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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners his Department estimates have been living in persistent poverty in each of the last seven years. 
The Department for Work and Pension's strategy report 'Opportunity for all' (OFA) reports on persistent poverty, and provides results for individuals with an equivalised income below 60 per cent. of the median for at least three out of four successive years. A time series showing the proportion of pensioners in persistent poverty using this definition is presented in the following table:
Proportion below 60 per cent. of median income in at least 3 out of 4 years
|Percentage of pensioners
|1992 to 1995||16
|1993 to 1996||16
|1994 to 1997||17
|1995 to 1998||17
|1996 to 1999||18
|1997 to 2000||17
|1998 to 2001||18
1. Source: British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), which is carried out by the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) UK Longitudinal Studies Centre at the University of Essex.
2. The latest date for which BHPS data are available is the calendar year 2001. Figures for the calendar year 2002 will be published in the second half of 2004.
3. Persistent poverty using this definition is measured over four-year periods. The table presents figures for the most recent seven four-year periods.
4. Estimates are for Great Britain.
5. The definition used in the answer is used in the Government's Opportunity for all report (Cm 5956), which is available in the Library. This gives indicators of persistent low income for children, working age adults and older people using both 60 and 70 per cent. of overall median income as the thresholds for low income.
6. Using four-year windows to estimate the proportion in persistent low income, and the way in which response patterns vary within each of the survey years, has meant that it is not possible to present robust estimates of the numbers in persistent poverty using the BHPS survey. For this reason, proportions have been presented.
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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many mothers in West Lancashire have taken up the Sure Start maternity grant. 
The information is not available in the format requested, the available information is in the tables.
Sure Start maternity grants for South West Lancashire Social Fund District
Sure Start maternity grants for the area covered by Lancashire West Jobcentre Plus District
|2003 May to March
1. In May 2003, part of South West Lancashire Social Fund District was combined with Blackpool and Preston Social Fund Districts and part of Lancaster and South Cumbria Social Fund District to form Lancashire West Jobcentre Plus District. West Lancashire Parliamentary Constituency is now in Lancashire West Jobcentre Plus District. The two areas for which data is given in the table are thus different, and the data is not comparable.
2. There were no cases for 19992000.
3. Data is given for all applications and awards, irrespective of whether the application was made by the mother or her partner.
DWP Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System.
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Mr. Gordon Marsden:
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many mothers in Blackpool, South have received the Sure Start maternity grant. 
The information is not available in the format requested. The available information is in the tables.
Sure Start maternity grants for Blackpool Social Fund District
Sure Start maternity grants for area covered by Lancashire West Jobcentre Plus District
|2003 May to March||4,866||3,710
1. Data are not available by parliamentary constituency.
2. Blackpool South parliamentary constituency used to be part of Blackpool Social Fund District. This District was involved in a very complex interlocking set of boundary changes affecting an area from North Cumbria to Norfolk, which took place from September 2002 to June 2003. In May 2003, Blackpool Social Fund District was combined with Preston Social Fund District and parts of South West Lancashire, and Lancaster and South Cumbria Social Fund Districts to form Lancashire West Jobcentre Plus District. The two areas for which data are given in the table are thus different, so the data is not comparable.
3. Sure Start maternity grants were introduced on 27 March 2000. The very small number of cases for 19992000 has been excluded for data protection reasons.
4. Data is given for all applications and awards, irrespective of whether the application was made by the mother or her partner.
DWP Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a list of the local authorities (a) not complying, (b) partially complying and (c) fully complying with the verification framework for the most recent year available. 
[holding answer 13 May 2004]: The information has been placed in the Library.
MINISTER FOR WOMEN
To ask the Minister for Women what entitlement there is for women in work to take breaks for breastfeeding; and if she will make a statement. 
The law requires employers to give breastfeeding women a place to rest and every employer must ensure that when an employee notifies that she is breastfeeding she or her child are not exposed to any risks from the work activity as long as she continues to
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breastfeed. HSE publishes comprehensive guidance on how employers can meet their legal requirements on their website: www.hse.gov.uk/mothers.
The Government believes that arrangements for when breaks should be taken for breastfeeding should be a matter for agreement between employers and employees as it would be difficult to design a regulatory provision that would be workable across different sectors. We would always encourage employers and employees to work together to find arrangements which will best balance the needs of the mother and the business.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it is a requirement that the cause of death be printed on death certificates in England and Wales. 
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the General Registrar for England and Wales, who has been asked to reply.
Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Albert Owen, dated 18 May 2004:
As National Statistician and Registrar General for England and Wales, I have been asked to reply to your recent question concerning whether it is now a requirement for the cause of death to be printed on death certificates in England and Wales. (174072)
Currently a certified copy of an entry in a death register must contain all the information in the entry, including the cause of death.
However, in January 2002 the Government published a White Paper "Civil Registration: Vital Change" (Cm 5355) containing proposals for the reform of the civil registration service in England and Wales. One of the proposals is in addition to providing a full death certificate, to make available a shortened form that omits the cause of death. It is intended that the White Paper proposals are taken forward by means of an order under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001. A draft order is currently being prepared for laying before Parliament.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what reports he has received on delays, for administrative reasons, in the registration of births; what the latest average time (a) in London and (b) in the UK for a birth being registered is; and if he will make a statement. 
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Registrar General, who has been asked to reply.
Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Harry Cohen, dated 18 May 2004:
As National Statistician and Registrar General for England and Wales, I have been asked to reply to your recent question concerning the average time taken in (a) London and (b) the UK to register a birth. (174181)
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The General Register Office does not routinely collect information on administrative delays to birth registration. Responsibility for delivering the civil registration service in England and Wales is split between each of the 172 local authorities and the Registrar General for England and Wales.
Complaints about administrative delays would be referred to the Proper Officer for Registration Matters appointed by each local authority with responsibility for delivery of registration services.
The length of the interval between birth and registration may be influenced by parental choice or circumstances. For example, the interval may be longer than it would otherwise have been if the father is not immediately available to attend the register office along with the mother, or if the parents are undecided on the child's name. If parents express concern about a delay in the registration because of non-availability of a registrar, that concern would be addressed by the local authority.
A fundamental review of civil registration is being undertaken currently which, if the necessary changes in law are implemented, will extend the means available to the public for registering events. In addition to the existing face-to-face interview with the registrar, it is proposed to introduce the facility for telephone and internet registration. Reforms are being introduced by means of an Order under the Regulatory Reform Act. An Order is due to be presented later this session.
The average interval between occurrence and registration of births to women usually resident in London was 24.1 days in 2003. The equivalent figure for England and Wales was 17.9 days. Civil registration is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and further information is available from the General Register Offices of these countries.