Information for some of the dates referred to is not available in the format requested. The tables give information to the nearest dates for which information is available.
|17 October 2003||30 November 2003|
|Great Britain total||133,570||179,120||302,265||404,555|
|Guarantee credit only||8,740||11,455||27,215||35,820|
|Guarantee credit and savings credit||31,940||39,170||82,530||101,220|
|Savings credit only||92,895||128,495||192,520||267,515|
|17 October 2003||30 November 2003|
|Great Britain total||1,902,250||2,246,985||2,056,010||2,454,640|
|Previously on MIG||1,768,680||2,067,870||1,753,745||2,050,085|
|Previously NOT on MIG||133,570||179,120||302,265||404,555|
1. Figures are based on 100 per cent. Generalised Matching Service (CMS) data.
2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 5
3. Figures might not sum due to rounding.
4. A household may be a single person or a couple. Figures for individuals show total numbers of individuals in households where Pension Credit is in payment, i.e. two individuals where Pension Credit is in payment to a couple, and include a small number of partners under age 60.
IAD Information Centre, 100 per cent sample
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Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in how many cases retirement pensions have not been paid into Post Office card accounts on their due date because of computer problems; and if he will make it his policy to put in place emergency payments in such cases. 
Mr. Pond: We are aware of a recent issue that resulted in a slight delay in paying some State Pensions into Post Office card accounts. The actual number of payments that were affected is not known.
There are existing emergency payment procedures to cover the situation where payment is not made at the due time.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what arrangements were made for early payment of pensions over the Christmas and new year period 200304 for holders of Post Office card accounts; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Pond: The Department arranges that where customers are due payments on a public holiday, that payments are advanced so that they can get the money before the public holiday.
Payment to Post Office card accounts are paid in the same way as payments direct to any bank account. The arrangements put money into the account on the last banking day before each of the bank holidays namely the 24 December and 31 December.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he proposes that public sector pension schemes should be required to pay insurance premiums to the Pension Protection Fund; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: Public sector pension schemes that are protected by a Government guarantee would not require or be eligible to receive compensation from the Pension Protection Fund. Consequently, these schemes will not be required to pay the annual levy.
Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his meeting with prime ministers from Commonwealth Caribbean countries. 
The Prime Minister: I met Commonwealth Caribbean leaders on 2 December. The leaders attending were the Prime Minister of Jamaica, at that time concurrently the Chairman of CARICOM, the President of Guyana and the Prime Ministers of the Bahamas, Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia. The CARICOM Secretary-General and the Director General of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery also attended.
On trade, we agreed on the importance of getting the Doha development round moving again and of working to ensure that changes to trade regimes are phased so that vulnerable Caribbean economies can adjust. On
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security we discussed the threat to the region of drug trafficking and gun crime and the way that these problems affect the UK. We are exploring ways in which we can enhance our security cooperation.
The Government have also offered to facilitate an event in the Caribbean looking at best practice in tackling stigmatisation and discrimination of those with HIV/AIDS.
Mr. Key: To ask the Prime Minister which departments of Government besides the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister have responsibilities for e-government at (a) parish council and (b) town council levels; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has sole responsibility in Central Government for local e-Government. It works closely with the Office of the e-Envoy on policy and infrastructure issues such as the Government Gateway. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister consults with other Government Departments on cross cutting issues affecting local e-government policy as and when appropriate and works closely with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the development of the role of town and parish councils.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Prime Minister in how many speeches during 2003 he declared support for the Government's policy on the euro. 
The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer the Financial Secretary at the Treasury gave to him today.
During 2003 as in other years, I set out the Government's policy on the euro in speeches, media appearances and of course in Parliament. Copies of my speeches are available on the Number 10 website.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to assist the Iraqi Governing Council in organising free and fair elections; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: On 15 November, the Iraqi Governing Council announced plans for establishing a transitional national assembly formed through caucus elections at provincial level.
The assembly will be elected no later than 31 May 2004, leading to the creation of a new transitional administration by the end of June 2004. This will be followed by elections for a constitutional convention, leading in turn to national elections for a new representative Iraqi Government by the end of 2005
We will assist the Iraqis during this process in any way we can.
Glenda Jackson: To ask the Prime Minister if he will place in the library the Iraq Survey Group report and its annexes listing the massive network of laboratories and
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factories engaged in the production of weapons of mass destruction referred to in his Christmas broadcast to British forces in Iraq on 16 December 2003. 
The Prime Minister: The leader of the Iraq Survey Group, Dr. David Kay, presented an unclassified summary report to the US authorities on 2 October 2003, copies of which were placed in the libraries of both Houses. This summary report contains numerous references to a clandestine network of laboratories in Iraq.
The full report, which was shared in confidence with other principal coalition partners, contains detailed and operationally sensitive information and is highly classified. It has been the practice of successive Governments not to give information on intelligence and security matters, under exemption 1 of Part 2 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Richard Ottaway: To ask the Prime Minister on what date after 9 September 2002 he was informed that the weapons of mass destruction referred to in the September 2002 dossier which could be deployed in 45 minutes were battlefield mortar shells or small calibre weaponry. 
The Prime Minister : I have nothing to add to the reply I gave to my hon. Friends, the Members for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) and for Nottingham, South (Mr. Simpson) on 27 October 2003, Official Report, column 50W.
Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his letter to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent, of 28 October 2003, if he will list (a) the titles of each of the UK-owned documents in respect of Iraqi procurement of uranium from Niger to which he refers and (b) the dates on which each document respectively was provided to (i) the International Atomic Energy Agency and (ii) the UN Special Commission on Iraq; and how the Government sought to ensure that the owners of other intelligence of which it had been informed about the Niger uranium procurement by Iraq made the IAEA aware of its contents. 
The Prime Minister: As my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr. Rammell), said in his answer on 1 September 2003, Official Report, column 805W and I reiterated in my letter of 28 October, the UK did not provide any documentation to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) or UNMOVIC on Iraqi attempts to procure uranium from Africa.
On the issue of how the Government sought to ensure that the owners of other intelligence about Niger uranium procurement by Iraq made the IAEA aware of this, I refer my hon. Friend to the answers the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr. MacShane) and the Under-secretary of State (Mr. Rammell) gave my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Lynne Jones) on 7 July 2003, Official Report, column 579W and 1 September 2003, Official Report, column 805W.
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