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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in Coventry he expects will benefit from the £200 council tax assistance proposed in the Budget Statement. 
Local authorities are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.
IAD Information Centre
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of pensioners in Coventry who have not applied for pension credit since its introduction; and what rationale underlay the decision to means-test applicants for pension credit. 
The information is not available in the form requested. As at 31 December 2005, there were 16,215 households (19,615 individuals) in the Coventry local authority area in receipt of pension credit.
4 Apr 2005 : Column 1254W
Information on numbers of households or individuals eligible for pension credit is not available at local authority or constituency level.
This Government's priority when we came to office was to tackle the legacy of pensioner poverty. We continue to do this by targeting help on today's poorest pensioners and by encouraging all pensioners to receive the benefits they are entitled to. At the same time, the Government believes that empowering individuals to make real and informed choices about working and saving for retirement is fundamental if they are to make sure people get the income in retirement they expect. Pension credit rewards those who have worked hard to provide modest incomes for themselves in retirement. Income-testing of benefits has existed since before and after the creation of the Welfare State in 1948. With the introduction of pension credit, and the ease by which it can be applied for, we have moved away from the stigmatising weekly means tests of the past.
Malcolm Wicks: The Pension Service is undergoing a challenging transformation programme through to 2008, which will contribute towards the efficiency challenge announced in the Budget 2004. The Pension Service will be transforming at least 12 pension centre sites to deliver improved customer services, efficiencies and more fulfilling jobs for staff.
The Kingfisher House site in Norwich will support the recovery plans for the Child Support Agency, and will transfer to it by the end of December 2005. The Baltic House site will transfer to Jobcentre Plus by the end of March 2006 to support their transformation programme.
There will be no change to any telephone numbers and no disruption of service. Customers will continue to contact us, as they do now by phoneon our national numberby email and face to face support in Norfolk through The Pension Service Local Service network.
18. Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria are used to determine the order of priority in migrating legacy Child Support Agency cases to the new system. 
Mr. Pond: Where an old scheme case has a link with a new scheme application, that case will transfer early. However, the legislation allowing the transfer of unlinked cases will be put into effect only when we believe the IT is ready and not before.
21. Ms Dari Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the investigatory powers available to the Child Support Agency to trace parents required to make child support payments. 
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) senior management posts and (b) enforcement officer posts there have been in each of the regional Child Support Agency centres in each of the last seven years. 
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) senior management posts and (b) enforcement officer posts there have been in each of the regional Child Support Agency centres in each of the last seven years.
(a) For the purposes of this response I am regarding 'senior management' as posts filled by members of civil service grades 6 and 7. I am unable to provide a geographical breakdown of senior management posts prior to 2003. From 2003 onwards, the number of senior management posts is as follows:
|Regional centre||March 2003||March 2004||January 2005|
|Scotland and NE England||7||7||12|
|Wales and NW England||6||5|
We have altered the way senior management figures are reported from January 2005 to reflect recent changes in our organisational structure. 5 of the original business units have been amalgamated to become the Southern and Northern Territories.
|Scotland and NE England||22||46||38||45||46||48||46|
|Wales and NW England||14||13||14||36||33||36||33|
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on progress in migrating the existing Child Support Agency caseload to the new formula and systems. 
Malcolm Wicks: Reliable estimates of the number of people eligible for pension credit but not receiving it are not yet available. We plan to publish definitive National Statistics on take-up and entitlement for the first six months of pension credit by the end of 2005.
We have already written to every pensioner household in the country about pension credit and we are re-contacting directly, by mail, telephone or personal visit, those people whom we believe particularly likely to be eligible.
The Pension Service local service continues to work in partnership with local authorities and the voluntary sector, particularly in identifying and contacting older people who are vulnerable or who have yet to take up their entitlement.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether a pensioner's higher income from a deferred basic state pension will be taken into account in assessing entitlement to pension credit. 
If a person receives a higher weekly income as a result of deferring, then that higher amount is taken into account in pension credit and may be rewarded in savings credit. There are no proposals to change this.
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Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many phone calls have been made by the Pension Service informing pensioners of pension credit in each month since October 2003; 
(2) how many pensioners in each parliamentary constituency, having been invited to explore the possibility that they may be eligible for pension credit through an unsolicited call from the Pension Service or other agency for which his Department is responsible (a) went on to make a successful application for pension credit and (b) did not go on to make a successful application for pension credit; 
(3) how many pensioners in each parliamentary constituency have received telephone calls since September 2003 from the Pension Service or other agencies for which his Department is responsible, inviting them to explore the possibility that they may be eligible for pension credit; 
(4) how many telephone calls the Pension Service has made since September 2004 to invite pensioners to explore the possibility that they may be eligible for pension credit (a) after 6.30 pm on weekdays and (b) at weekends; and to which parliamentary constituencies those calls were made; 
(5) how many pensioners in each parliamentary constituency have since October 2004 received (a) telephone calls and (b) letters from the Pension Service or other agencies for which his Department is responsible, inviting them to explore the possibility that they may be eligible for pension credit; 
(6) what criteria are used by (a) the Pension Service and (b) other agencies for which his Department has responsibility to identify and approach people who have not applied for pension credit but might be eligible for it. 
Malcolm Wicks: The table shows the number of calls about pension credit made by staff in the pension credit application line between April 2004, when such calls were first made, and February 2005. These calls were not made 'cold' but were either to pensioners who were judged likely to be eligible for pension credit to ask if they wish to apply, or to those who had been sent a completed application form to sign and return but had not yet done so. All those who receive a telephone call would already have received at least one letter about pension credit, including one informing them that a call might be made. It is not possible to break down the figures by constituency or the time at which they were made. Some calls about pension credit have also been made by departmental staff outside the pension credit application line. Figures for these are not available.
The Pension Service uses a range of data to identify those who are potentially eligible for pension credit, including age, gender, marital status, receipt of housing benefit and council tax benefit and an affluence measure based on postcode. Information on the number of people who received a telephone call and went on to make a successful or unsuccessful application for pension credit is not available.
|Month||Calls in which the relevant pensioner was contacted||Calls not answered||Total calls made|
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the most recent take-up levels of pension credit are in each Inland Revenue district; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: The information is not available in the form requested. Information on numbers of households and individuals in receipt of pension credit in each Government Office region, constituency and local authority area at 31 December 2004 is contained in the most recent quarterly pension credit progress report, which was published on 3 February 2005. A copy of the report is in the Library.
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