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24 Oct 2005 : Column 79W—continued

Marginal Deduction Rates

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the value of passported benefits is taken into account when figures on marginal deduction rates are produced. [18633]

Dawn Primarolo: I have been asked to reply.

Marginal deduction rates are calculated by combining figures for marginal tax rates, national insurance rates, tax credit taper rates, and benefit withdrawal rates. The concept of a marginal deduction rate is less meaningful when applied to passported benefits since they are all or nothing" benefits that are not tapered with income.

Pension Credit

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency (a) received state pension, (b) applied for pension credit and (c) received pension credit in each of the last three years; and what the average pension credit payment was in each year. [15890]

Mr. Timms: The June Pension Credit figures, which are available in the Library, show that 5,280 households (6,440 individuals) in Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk were in receipt of pension credit, with an average award of £35.80. Earlier figures for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk and other newly created constituencies are not available. Information on the number of people who have applied for or are eligible for pension credit is not available in respect of individual constituencies.
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1. Numbers of households and individuals are rounded to the nearest five. 2. Individuals comprise claimants and partners and may contain a small number of partners aged under 60. 3. Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS directory.

Pension Service

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many calls made to the Pension Service have (a) met an engaged tone, (b) been received and (c) been handled by an adviser in the last 24 months, broken down by call centre. [18621]

Mr. Timms: The administration of The Pension Service is a matter for the Chief Executive, Ms Alexis Cleveland. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Alexis Cleveland to Mr. David Laws, dated 24 October 2005:

Breakdown by Pension CentreTotal calls (b)Attempted calls receiving an engaged tone or message (a)Calls answered (c)
Bourne Valley1,030,2072,831893,606
London Pension Centre (Glasgow)471,114136436,518
London Pension Centre (Newcastle)1,140,79064,4021,101,948
Norwich Baltic571,5332,135499,895
Norwich Kingfisher791,775494697,690
Pension Credit Application Line5,453,721645,083,456

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Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) children and (b) pensioners were living in poverty in (i) Walsall borough and (ii) Walsall North constituency in (A) 1997 and (B) 2005. [19889]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 20 October 2005]: The information requested is not available below regional level. The latest information for the West Midlands is shown in the following table.
Numbers of children and pensioners living in households with incomes below 60 per cent. of median income in the West Midlands

Before housing costs0.40.3
After housing costs0.40.4
Before housing costs0.20.2
After housing costs0.30.2

1. The estimates use the same methodology as the Department for Work and Pensions publication 'Households Below Average Income' (BHAI) series which uses disposable household income, adjusted for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living.
2. It is not possible to present estimates from the FRS below Government Office Region level due to small sample sizes, and the survey design not being fully representative at this level.
3. Estimates are based on sample counts which have been adjusted for non-response.
Family Resources Survey (FRS)

Public Sector Pensions

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what is his latest estimate of the total value of unfunded liabilities of public sector pension schemes; and if he will make a statement. [20682]

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Mr. Ivan Lewis: I have been asked to reply.

I refer the hon. Gentlemen to the answer I gave on 10 October 2005, Official Report, column 306W to the hon. Member for Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond).

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to put public sector pension schemes on a funded basis; and if he will make a statement. [20683]

Mr. Des Browne: I have been asked to reply.

There are no plans to fund unfunded public service pension schemes. The employer and employee contributions levied for unfunded schemes are set to cover the accruing long term liability to pay the pensions of scheme members; these contributions are not paid into a fund.


Cycle Allowance

Tom Brake: To ask the Leader of the House how many hon. Members claimed the cycle allowance in the last period for which figures are available; and how much each of the 10 highest claimers claimed. [20635]

Mr. Hoon: Eleven Members claimed a total of £888.62 in bicycle allowances in financial year 2004–05. The amounts claimed by each of the top 10 highest claimers were as follows:

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Scottish Legislation (Scrutiny)

David Mundell: To ask the Leader of the House how much parliamentary time was spent scrutinising Scottish legislation between 1993 and 1999, broken down by legislative stage. [20656]

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Mr. Hoon: Information is only readily available for Bills certified by the Speaker as relating exclusively to Scotland, or ordered to be proceeded with as if they had been so certified. The figures are on a sessional (rather than calendar year) basis, and exclude time spent in Standing or Grand Committees. For Sessions 1992–93 to 1999–2000, the time taken on the floor of the House for such Bills is as follows:
SessionSecond ReadingCommittee of the whole HouseConsiderationThird ReadingLords Amendments
1992–937hrs 45mins6hrs 3lmins52mins22mins
1993–946hrs 58mins12hrs 6mins3hrs 26mins5hrs 37mins
1994–955hrs 54mins10hrs 50mins35mins
1995–967hrs 5mins5hrs 36mins34mins
1996–976hrs 55mins8mins6hrs 29mins1hr 1min
1998–994hrs 32mins2hrs 14mins1hr

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