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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 200405; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: Current estimates of expenditure on contracted out rebates in 200405 are based on assumptions of the number of people contracted out in 200405, 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 200405 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 200001. Further data showing numbers contracted out up to 200203 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.
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 200506 to 200708 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.
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. 
|Gross household income less than £10,000||Gross household income less than £20,000|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||22||53|
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
|Area||Average award (£)|
|England and Wales||41.83|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||38.15|
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. 
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.