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Benefit Entitlement (Newcastle-under-Lyme)

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many incapacity benefit claimants there are in Newcastle-under-Lyme, broken down by (a) local authority ward and (b) sex. [198576]

Maria Eagle: The information is in the table.
Total numbers claiming incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance: Wards within Newcastle-Under-Lyme parliamentary constituency.

Ward nameTotal Number of IB/SDA ClaimantsMale claimantsFemale claimants
Audley and Bignall End295155140
Cross Heath565330235
Knutton and Silverdale360215145
May Bank280165110
Silverdale and Parksite27017095

1. The figures are a snapshot of all claimants of Incapacity Benefit (including
credits only cases) and Severe Disablement Allowance at August 2003.
2. Wards are based on 2003 ward boundaries.
3. All benefit counts have been rounded to a multiple of five to protect the confidentiality of individual claimants, therefore gender breakdown may not sum to the total shown.
IAD Information Centre, 100 per cent. Data.

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Benefit Take-up (Hendon)

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in Hendon are in receipt of (a) pension credit and (b) pension savings credit; what he estimates the take-up rate of each benefit in Hendon to be; what the (i) highest and (ii) average amount awarded is; and if he will make a statement. [197512]

Malcolm Wicks: Information on numbers of pension credit recipients in Hendon and the level of awards at 30 September, where available, is given in the table. The average award of the savings element in Hendon at the end of May 2004, the latest date for which this figure is available, was 7.44.

Information on the number of people likely to be eligible for pension credit is not available at constituency level. However, we estimate that approximately 450,000 households in the London Government Office Region (GOR), corresponding to approximately 500,000 individuals (rounded to the nearest 50,000), are likely to be eligible for pension credit in 2004–05. At 30 September 277,740 households in the London GOR, comprising 33,230 individuals, were receiving pension credit.
Pension credit recipients, Hendon constituency,30 September 2004

Pension creditSavings element of pension credit
Highest award£249.25(25)
Average award£61.38(25)

(25) Not available.
1. Numbers of recipients are rounded to the nearest five.
2. Individual recipients include a small number of partners under age 60.
3. The numbers of households and individuals in receipt of the savings element include those who were receiving the savings element only and those who were receiving both the savings and guarantee elements.
4. The maximum possible award for the savings element is £20.22.

Carers (Respite Leave)

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what support is given to enable carers to take respite leave. [198717]

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Dr. Ladyman: I have been asked to reply.

The Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 strengthens the rights of carers to an assessment of their own needs as carers. It gives local councils mandatory duties to support carers by providing them with services and short breaks, as well as providing direct payments for carers' services.

Breaks can be provided directly by the council or independent sector providers or through short-term break voucher schemes or direct payments.

The carers' grant was introduced in 1999 to support councils in providing breaks and services for carers in England. The grant has increased annually from £20 million in the first year and has provided an extra £325 million over the past five years. It is worth £125 million in 2004–05 and will be worth £185 million in 2005–06.

Child Support Agency

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his written ministerial statement of 28 October 2004, Official Report, columns 55–57W, on the new child support scheme progress report, upon what date the contract between EDS and the Government with respect to the new child support scheme entered into force; if he will list the sums retained by way of payments due to EDS in each year of operation of the contract; what percentage of the sums retained prior to the period 3 March 2003 to 19 September 2004 have since been paid to EDS; what the total estimated value of the contract between EDS and the Government with respect to the new child support scheme is; and what actions or omission on the part of EDS would amount to material breach of the contract between EDS and the Government. [196265]

Mr. Pond: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive, Mr. Doug Smith. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Mike Isaac to Ms Annabelle Ewing, dated 16 November 2004:

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Council Tax Benefit

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on how the eligibility requirements for council tax benefit differ from those for housing benefit. [198487]

Mr. Pond: The entitlement conditions for the award of housing benefit to those with a rental liability and council tax benefit to those with a liability to pay council tax are broadly the same. However the rate at which these benefits are reduced if a person's income exceeds their applicable amount are different. For housing benefit the taper is 65 per cent. and for council tax benefit 20 per cent.

Ethnic Minorities

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what grants are available to local authorities to promote training, employment and housing for ethnic minorities. [195314]

Jane Kennedy: The Department for Work and Pensions does not have the power to give grants to other organisations, including local authorities and the voluntary and community sector.

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