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Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the Health and Safety Commission's recommendations regarding gas safety in relation to (a) the introduction of a levy on gas suppliers to fund a publicity campaign about the dangers of carbon monoxide gas and (b) requiring emergency service providers to provide suitably trained and equipped operatives to perform the flue gas analysis are due to be implemented; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: Agreement has been reached with the Energy Retail Association (which represents the top six gas suppliers) to fund voluntarily a national gas safety strategy to include publicity about the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
The Gas Emergency Service Provider (Transco) is currently piloting the use of Flue Gas Analysers to trace CO. The pilot follows research into the use of the device, which was jointly funded by Government and the industry. A decision to implement this recommendation must take account of the results of that pilot, and also considerations such as effectiveness, costs, benefits and practical viability.
Malcolm Wicks: At 31 August 2004, the most recent date for which figures are available, approximately 500 recipients of pension credit in Stoke-on-Trent, who were in receipt of the extra amount payable to carers, were also in receipt of basic state pension.
IAD Information Centre, Department for Work and Pensions
The figure, rounded up to the nearest hundred, is based on a 5 per cent. sample and is subject to a high degree of sampling variation. It should be used as a guide only.
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.
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As I have previously indicated to the Work and Pensions Select Committee on 17 November 2004, the average time for handling a case, up to the stage where the maintenance assessment is calculated, is currently between 15 to 22 weeks.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of whether the Child Support Agency has sufficient clerical resources to deal with the backlog of cases transferred from the old to the new systems. 
Mr. Pond: The staffing requirements of the Child Support Agency form part of the Spending Review planning process. We will take into account the agency's current and anticipated case load when deciding on the staffing levels that will be allocated to it up to 31 March 2008.
On 26 January 2004, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, announced that we will protect front-line resources by ensuring no major reduction in frontline Child Support Agency staff numbers until the new computer system is working effectively.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases are being dealt with by the Child Support Agency at the Falkirk Centre; how many of these cases are being dealt with under the new system; and how many old scheme cases remain on the old computer system. 
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases are being dealt with by the Child Support Agency at the Falkirk Centre; hew many of these cases are being dealt with under the new legislation; and how many old scheme cases remain on the old computer system.
I am able to tell you that the number of cases within the Scotland and North Eastern business unit, based in Falkirk, is over 235,000. Of these cases over 102,000 have been registered on the new computer system; approximately 61,000 of these cases are being dealt with under the new legislation and 41,000 under the old legislation. In addition around 133,000 are currently old scheme cases on the old computer system.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average annual increase in gross
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salary was for the year 200304 for (a) staff below the Senior Civil Service and (b) the Senior Civil Service in his Department. 
Maria Eagle: The average annual increase in gross salary in DWP for the year 200304 was 5 per cent. for staff in grades below the Senior Civil Service, and 2.65 per cent. for staff in the Senior Civil Service.
1.Data source: DWP Dataview" for September 2003 and September 2004 extracted from FAMIS and Rebus payroll systems. 2.The figures represent all staff in DWP, including those in the corporate centre, Jobcentre Plus, The Pension Service, Child Support Agency, and the Disability and Carer Service. 3.The figures are based on basic full-time, not pro-rated for any working patterns and exclude allowances, overtime, bonuses and employer's national insurance and superannuation liabilities. 4.The percentage growth has been calculated by dividing the increases in mean salaries into the September 2003 mean salaries.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many contracts in his Department have been granted to (a) EDS, (b) Fujitsu and (c) jointly in each of the last two years; whether they were open to competition; for what they were granted; for how much; over what period of time; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The Department for Work and Pensions continues to award business to EDS under its Accord and ITPA PFI contracts, both of which were subject to competition and were signed in 1999 and 1998 respectively.
Application Hosting and Associated Operationalthe initial component of this being an Enterprise Resource Planning system. The contract was awarded following a competition which was advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union and has an estimated value of £27 million over five years.
Real Time Pensions Forecasting design and development contract awarded to Fujitsu following a competition under the Accord framework. The contract runs from December 2003 to September 2004 and has an estimated value of £4.654 million. An application maintenance contract for this system has also been awarded to Fujitsu running from September 2004 until March 2006 with an estimated value of £0.592 million.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners were in receipt
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of council tax benefit in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Great Britain in (i) each year from 199798 to 200405 and (ii) each of the last 12 months; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the council tax benefit take-up campaign launched by his Department and the Local Government Association in 2004. 
Research was commissioned to establish the general levels of awareness of council tax benefit and to identify the effect of the publicity campaign. The research was conducted at both pre and post stages of the publicity activity. Overall, the research suggested that this activity had a positive effect in raising levels of awareness among our primary target audience of pensioners. Those respondents aged 65 plus were more likely than other age groups to have seen or heard something about paying less council tax, and this increased from 19 per cent. at the pre-publicity stage to 29 per cent. at the post-publicity stage.
In a recent survey, over 90 per cent. of authorities that responded said that they had introduced initiatives that overlapped with, or were as a result of, the council tax benefit campaign. And around two thirds of authorities said that this had resulted in an overall increase in case load.
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