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26 Jan 2004 : Column 96W—continued

Stakeholder Pensions

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the average level of employer contributions, net of tax relief, into stakeholder pension schemes since their introduction. [150458]

Malcolm Wicks: Inland Revenue data show that in 2001–02 the average contribution to stakeholder pension schemes made by employers was £420 per annum.

This figure represents the average contribution for the financial year 2001–02 to schemes where an employer is contributing. The data are for the full year and does not include a scheme start date, so where a scheme was started in-year, although the contributions would only have been made for part of the year they have been averaged over 12 months. Therefore the estimate will not reflect the true annual average if the scheme had operated for a full year.

At present comparable figures for subsequent years are not yet available as although we have data on total contributions made and number of schemes receiving

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tax relief, data showing the schemes which received employer contributions has not yet been released; data for 2002–03 will become available in summer 2004.

Between 2001–02 and 2002–03 total contributions to stakeholder schemes by employers have risen by 267 per cent. from £150 million per annum to £400 million per annum.

Advice Organisations

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the overlap between existing Citizens Advice Bureaux and the new advice-based organisations funded by his Department; and if he will make a statement. [148528]

Mr. Pond: Our Agencies provide advice to people on those areas for which this Department is responsible, ensuring that people understand their rights and responsibilities within the benefit system, the benefits that they are entitled to, the job opportunities open to them, and what services are available to improve their job prospects. However, we do not give the broad range of advice that is available from Citizens Advice Bureaux.

In some cases, the best way to provide our services is in conjunction with other organisations within the community. For example, Jobcentre Plus is working with Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change on its Neighbourhood Pathway project. It is providing its knowledge and skills in helping people back in to work, and has invested £883,890 during the period April 2003 to December 2003, supporting 420 people into work and 320 people into training and mainstream Jobcentre Plus programmes.

Benefit Payments (Computer Downtime)

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many hours of system downtime relating to the computer dealing with direct payment there have been in each month since it was introduced. [147653]

Mr. Pond [holding answer 13 January 2004]: Information is not available in the format requested.

The Department has contingency arrangements in place to maintain continuity of benefit payment, in the unlikely event of benefit system failure.

The figures for Service Availability across all Departmental Systems over the past 6 months has been 99.98 per cent. Availability has not dipped under the 99.2 per cent. target over the past year.

Carers Allowance

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people (a) over and (b) under 65 were entitled to carers allowance but did not receive payment in each (i) constituency and (ii) local authority area in London in the last year for which figures are available. [146088]

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Maria Eagle: Information on people in London local authorities who are entitled to Carers Allowance but are not receiving a payment due to the overlapping benefit rules, as at 31 August 2003, the latest data available is given in the table.

Local AuthorityAllUnder 6565 and over
All9,695 4,6255,070
City of London 5
Barking and Dagenham365170195
Hammersmith and Fulham1809585
Kensington and Chelsea853550
Kingston upon Thames1356075
Richmond upon Thames1557085
Tower Hamlets310155150
Waltham Forest325160165

Information on people in London Parliamentary Constituencies who are entitled to Carers Allowance but are not receiving a payment due to the overlapping benefit rules, as at 31 August 2003, the latest data available is given in the table.

Parliamentary ConstituencyAllUnder 6565 and over
All 9,6954,6255,070
Barking 1809090
Beckenham 1055055
Bethnal Green and Bow 1708090
Bexleyheath and Crayford 1556590
Brent East 955045
Brent North 1105555
Brent South 954550
Brentford and Isleworth1507080
Bromley and Chislehurst 1156055
Camberwell and Peckham 1106050
Carshalton and Wallington1456085
Chingford and Woodford Green1405585
Chipping Barnet1156055
Cities of London and Westminster703530
Croydon Central1406575
Croydon North1457575
Croydon South 1105555
Dagenham 18580105
Dulwich and West Norwood 1056050
Haling Acton and Shepherds Bush1105555
Ealing North1357065
Ealing Southall1608575
East Ham1608575
Enfield North955045
Enfield Southgate1054065
Erith and Thamesmead18585100
Feltham and Heston17070100
Finchley and Golders Green1105555
Greenwich and Woolwich20575125
Hackney North and Stoke Newington1105060
Hackney South and Shoreditch1658580
Hammersmith and Fulham1256560
Hampstead and Highgate954050
Harrow East1306565
Harrow West954055
Hayes and Harlington1157045
Holborn and St. Pancras1356570
Hornsey and Wood Green904545
llford North1809590
llford South1458560
Islington North1506585
Islington South and Finsbury1307060
Kensington and Chelsea351520
Kingston and Surbiton1104560
Lewisham Deptford1005545
Lewisham East1305575
Lewisham West1206060
Leyton and Wanstead1205565
Mitcham and Morden1306070
North Southwark and Bermondsey1457570
Old Bexley and Sidcup1305080
Poplar and Canning Town21012090
Regents Park and Kensington North1458070
Richmond Park803540
Ruislip Northwood1305575
Sutton and Cheam1155560
West Ham1609070


Figures are rounded to the nearest 5, totals may not sum due to founding


IAD Information Centre, 100 per cent. sample

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The following table contains the figures for the number of people who have an entitlement to Carers Allowance but do not receive it due to overlapping benefit rules, but receive a Carer Premium 1 .

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Under 6524.7
65 and Over26.0


1. Figures are based on a 5 per cent sample and are therefore subject to a degree of sampling variation.

2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred and are expressed in thousands. Totals do not sum due to rounding.

3. Income-based JSA will include those receiving Income-based JSA with an underlying entitlement to Contribution-based JSA.

4. There is an equivalent premium called the Additional Amount in Pension Credit. There are no data available on this as yet.


IAD Information Centre, 5 per cent. sample.

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