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Adult Disadvantages

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will recalculate the figures placed in the Library following the answer to the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Mr. Flight) of 26 May 2004, Official Report, column 1715W, on adult disadvantages, to include retirement on 31 December 2004. [224659]

Malcolm Wicks: The information is not currently available. The calculations referred to are based on figures published by UBS Global Asset Management. Figures for 2004 are expected to be published in June.

Asylum Seekers

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the payments and grants made by his Department and its predecessors to each local authority in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland to reimburse the costs of supporting asylum seekers in each year from 1996–97 until the transfer of responsibility to the Home Office. [217876]

Mr. Pond: No payments or grants were made to local authorities specifically in respect of asylum seekers, including those subsidies for housing benefit or council tax benefit. Although asylum seekers may have been eligible for housing benefit and/or council tax benefit, estimates of the proportion of subsidy payments which relate to asylum seekers for each local authority are unavailable.

Carers Allowance (Milton Keynes)

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Milton Keynes are in receipt of carers allowance. [224129]

Maria Eagle: The administration of carers allowance is a matter for the chief executive of the disability and carers service, Mr. Terry Moran. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Vivien Hopkins to Dr. Phyllis Starkey, dated 6 April 2005:

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In PaymentEntitlement
Milton Keynes South West6701,050
Milton Keynes North East525780

Figures taken from a 100 per cent. sample at 30 November 2004.
Figures are rounded to the nearest 5.
Entitlement includes people in payment, as well as those with underlying entitlement but not actually receiving payment because of the overlapping benefit rules.
Information Directorate.

Dementia Sufferers

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) financial and (b) other support is available for the carers and family members of people suffering from dementia. [224197]

Maria Eagle: Carers have access to the full range of social security benefits depending on their individual circumstances. Carers of severely disabled people in receipt of attendance allowance or the middle/highest rate of disability living allowance care component may be entitled to carer's allowance.

The Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 gives carers a right to an assessment of their needs, and gives local councils a mandatory duty to support carers by providing services such as short breaks. The Carer's Grant funds provision of such services and breaks, and will be worth £185 million in 2005–06.

The Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 which comes into force on 1 April 2005 places a duty on councils to inform carers, in certain circumstances, of their right to an assessment of their needs:

Disabled People

Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to encourage (a) independent living and (b) independent advocacy for disabled people. [224561]

Maria Eagle: The Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for financing the Independent Living Funds which currently benefits some 16,400 severely disabled people and also acts as sponsor for the Motability scheme which helps finance personal transport for some 378,000 disabled people.

In addition, independent living is one of the key areas addressed in the recent Prime Minister's Strategy Unit report "Improving the life chances of disabled people" a copy of which is available in the Library. The report sets out a vision that by 2025 disabled people will have the full opportunities and choices necessary to enable them to improve their quality of life. Among the proposals are a range of measures including new individual budgets,
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together with better advice and advocacy support. This is a cross-Government report, and this Department will be coordinating the overall implementation action.

Financial Assistance Scheme

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the average core annual pension entitlement of the 15,000 occupational pension scheme members who will be covered by the Financial Assistance Scheme's provisions for those within three years of retirement age. [212305]

Malcolm Wicks: We shall not have full information on members' entitlements under their schemes until their schemes are close to completing wind up.

As announced in my ministerial written statement of 4 April 2005, Official Report, columns 126–28WS, we are also in the process of consulting on the details of how "core pension entitlement" will be determined for the purposes of the FAS. The detailed definition will be subject to the outcome of the consultation and until it is finalised we are unable to estimate the average entitlement for these scheme members.

Health and Safety at Work

Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will bring forward legislative proposals to make company directors legally responsible for health and safety breaches within their companies; [224211]
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(2) what assessment he has made of the effects on the number of convictions for breaches of health and safety legislation of the absence of legally binding duties for health and safety on company directors; [224212]

Mr. Pond: The Government believe that there is already an appropriate balance of legislative and non-legislative responsibilities on directors in relation to health and safety and have no immediate plans to legislate.

However, we have asked the Health and Safety Executive to assess the effectiveness of the current measures in place concerning director responsibilities for health and safety, to review all the available evidence and to report its findings together with recommendations by December 2005. The issues raised by my hon. Friend will be considered as part of that assessment.

Once this review has been completed, the Government will be in a position to reconsider the issue of further legislation.

Income Support

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the most common reasons are that people of working age claim income support; and how many claimants there were in each category for the last year for which figures are available. [224671]

Mr. Pond: The information is not available in the format requested. The available information is in the following table.
Income support claimants of working age in Great Britain by client group: February 2004 to November 2004

All working ageAged 60 or overDisabledLone parentOthers
February 20042,199,50011,7001,118,000820,500249,200
May 20042,170,80011,0001,116,100809,800234,000
August 20042,169,10010,8001,120,500804,000233,800
November 20042,147,90010,9001,124,400781,700230,800
Four quarter average2,171,80011,1001,119,700804,000237,000

1. Caseload figures have been rounded to the nearest.
2. Working age refers to men aged 16 to 64 and women aged 16 to 59.
3. 'Aged 60 or over' are cases where the claimant and/or partner is 60 or over.
4. Disabled category refers to claimants aged under 60 with a disability premium and not in receipt of a pensioner premium.
5. Lone parents are claimants aged under 60 with dependants and not in receipt of a disability premium or pensioner premium.
6. Others are those who do not fall into any of the other three categories.
Information Directorate, 5 per cent. samples.

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