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Mr. Plaskitt: The social fund plays an important role in the Government's agenda for tackling poverty and social exclusion. It provides valuable support to millions of people on low incomes, including some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We have recently announced a number of planned improvements to the social fund.
The Child Poverty Review, published on 12 July 2004, announced the Government's intention to abolish the Budgeting Loan double debt" rule and to reduce the current standard repayment rate of 15 per cent. of a customers benefit to 12 per cent. These changes will come into effect on 3 April 2006 and will make budgeting loans more consistent and easier to understand and the social fund more effective in assisting those families most likely to experience debt problems.
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These changes, which will make it easier for applicants to access loans, will be supported by a net increase in loans funding of £210 million over the three years from 200607. In the short-term these changes will strengthen the social fund's contribution to increasing access to affordable credit for those on the lowest incomes. In the longer term we intend to consider more widely the role the social fund might play in the wider financial inclusion agenda.
Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many payments have been made for adverse reactions to vaccines for (a) hepatitis B, (b) polio, (c) MMR, (d) tetanus and (e) influenza in each of the last 10 years. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Vaccine Damage Payment scheme provides for a tax-free lump sum payment to those who are severely disabled as a result of vaccinations against certain diseases specified in the Vaccine Damage Payment Act. Influenza and Hepatitis B are not included in the Act.
Claimants are asked to specify on the claim form all the vaccinations that the disabled person received. Many vaccinations can be given in close proximity to each other and it is not always possible to determine exactly which vaccination is linked to the adverse reaction. Decisions are therefore not based on one particular vaccine. All the vaccinations given to the disabled person and their full medical history are considered. It is therefore not possible to attribute payments to a specific vaccination.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will issue guidance to staff handling claims for reduced earnings allowance in respect of PD A11 (vibration white finger) to take account of changes in rules consequent on the report from the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council. 
Margaret Hodge: As with ail changes to the list of prescribed diseases under the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit scheme, guidance will be issued to alert staff to the changes to Prescribed Disease A11 (PD A11) and the effects of those changes on benefit entitlement.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households there were in North
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East Milton Keynes with at least one person aged 75 years or over receiving the winter fuel payment in 200405. 
Mr. Plaskitt: For winter 200405 there were 3,920 households in North East Milton Keynes with at least one person aged 75 or over that received the winter fuel payment. Information on winter fuel payments is available in the Library.
4. Please note that the figures for 200405 refer only to the main payment run so they do not include the late payment run figures. We estimate that there are approximately 100,000 people in Great Britain paid in late payment runs (0.8 per cent. of all payments). Since most of the payments made in late payment runs are to people who are not receiving another benefit from DWP and whose claims had not been received by the qualifying week, most are men aged 60.
Margaret Hodge: Since 1997 the Government's priority has been to tackle the scourge of unemployment, inactivity and poverty through investment in, and reform of, the welfare state. The UK now has one of the strongest labour markets in the world, with the best combination of employment and unemployment of the major world economies. More people are moving from welfare back into work with employment up almost 200,000 in the last year and by over 2 million since 1997. With more people in jobs than ever before, we now spend £5 billion less on unemployment benefits than we did in 1997.
The National Minimum Wage was introduced in April 1999 as part of our overall strategy, establishing minimum standards of pay in the labour market. In October 2004 the minimum wage was increased from £4.50 per hour to £4.85 for workers aged 22 and over and from £3.80 per hour to £4.10 per hour for people aged 1821 inclusive.
Building on the success of working families' tax credit (WFTC), disabled person's tax credit and the children's tax credit, from April 2003 the Government introduced two new tax credits, the child tax credit (CTC) and the working tax credit (WTC). Entitlement to the tax credits is based on the particular circumstances of an
The Adviser Discretion Fund was introduced in July 2001, giving Jobcentre Plus Advisers direct access to funds to remove immediate barriers to employment and thus help people move quickly into work. In addition,
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from October 2003, access to the Fund was further extended to all incapacity benefit customers in Pathways to Work pilot areas from the first day of their claim.
Additionally the housing benefit and council tax benefit extended payments allow maximum housing benefit and council tax benefit to continue for the first four weeks after starting work. Help with mortgage interest in the first four weeks of employment may also be available through Mortgage Interest Run-On in the income-related benefits.
Today, Britain is working again. We are transforming the welfare state from a passive one-size-fits-all model to an active system that delivers both rights and responsibilities, tailoring help to the individual and providing the support and incentives people need to move from welfare and into work.
Mr. Betts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the population aged 18 years and over was at the last Census in each constituency agreed by the Boundary Commission as part of the current round of boundary reviews. 
As National Statistician and Registrar General for England and Wales, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking what the population aged 18 years and over was at the last Census in each constituency agreed by the Boundary Commission as part of the current round of boundary reviews. (13518)
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