Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 27 June 2005, Official Report, column 1247W, on disability living allowance, what assessment he has made of the reasons the percentage of rejected claims has increased since 2002; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. McGuire: The administration of disability living 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.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 27th June, Official Report, column1247W, on disability living allowance, for what reason the percentage of rejected claims has increased since 2002. The Minister for Disabled People, Anne McGuire MP, promised you a substantive reply from the Chief Executive of the Disability and Carers Service.
The percentage rejections on disability living allowance claims has increased since 2002 because the conditions of entitlement to benefit have been found not to be satisfied in a greater proportion of claims.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what criteria were used to set the broad rental market areas in the housing benefit pathfinders; how often they will be reviewed; and how they will be monitored; 
(2) what assessment he has made of how up-to-date the information used by rent officers to set (a) standard housing allowances in the pathfinders and (b) the local reference rents or single room rents elsewhere is. 
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, about the criteria used to set the broad rental market areas in the housing benefit pathfinders, how often they will be reviewed, how they will be monitored, and how up-to-date information used by rent officers is when setting rents for Housing Benefit purposes.
(b) within which a person could reasonably be expected to live having regard to facilities and services for the purposes of health, education, recreation, personal banking and shopping, taking account of the distance of travel, by public and private transport, to and from facilities and services of the same type and similar standard; and
Rent officers continually research the private rented sector for market evidence of lettings of property and accommodation where the rent is being paid without the aid of housing benefit. The Rent Service's market evidence database is therefore continually being updated with the latest information available.
Rent officers use the most up to date market evidence available when setting Local Housing Allowances, Local Reference Rents and Single Room Rents. The Rent Service's guidelines are that market evidence used should be, in the main, no more than 3 months old, but with a maximum of six months if this is necessary in some cases.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average response time is for processing new applications for income support; and what the figure is for applications received by the Department's Ilford office. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what the average time is for processing new applications for Income Support: and what the figure is for applications received by the Department's Ilford office. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
As part of the Department for Work and Pensions modernisation programme, backroom benefits work for North East London District customers has been centralised at Ilford BPC. As the work from various locations was transferred to the
The increase in the number of telephone lines coming into the office helped to improve the situation and it will continue to improve as more staff become available in the BPC over the coming weeks and as more work is done to further increase the telephone capacity.
John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Sure Start maternity grants have been paid to mothers in each age cohort from 12 to 19 in each year since 200001; and how many mothers received such a grant in respect of a second or subsequent child in each case. 
Margaret Hodge: Poverty is about more than low income. It is also about health, housing and the quality of the environment. The sixth annual 'Opportunity for all' report (Cm 6239), published in September 2004, sets out the Government's strategy for tackling poverty and social exclusion and presents information on the indicators used to measure progress against this strategy.
Specific information regarding low income for Great Britain is available in Households Below Average Income 1994/952003/04". The threshold of below 60 per cent. contemporary median income is the most commonly used in reporting trends in low income. Data is not available below regional level, therefore we are not able to provide figures for London boroughs.