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Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many non-resident parents on the new child support scheme have registered as full-time students in each month since March 2003. 
Mrs. McGuire: Decisions on claims to disability living allowance and other social security benefits are made in accordance with the relevant legislation and case law by decision makers delegated to do so on behalf of the Secretary of State. There are no circumstances in which the Secretary of State or his Ministers can intervene personally to influence the award of benefit, disallowance of a claim or the removal of benefit from someone receiving it.
The Secretary of State, however, through the authority delegated to officials, can conduct random checks on individual cases to ensure that benefit remains properly payable. He can also institute a reconsideration of entitlement in individual cases if he has reason to believe there may be doubt about entitlement to benefit. In either of these circumstances the Secretary of State can demand information from a benefit recipient to help determine whether they are or remain entitled to benefit.
26 Oct 2005 : Column 454W
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of children living in households with no adult in work are (a) in single parent households, (b) in a household with at least one parent claiming incapacity benefit and (c) in a household with at least one adult on jobseeker's allowance; and if he will make a statement. 
In February 2005 there were an estimated 969,000 children and young adult dependents in families claiming sick and disabled benefits (this is a slightly broader definition than incapacity benefits, and may include some people in work), representing 36 per cent. of the total number of children in families claiming a key working age benefit.
215,000 children and young adult dependents in February 2005 were in families claiming jobseeker's allowance, representing 8 per cent. of the total number of children in families claiming a key working age benefit.
Mr. Plaskitt: A lone parent can receive income support if they have a child under the age of 16 for whom they are responsible and who is a member of their household. A person is considered as responsible for a child if they are in receipt of child benefit for that child. If no one has claimed child benefit, the child will be treated as the responsibility of the person with whom they normally live.
The lone parent must not be in remunerative work, which is defined as work of 16 hours per week or more. Their income from all sources, after any appropriate disregard, must be below the applicable amount, which is defined as the amount of benefit appropriate to their circumstances. In addition, the lone parent's capital must be below the upper limit, which is currently £8,000increasing to £16,000 from April 2006for most people under the age of 60.
On average, over the next five years, the Department will be spending around £520 million a year on services delivered by EDS, compared to more than £700 million a year spent since the DWP was created. This is while the Department, in line with the Gershon recommendations, is modernising and becoming more IT focused.
The savings are a result of a contract realignment which simplifies the complex structure of separate contracts inherited by the DWP when it was created out of the former Department of Social Security and Department for Education and Employment. The realigned contract brings together and standardises the different historical arrangements and ensures highly competitive, benchmarked prices for the services EDS delivers.
Mr. Plaskitt: To be entitled to income-related benefits, including income-based jobseeker's allowance, income support, state pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit, a claimant must be habitually resident, and have a right to reside, in the Common Travel Area. The Common Travel Area includes the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, and the Republic of Ireland.
Workers from the European economic area (EEA) other than nationals of the eight accession-countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia) (A8), have immediate access to income-related benefits. This is because they have a right to reside under EC law and are treated as habitually resident.
A8 workers who are registered under the Home Office Worker Registration Scheme have a right to reside and are entitled to in-work benefits such as housing benefit and council tax benefit. If they are in part-time work, working 15 hours or less a week, they can also qualify for income-based jobseeker's allowance. If they lose their job they lose their worker status, but will be able to remain in the UK to look for work. However, they will not have access to the benefit system. After 12 months of uninterrupted registered work they can have access to the full range of benefits.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many migrant workers are claiming (a) income support, (b) jobseeker's allowance, (c) incapacity benefit and (d) disability living allowance; and if he will make a statement. 
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of basic bank accounts opened for the purposes of receiving state pension and benefit payments with (a) Abbey, (b) Barclays, (c) HSBC, (d) Halifax/Bank of Scotland, (e) Royal Bank of Scotland/Nat West, (f) Lloyds TSB and (g) Nationwide Building Society; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt: Information is not available in the format requested. With the exception of the Post Office card account, the information we collect within the Department does not differentiate between the different types of account offered by the different financial institutions.
Latest figures from the British Bankers' Association show that the number of basic bank accounts has continued to grow with more than 5.8 million accounts of this type now in operation. All the major banks now offer a basic bank account and more than 2 million of these accounts can be accessed at Post Office branches.
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