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Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in the Kettering constituency received (a) the Christmas bonus, (b) the over 80s age top up and (c) winter fuel payments in each year since 1997. 
|Estimated numbers of Christmas bonus payable in the Kettering constituency|
Information relating to winter fuel payments for the winters of 199798 and 199899 is not available. The information for Kettering constituency from winter 19992000 is in the following table including details of the 80+ annual payment introduced in winter 200304 and now included as part of the winter fuel payment to those aged 80 or over. These figures are also available in the Library.
|Winter fuel payments made in the Kettering constituency||80+ annual payments made in the Kettering constituency|
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of how many pensioners failed to apply for each of the benefits administered by his Department to which they are entitled in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Timms: Estimates of the number of pensioners entitled to, but not receiving the main income-related benefit administered by the DWP, as well as local authority administered housing benefit and council tax benefit, can be found in the DWP publication series entitled: Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up". Copies of the annual reports are held in the Library. The latest edition presents patterns in the take-up of each benefit, for pensioners, between 199798 and 200203.
As a result of the measures that this Government have introduced since 1997, there will be nearly £11 billion extra spent on pensioners in 200506. This means that the average pensioner household will be £1,500 a year better off, and the least well off third of
28 Oct 2005 : Column 610W
pensioners will be £2,000 a year better off, in 200506 than they would have been under the system we inherited in 1997.
Making above inflation increases to the basic state pension in 200102, 200203 and 200304 with a commitment to increase the basic state pension annually by the higher of the retail prices index or 2.5 percent.;
Introducing pension credit which replaced the minimum income guarantee from October 2003: over 2.7 million households are now receiving pension credit at an average weekly rate of over £43 and with a commitment to increase the guarantee by earnings annually up to 2008;
Introducing winter fuel payments for people aged 60 and over which are worth £200 for each eligible household and benefit about 11.4 million people in around eight million households in winter 200405. We have also increased the winter fuel payment by £100 to eligible households with someone aged 80 or over;
Making the one-off 70+ payment in 200405 to help pensioners with their living expenses, including council tax bills. In his pre-budget statement in December 2004, the Chancellor announced a further payment of £50 to eligible households with someone aged 70 or over. In the 2005 Budget, he announced a further £200 payment for this winter to eligible households with someone aged 65 or over. These additional payments will go out with the winter fuel payments for winter 200506;
We introduced a statutory minimum requirement for local authorities in 2000 to provide at least half fares on local bus services for pensioners. From April 2006, a new scheme will provide free off-peak travel to people over 60 on local bus services in Englandbenefiting around 11 million pensioners;
The age related personal allowances in 200506 rose in line with earnings to £7,090 for those aged between 65 and 74 and to £7,220 for those aged 75 and over. This means that no person aged 65 or over pays tax on an income of less than £136 a week;
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the revenue yield foreach of the next 20 years from ending all new claimsforsavings credit beyond January 2006, while continuing with existing claims; and if he will make a statement. 
Norman Lamb: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he expects to publish the Government's response to Sir Patrick Brown's recommendations on reforms to the business appointment rules for civil servants. 
Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what progress has been made, in terms of (a) headcount reductions and (b) cost savings, in achieving the efficiency objectives set for the Cabinet Office by the Gershon review. 
Mr. Hutton: Progress was reported in Budget 2005 and in the departmental annual reports. Further progress will be reported in the autumn performance reports and at aggregate level in the pre-Budget report.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster who in the Cabinet Office has been made responsible for achieving the efficiency objectives set for the Department by the Gershon review. 
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