Previous Section Index Home Page

29 Nov 2004 : Column 43W—continued

Contracted-out Rebates

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his estimate of expenditure on contracted-out rebates is based on an assumption about the number of people who are contracted out in 2004–05; and if he will make a statement. [200158]

29 Nov 2004 : Column 44W

Malcolm Wicks: Current estimates of expenditure on contracted out rebates in 2004–05 are based on assumptions of the number of people contracted out in 2004–05, as well as incorporating other data and assumptions-for example, the earnings of people contracted-out and the level of rebates paid in the past.

Assumptions of the number of people contracted out in 2004–05 are in turn based on the latest available data on the numbers of people contracted out but taking account of information on trends in contracting out since the latest data.

The latest available data on the number of people contracted out was published in March this year and shows numbers contracted-out up to 2000–01. Further data showing numbers contracted out up to 2002–03 is expected to be published by the end of this year and the assumptions underlying the estimate of rebate expenditure will be reviewed in light of this new data.

Financial Assistance Scheme

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the costs of the Financial Assistance Scheme will be met from within his Department's pre-existing spending plans. [199725]

Malcolm Wicks: The Government have promised to make £400 million in total available for the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS). It is proposed to accommodate expenditure on FAS in the period from 2005–06 to 2007–08 within the spending plans settled in the 2004 Spending Review. For later years, the Government will take account of their commitment to the FAS in future spending reviews.

Household Income

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of households in each region of England and Wales has a gross annual income of (a) less than £10,000 and (b) less than £20,000. [199902]

Mr. Pond: The information is in the table:
Percentage of households in each region of England and Wales with gross annual income less than £10,000 and £20,000 at 2002–03 prices. Average for 2000–01, 2001–02 and 2002–03.

Gross household income less than £10,000Gross household income less than £20,000
North East2758
North West2253
Yorkshire and Humberside2253
East Midlands2251
West Midlands2049
South East1538
South West2048

1. All figures are estimates and are taken from the Family Resources Survey (FRS). Due to regional volatility, estimates are based on a three year average from 2000–01 to 2002–03.
2. Figures are based on a total income at 2002–03 prices.
3. The FRS is not designed to collect information on annual income. Earnings figures are based on last usual pay. Annual income is estimated by assuming that the income for the relevant period applied for the whole year.
4. The estimates are based on sample counts that have been adjusted for non-response using multi-purpose grossing factors which align the FRS to Government Office Region populations by age and sex. Estimates are subject to sampling error and remaining response bias.
5. Total weekly household income consists of gross income from all sources before deduction of income tax and national insurance.
6. Total income has not been adjusted for family size.
2000–01, 2001–02 and 2002–03 Family Resources Survey, Great Britain

29 Nov 2004 : Column 45W

Pension Credit

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average payment of pension credit is in (a) England and Wales and (b) each region. [200373]

Malcolm Wicks: Average pension credit awards in Great Britain, England and Wales and in each Government Office Region in Great Britain at 30 September are given in the following table. Information on numbers of pension credit recipients will now be reported on a quarterly basis, in line with reporting practices for other Departmental benefits.
29 Nov 2004 : Column 46W

Average pension credit awards—30 September 2004

AreaAverage award (£)
Great Britain41.67
England and Wales41.83
East Midlands39.48
North East37.12
North West41.42
South East38.56
South West38.62
West Midlands41.73
Yorkshire and Humberside38.15

Working Time (Home Deliveries/Services)

Mr. Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department collects statistics on the amount of working time lost by employees waiting at home for delivery of (a) goods and (b) services. [200152]

Maria Eagle: The Department does not collect statistics for this purpose as employees required to wait at home for delivery of goods and services utilise the provisions of the flexible working hours agreement or their annual leave allocation, thereby not incurring any lost working time.