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5 Dec 2005 : Column 1050W—continued

Means-tested Benefits

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the value of unclaimed means tested benefits funded by his
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Department in (a) each region of the UK and (b) each county within Wales in each of the last five years, broken down by type of benefit. [33292]

Mr. Plaskitt: The information requested is not available.

Estimates of the value of the main income-related benefits unclaimed, that cover income support, minimum income guarantee and income-based jobseeker's allowance, as well as local authority administered housing benefit and council tax benefit, are available on a national basis. Estimates cannot be reliably disaggregated to lower geographies. The latest and previous years' national estimates can be found in the DWP report series entitled: Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up"; copies of which are available in the Library.

Pension Credit

Mr. McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of whether extra staff and resources would be required for administration purposes if every pensioner entitled to pension credit applied for it. [34859]

Mr. Timms: It is likely that additional staff would be needed to process a higher level of applications and administer a higher number of live awards. No specific estimates have been made of the number of staff and other resources that would be required in the event of full take-up by all entitled pensioners.

Pension Service staff and resource planning takes into account the planned take-up profile for pension credit.


Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what percentage of pensioners in Wales receive less than £109 in total for state pensions and benefits; and if he will make a statement. [32569]

Mr. Timms [holding answer 28 November 2005]: The information in the following table shows those pensioners in Wales with a total weekly benefit income, including the state pension but excluding all private income, that is less than the standard minimum guarantee in pension credit for singles and couples.
Number of pensioner units80,000100,000170,000
Percentage of family type504345

1.The total weekly benefit income includes pension credit but not income from private pensions.
2.Data is taken from the Family Resources Survey for years: 2001–02; 2002–03; and 2003–04. The Family Resources Survey is based on around 20,000 households, therefore there is a degree of sampling variation.
3.Figures are provided using a three-year rolled average as single-year estimates do not provide a robust guide to year-on-year changes.
4.The standard minimum guarantee in pension credit is equal to £109.45 per week for single pensioners and £167.05 for couples deflated to the appropriate price level for each year of data.
5.Pensioner couples are where the head of the household is above state pension age.
6.Number of pensioner units are rounded to the nearest 10,000.
Family Resources Survey

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Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State forWork and Pensions how many people in Beverley and Holderness are entitled to the basic state pension. [33455]

Mr. Timms: The information requested is not available. However, as at 31 March 2005, there were 20,600 people in the Beverley and Holderness parliamentary constituency in receipt of a basic state pension.

1.Data is taken from 5 per cent. sample therefore figures are subject to a degree of sampling variation. They are also adjusted to be consistent with the overall caseload from the WPLS. 2.Figure is rounded to the nearest 100. 3.Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant Office for National Statistics postcode directory.

DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS) 100 per cent. data and PSCS 5 per cent. samples.


Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost implications were in 2004–05 of deferring the start date for state pension payments until the Monday after an individual's 65th birthday; and what assessment has been made of the effects on the individuals concerned. [26108]

Mr. Timms: There are no benefit cost implications in paying state pension in advance and in whole weeks as opposed to paying it in arrears which would allow for part-week payments at the start and end of an award. We have assessed the current policy and have concluded that whatever the circumstances of the individuals concerned. They will always be able to collect a full week's pension within one week of establishing entitlement.

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Workand Pensions what the basic state pension was in 1997. [33278]

Mr. Timms: The basic state pension was £62.45 per week in April 1997. It is now £82.05 per week.


Abandoned Court Cases

Mike Penning: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the average cost of a court case was where prosecution was abandoned in the last year for which figures are available. [32202]

Ms Harman: This information cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.


Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the legal aid costs were of (a) representation in criminal cases in England and Wales and (b) representation and advice to detained asylum seekers in each year since 1997. [32216]

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Bridget Prentice: The legal aid expenditure for representation in criminal cases for each financial year since 1997 was as follows:
£ million

The Legal Services Commission does not hold information on how much was spent on representation and advice for detained asylum seekers.

Tony Baldry: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs when she expects the immigration appeal of Basamai Abdul Wahab Salih, reference number VA07966/2005, to be heard. [33720]

Bridget Prentice: The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) has confirmed that the appeal number provided in the question refers to the family visitor appeal of a Ms Basamat Abdulwhab Mohamed Salih. The appellant has requested the appeal be heard on papers.

A date for the hearing has not yet been set. A notice of pending appeal was issued to parties on 11 November 2005. Under current arrangements, the respondent has up to 11 weeks—including allowance for international transit—to prepare and serve the appeal bundle. Upon receipt of the bundle, such a case would be listed for hearing four weeks hence. On this basis, the AIT would expect to hear this case no later than the end of February 2006.


Sarah Teather: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs when she will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Brent East dated 17 December 2004. [33860]

Ms Harman: My Department does not appear to have received the hon. Member's letter. My officials therefore contacted the hon. Member's office and obtained a copy. The Lord Chancellor will write to the hon. Member soon.

Crown Courts

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what proportion of trials in Crown courts were ineffective in each quarter since January 2000; and if she will make a statement. [34319]

Ms Harman: The following table sets out the proportion of trials in the Crown court which were ineffective in each quarter since June 2001. Data on ineffective trials was not collected before that period.
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Proportion of trials in the Crown court that were ineffective since June 2001: England and Wales

Number of:
QuarterTrials listedIneffective trialsPercentage of ineffective trials

The data is based on rolling quarters.

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