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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of lone parents on income support have been on the benefit for (a) less than two years, (b) less than five years and (c) less than 10 years. 
|Duration||Number of lone parents||Proportion of lone parents|
|Up to 2 years||279,600||35.5|
|2 years and up to 5 years||223,300||28.4|
|5 years and up to 10 years||169,900||21.6|
|10 years and over||114,600||14.6|
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the net cost to his Department of raising the level of the basic state pension to that of minimum income under the Pension credit system. 
Mr. Timms: The additional cost to the Exchequer, net of savings in income-related benefits and additional tax revenues, of paying a basic state pension at the rate of the guarantee credit element of pension credit is £8.1 billion in 200607.
2. The costs which are all net take into account income-related benefit offsets such as pension credit and housing benefit, and tax offsets, which are calculated using the DWP simulation model and April 2006 benefit rates and are projected forward.
4. The standard method of treatment of couples and category B rates were used. This implies that the category B rates are not the guarantee credit couple-single rates, but approx 60 per cent. of the single rate.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will change the policy on the starting date for an individual's state pension from the Monday after their 65th birthday, to the day of their 65th birthday. 
Entitlement to state pension begins with the pay-day on or following the day on which the individual attains state pension agecurrently age 60 for women and 65 for men. The payday is commonly a Monday. There are no plans to change these arrangements.
15 Nov 2005 : Column 1159W
Mr. Timms: The last written consultation exercise undertaken on stakeholder pensions was on the 2005 amendment regulations, which introduced provisions on lifestyling, and the charge cap. The consultation ended on 17 December 2004, and we received 22 responses to the exercise, none of which commented on the tax relief.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether research has been commissioned into the pension prospects for (a) lone parents and (b) black and minority ethnic women over the next 20 years. 
Mr. Timms: The report Women and pensions: The evidence" published on 2 November, and available in the Library, provides a detailed analysis of women's pension position and draws together the latest research findings on key influences on women's ability to build up pension entitlement. The report considers the impact of lone parenthood and family caring responsibilities and examines pension entitlement among ethnic minority women.
The Department for Work and Pensions has also commissioned new research which will examine the expectations, priorities and saving and working decisions among both working-age people and pensioners from ethnic minority groups.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many recipients of the UK state pension were resident in (a) Pakistan and (b) the Indian sub-continent in the last year for which figures are available. 
|Country||Number of recipients of UK state pension as at 31 May 2005|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many telephone calls were made to the pension credit helpline in each month from April 2001 to September 2005; how many of these calls (a) were handled, (b) received an engaged tone and (c) were abandoned; and if he will make a statement. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question concerning how many calls were made to the Pension Credit Application Line (PCAL) in each month from April 2001 to September 2005; and how many of these calls were (a) handled (b) received an engaged tone and (c) abandoned. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of the Pension Service.
Advance applications to Pension Credit commenced in April 2003 and PCAL opened their lines to the public on 7th April 2003. Since its opening, the Pension Credit Application Line has answered over five million phone calls up to the end of September 2005.
I am sorry to say that an error has been identified in my previous reply to your question To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pension, 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. ". The correct figure for the sub total calculations for PCAL, calls answered should be 5,083,496 and not 5,083,456.
The following table shows calls received at the centre, calls answered by an advisor; calls receiving an engaged tone and calls abandoned. The data is from 7th April 2003 until the end of September 2005.
|Calls offered||Calls handled by an adviser||Calls receiving an engaged tone||Before adviser queue||In adviser queue|
|Total April 2003 to September 2005||5,793,160||5,410,095||64||170,033||161,861|
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