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29 Mar 2004 : Column 1239Wcontinued
29 Mar 2004 : Column 1240W
in receipt of (a) the minimum income guarantee (b) council tax benefit and (c) jobseeker's allowance in (i) 200001 and (ii) 200102. 
|February 2001||February 2002|
|Minimum Income Guarantee||173.9||181|
|Council Tax benefit||537.4||530.3|
1. Minimum Income Guarantee data refers to benefit units where the claimant and/or their partner are aged 60 or over, and therefore will include some claimants aged under 60.
2. Council Tax Benefit data refers to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple.
3. Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred and quoted in thousands.
4. Minimum Income Guarantee figures and Jobseeker's Allowance are based on a 5 per cent. sample; therefore they are subject to sampling variation.
5. Jobseeker's Allowance figures exclude 'nil benefit' cases where claimant is in receipt of NI credits only.
6. Council Tax Benefit figures are based on 100 per cent. counts. Figures for non-responding authorities have been estimated.
7. Council Tax Benefit totals exclude any Second Adult Rebate cases.
1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred and quoted in thousands.
2. Based on 5 per cent. sample, therefore subject to sampling variation.
DWP-IAD Information Centre, 5 per cent. sample
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list each benefit available in 200405 as of right to older people, giving (a) the qualifying age and (b) the total annual Exchequer costs, broken down by uplift according to advancing age. 
|Benefit/entitlement||Payable from age||Qualification||200405 forecast expenditure(£ million)|
|Winter Fuel Payments||60||Non-contributory; non-income-related.||1,740|
|Pension Credit -Guarantee Credit||60||Dependent on income and capital.||4,940|
|Pension Credit -Savings Credit||65||Dependent on income and capital.||1,030|
|Contributory basic State Pension (Category A and Category B)||60 to 65||Depends on National Insurance contributions; non-income-related.||41,190|
|Christmas Bonus||60 to 65||Non-contributory; depends on receipt of qualifying benefit.||110|
|Additional £100 payment (one-off Budget 2004 measure)||70||Non-contributory; non-income-related.||430|
|Free TV licences||75||Non-contributory; non-income-related.||420|
|80+ Annual Payment (Winter Fuel Payment)||80||Non-contributory; non-income-related.||210|
|Non-contributory basic State Pension (Category D)||80||Non-contributory; non-income-related. Depends on person: not receiving a State Pension or receiving a contributory State Pension lower than Category D rate at age 80; being resident in GB at age 80; and having lived in GB for a total of 10 years or more in any continuous period of 20 years before or after they reach age 80.||30|
|Age Addition to basic State Pension||80||Non-contributory; non-income-related.||40|
1. Expenditure figures are consistent with Budget 2004 forecasts and are for GB benefit expenditure.
2. Expenditure figures are rounded to the nearest £10 million.
3. The breakdown of spending may not sum to published totals due to rounding.
4. The figures include Pension Credit (Savings Credit) payments made to someone under age 65 if their partner is age 65 or over.
5. The basic State Pension is paid to women from age 60 and men from age 65.
6. The Christmas Bonus figure is for amounts paid with State Pension and Pension Credit. The Christmas Bonus can also be paid with other qualifying benefits to younger people.
29 Mar 2004 : Column 1241W
Mr. Pond: We are piloting Pathways to Work across Great Britain, a groundbreaking scheme that gives people on Incapacity Benefit access to a comprehensive range of work focused support which is already generating encouraging feedback. This scheme is currently being piloted in three areas including Renfrewshire, and will be extended to a further four areas in April 2004.
The overall strategy for reforming Housing Benefit is to improve administration, promote choice and responsibility, enhance work incentives and reduce levels of fraud and error in the system. As part of our reforms, the Local Housing Allowance, a flat rate allowance based on household locations, family size and income, is being tested in nine pathfinder areas, including Edinburgh; the pathfinder went live on the 9 February 2004 and will run for two years.
Chris Pond: The Housing Benefit Reform Programme was launched in October 2002. Building on improvements in the administration of Housing Benefit, the overall aims of the reforms are to promote choice and responsibility, enhance work incentives, and reduce levels of fraud and error.
The first stage was to improve administration and this is well under way. For example, between October 2002 and April 2003 we introduced a streamlined Housing Benefit reclaiming process after short periods of work, similar to the arrangements introduced for Jobseeker's
29 Mar 2004 : Column 1242W
Allowance and Income Support in October 2001. From April 2004, we will remove the need for customers to make a new Housing Benefit claim when moving from benefit into work. Instead, this will be treated as a change in circumstances.
The second stage is restructuring benefit support for people on low incomes. We have now introduced the 'Local Housing Allowance' in nine Pathfinder areas across Great Britain, including one in Edinburgh, which went live on the 9 February 2004. This is a flat rate allowance based on household location, family size and income. There will be a comprehensive and independent evaluation of the reforms.
29 Mar 2004 : Column 1243W
|Business Unit||Number of Staff|
|Scotland and North East||888|
|Wales and North West||877|
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what correspondence his Department has sent to families relating to the transfer of the child elements of jobseeker's allowance and income support to child tax credit payments; and if he will place copies in the Library. 
Mr. Pond: We have written to all families on Income Support and income-based Jobseeker's Allowance in the last six months, explaining how the transfer of the child elements of their benefit to the Child Tax Credit will affect them.
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