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28 Oct 2005 : Column 608W—continued

Pensioners (Benefits/Assistance)

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. [22601]

Mr. Timms: The available information on the Christmas Bonus is in the table and is based on the estimates of state pension recipients.
Estimated numbers of Christmas bonus payable in the Kettering constituency
September 199918,000
September 200018,100
September 200118,500
November 200218,100
November 200318,500
November 200418,800




Notes:
1.Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.
2.Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.
3.The figures for September 1999 to March 2002 are based on data from the five per cent. samples.
4.The figures for May 2002 to May 2005 are directly from the WPLS 100 per cent. data.
5.Data sources are not available prior to September 1999.
Source:
DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS) 100 per cent. data and five per cent. samples.




 
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We do not collect information on the over 80s age top up of 25p a week by constituency, however, they are comparable with the figures shown for the 80+ annual payment in the table.

Information relating to winter fuel payments for the winters of 1997–98 and 1998–99 is not available. The information for Kettering constituency from winter 1999–2000 is in the following table including details of the 80+ annual payment introduced in winter 2003–04 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 constituency80+ annual payments made in the Kettering constituency
1999–200017,360n/a
2000–0119,395n/a
2001–0219,745n/a
2002–0319,965n/a
2003–0420,4254,335
2004–0520,5104,210




Notes:
1.Data is taken at the specified dates
2.Totals may not sum due to rounding
3.Figures are rounded to the nearest five
4.Local authorities and parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.
Source:
Information Directorate, 100 per cent. sample



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. [22603]

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 1997–98 and 2002–03.

Information on other DWP administered benefits is not available.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assistance the Government have given to pensioners since 1997. [20280]

Mr. Timms: As a result of the measures that this Government have introduced since 1997, there will be nearly £11 billion extra spent on pensioners in 2005–06. This means that the average pensioner household will be £1,500 a year better off, and the least well off third of
 
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pensioners will be £2,000 a year better off, in 2005–06 than they would have been under the system we inherited in 1997.

The measures include:

Making above inflation increases to the basic state pension in 2001–02, 2002–03 and 2003–04 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 2004–05. 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 2004–05 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 2005–06;

Introducing free television licences for people aged 75 or over benefiting over three million households and worth over £100 a year;

Reintroduced free eye tests for the over 60s;

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 England—benefiting around 11 million pensioners;

The age related personal allowances in 2005–06 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;

The age-related personal income tax allowance for the over 75s has been increased, in successive years, by more than the rate of inflation—providing additional help to those on modest incomes.

Savings Credit

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. [21207]

Mr. Timms: The information requested is in the table.
 
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Revenue yield for ending new claims for savings credit beyond January 2006

£ Billion
20060.1
20070.2
20080.4
20090.6
20100.8
20111.1
20121.5
20131.9
20142.2
20152.6
20163.0
20173.3
20183.7
20194.1
20204.4
20215.3
20226.1
20236.9
20247.7
20258.6




Notes:
1.Figures are in £ billions, in nominal terms, and are rounded to the nearest £100 million.
2.Annual off-flows by five year age band, marital status and pension credit components in receipt are assumed to remain constant.
3.Discontinuation of new savings credit entitlements is assumed not to impact on guarantee credit expenditure.
4.For the purposes of expenditure, the average amount of savings credit in receipt is assumed not to vary by age of recipient.
5.Figures are for calendar years.




CABINET OFFICE

Civil Service

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. [22450]

Mr. Hutton: The Government are currently considering Sir Patrick's report which will be published with the Government's response shortly.

Gershon Review

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. [21291]

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. [21323]

Mr. Hutton: I am responsible for the overall delivery of the Department's efficiency programme.
 
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