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Approximately two thirds of all overground rail journeys, one tenth of London Underground journeys and 90 per cent. of DLR journeys involve passengers starting or finishing their journey at a secure station.
Ministers are exploring with Network Rail what the company might do proactively to further address capacity problems at the larger stations across the network by working with private developers to realise additional development gain. Network Rail advises that further proposals are anticipated for a number of London mainline stations in the near future and that it is working on next stage development projects for smaller stations. These schemes will require
29 Jun 2005 : Column 1557W
works to Network Rail specification, but will build in scope for bidders to reduce the net cost by exploiting development potential.
Dr. Ladyman: A keeper of a vehicle commits an offence for failing to produce a vehicle registration document (V5), or a vehicle registration certificate (V5C) for inspection, if required to do so at any reasonable time, to a police constable or a person acting on behalf of the Secretary of State. A vehicle keeper, if found guilty of this offence, is liable on summary conviction to a maximum fine of £500.
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will raise the lower earnings level at which council tax benefit starts to fall below the maximum to the level of the income tax personal allowance; and if he will estimate the cost of making such a change. 
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of pensioner households paid (a) more than 5 per cent. (b) more than 10 per cent. and (c) more than 15 per cent. of their gross income in council tax in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The proportion of pensioner households paying (a) more than 5 per cent. (b) more than 10 per cent. and (c) more than 15 per cent. of their household income in council tax for 200304, in Great Britain is presented in the following table:
|Percentage of pensioner households with|
spending on council tax bills as a proportion
of household income above thresholds
|(a) 5 per cent.||47|
|(b) 10 per cent.||12|
|(c) 15 per cent.||3|
Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether a woman who works for a short time during a year when she is otherwise engaged in full-time child care is eligible for continued home responsibilities protection. 
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list flat rate housing allowances in each of the allowance pilot areas; what uprating methods are used for each allowance; and how many claimants of each flat rate allowance there are in each pilot area. 
Local housing allowance rates are reviewed monthly by The Rent Service and the amount of local housing allowance payable is the rate that applies at the date of claim for benefit. Local housing allowance is awarded for one year unless a relevant change of circumstances occurs and triggers an earlier review.
|Pathfinder areaBRMA||Shared room rate||2 rooms||3 rooms||4 rooms||5 rooms||6 rooms|
|Brighton and Hove||70||130||171||208||237||276|
|TeignbridgeTiverton and Crediton||58||84||107||127||149||163|
|Shared room rate||2 rooms||3 rooms||4 rooms||5 rooms||6 plus rooms||All|
|Brighton and Hove||1,580||3,690||1,760||340||220||110||7,690|
|North East Lincolnshire||330||1,400||1,350||330||380||140||3,940|
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in what percentage of housing benefit claims a rent officer determination was involved in the last period for which figures are available, broken down by local authority area. 
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average time taken to process a housing benefit claim in the (a) private sector and (b) registered social landlord sector was in the last period for which figures are available, broken down by region. 
|Government office region||PRS claims||RSL claims|
|Yorks and Humberside||42||34|
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what safeguards are in place to protect vulnerable claimants in the housing benefit pathfinders; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt: One of the aims of the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is to promote personal responsibility and financial inclusion. As such the majority of customers will receive their LHA direct, and make their own arrangements to pay their rent to their landlord.
However, in recognition of the risk that some tenants may struggle with this responsibility, safeguards have been put in place. Pathfinder authorities have the discretion to make the payment to the landlord in certain circumstances, where there is a history of vulnerability or failure to pay their rent.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the proportion of benefit claimants who have (a) lost and (b) gained as a result of the introduction of the local housing allowance, broken down by Pathfinder area; and how much on average such claimants have (i) lost and (ii) gained, broken down by Pathfinder area. 
Mr. Plaskitt: There are no losers on the Local Housing Allowance in the Pathfinder areas. Claimants who would have been financially worse off under the Local Housing Allowance compared to the old housing benefit system are transitionally protected.
The Department has commissioned a comprehensive, independent evaluation of the Local Housing Allowance Pathfinders. This will provide information on the impact of the Local Housing Allowance, including information about gainers. The first interim findings of the evaluation are being published over the summer and the results of the final evaluation will be published at the end of next year.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average time taken to process a housing benefit claim was when a rent officer determination (a) was involved and (b) was not involved in the last period for which figures are available, broken down by local authority area. 
All private(7) tenants
|Percentage of total housing benefit recipients that are private(7) tenants|
|Brighton and Hove||9,900||42.7|
|North East Lincoln||4,900||40.1|
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many housing benefit recipients in the pathfinder areas have built up rent arrears of eight weeks or more following the introduction of direct payment; in which pathfinder areas they are located; and what the total amount of arrears is in each pathfinder since the introduction of the local housing allowance. 
|Number of |
with 8 weeks or
more rent arrears
with 8 weeks or
more rent arrears (%)
|Brighton and Hove||8,210||200||2|
|North East Lincolnshire||4,220||110||3|
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average standard housing allowances are in each of the housing benefit pathfinder areas, broken down by household type. 
|Couple (under 60) with children||Couple (under 60) no children||Single (under 60) with children||Single (under 60) no children||Single pensioner||Couple pensioner||All|
|North East Lincs||87||67||79||64||64||66||73|
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the level of (a) fraud and (b) error in housing benefit payments was as a percentage of housing benefit expenditure in each year since 1997; and what sums were involved in each case in each year, broken down by (i) region and (ii) local authority area; 
Mr. Plaskitt: The Department has undertaken continuous measurement of housing benefit fraud and error since 200203. The latest available headline information was published in the report Fraud and Error in Housing Benefit, April 2002 to March 2004, Part One" on 24 February 2005.
Information is not available at local authority level. Information at regional level is contained within the supplementary report, Fraud and Error in Housing Benefit, April 2002 to March 2004, Part Two", which was published on 26th May 2005.
Mr. Plaskitt: There are no current plans to change the housing benefit single room rent restriction. However, under the local housing allowance, young people who would otherwise have been subject to the single room rent are entitled to the new shared room rate. This is based on a more generous definition than the existing single room rent.
The information is not available in the format requested. However, as at February 2005 the average weekly housing benefit award for cases assessed under the single room rent was £48.73.
29 Jun 2005 : Column 1564W
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average housing benefit payment in each housing authority area in the North East was in November (a) 2000, (b) 2001, (c) 2002, (d) 2003 and (e) 2004. 
|North East GOR||40.19||42.36||45.78||45.06||47.68|
|Berwick upon Tweed||36.27||38.66||40.14||42.25||43.78|
|Chester le Street||36.61||38.68||40.73||41.70||45.29|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||43.29||45.69||51.22||47.80||49.82|
|Redcar and Cleveland||41.98||43.52||45.52||48.25||50.92|
|Stockton on Tees||42.11||44.49||47.22||47.01||50.15|
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average time in England was for processing (a) initial housing benefit claims, (b) changes of circumstances in existing claims, (c) claims for council tax benefit and (d) changes of circumstances for council tax benefit, in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by local authority. 
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