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25 Feb 2004 : Column 480Wcontinued
Matthew Green: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when his Department will complete its research into the extent to which retailers are using internal extensions to expand their stores without planning permission; and if he will place a copy of the results in the Library. 
Keith Hill: A survey of a sample of local planning authorities has been commissioned through the Government Offices to assess the extent of the issue and the possible consequences. While advanced, this work is not yet complete in a format which would enable it to be published, but the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister hopes to be in a position to make the findings public in due course.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of the population of England and Wales was claiming Incapacity Benefit on the latest date for which figures are available; (a) how many people in and (b) what percentage of the population of each ward in each principal seaside town in England and Wales receive Incapacity Benefit, listed in descending order, with figures for Welsh seaside town clusters disaggregated; and if he will make a statement. 
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Allowance) in England and Wales as of 31 August 2003. This accounts for 5.7 per cent. of the population over 16-years-old.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost is of running two systems side by side during the Jobcentre Plus rollout in (a) Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and (b) the South East region. 
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many doctors have had approval to carry out assessments on behalf of the Department revoked in each of the last five years, broken down by location. 
Maria Eagle: The information requested has been recorded only since 2002, following enhancements to Medical Services' Medical Skills Database and the introduction of a new database in the Chief Medical Adviser's office. The available information is in the table.
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|Medical Services Unit||2002||2003|
Malcolm Wicks: Precise information requested is not available. The DWP report, "Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up", contains estimates of the additional amount of income support/minimum income guarantee, housing benefit and council tax benefit payable, if every pensioner took up their entitlement. For financial year 200001, the latest year for which information is available, it is estimated between £1.03 billion and £1.8 billion of these benefits were left unclaimed by the eligible GB pensioner population in private households. This compares with £7.70 billion claimed by this population; and represents between 81 per cent. and 88 per cent. of the total of amounts claimed and amounts unclaimed.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total cost to his Department of payments to employers in respect of statutory sick pay was in each of the last five years. 
Maria Eagle: The Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) scheme is administered by employers as part of the National Insurance scheme. While employers meet most of the costs of SSP, they can, in certain circumstances, reclaim some of their costs from the Department.
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|Financial year||Expenditure on SSP for DWP (£ million)|
1. Information is in real terms, 200304 prices and rounded to the nearest £1 million.
2. Data for recoveries on SSP are currently under review and all published figures are therefore subject to revision.
DWP reports and accounts.
Dr. Ladyman: It is the role of primary care trusts in partnership with local stakeholders to decide what services to provide for their populations, including those with allergies. They are best placed to understand local health care needs and commission services to meet them.
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) published their report, "Allergythe unmet need: a blueprint for better patient care", on 25 June 2003. We welcome the RCP report and believes it is a useful contribution to the debate on how to improve national health service allergy services.
The Food Standards Agency funds research on food allergy and intolerance, with particular emphasis on severe allergies, how they occur and what causes them. A large programme of research on food intolerance and allergy, costing around £1 million a year is on-going. King's College London is leading a £2.1 million European Community funded prospective study of the incidence and prognosis of allergy, allergic disease and low lung function in adults living in Europe. Also, the University of Manchester is leading a £1.2 million EC-funded investigation of the prevalence, pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of sun allergy across Europe. Sun-provoked skin reactions are one of the commonest forms of allergy.
Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer, 16 December 2003, Official Report, column 877W, to the hon. Member for Christchurch (Mr. Chope), on brachytherapy treatment, by what date the Department will have decided whether the treatment referred to is a suitable topic for referral to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence as a technology appraisal. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: It is not yet possible to say when the Department will be in a position to consider brachytherapy for the treatment of prostate cancer as a potential topic for referral to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) as a technology appraisal.
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More evidence on the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of brachytherapy in the treatment of prostate cancer will be needed for the Department to be able to consider its referral to NICE. It is not yet known when current studies are likely to produce such evidence.
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