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John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people are receiving winter fuel payments in each constituency in Scotland. 
Mr. Timms: This winter's figures are not yet available. The table below gives the number of winter fuel payments made in each constituency in Scotland in winter 200405. We expect the numbers to be similar for this winter.
|Airdrie and Shotts||13,455|
|Argyll and Bute||15,950|
|Banff and Buchan||15,430|
|Caithness Sunderland and Easter Ross||12,015|
|Carrick Cumnock and Doon Valley||18,360|
|Clydebank and Milngavie||14,185|
|Coatbridge and Chryston||12,220|
|Comhairle nan Eileen Siar||6,345|
|Cumbernauld and Kilsyth||10,490|
|Edinburgh East and Musselburgh||15,285|
|Edinburgh North and Leigh||11,750|
|Galloway and Upper Nithsdale||17,825|
|Greenock and Inverclyde||12,710|
|Hamilton North and Bellshill||12,160|
|Inverness East Nairn and Lochaber||18,155|
|Kilmarnock and Loudoun||15,595|
|Motherwell and Wishaw||13,895|
|North East Fife||16,870|
|Orkney and Shetland||8,570|
|Ross Skye and Inverness West||15,670|
|Roxburgh and Berwickshire||14,885|
|Strathkelvin and Bearsden||17,045|
|Tweeddale Ettrick and Lauderdale||14,075|
|West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine||14,840|
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will extend winter fuel payments to those people who are severely disabled. 
There are no plans to extend the winter fuel payment scheme to severely disabled people under age 60. Help is already available through disability benefits and the disability premium in income-related benefits in recognition of the extra costs, including heating, which disabled people may have.
13 Feb 2006 : Column 1700W
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what target he has for reducing (a) the number and (b) the proportion of children in workless households; and what progress has been made against those targets. 
Margaret Hodge: As a result of this Government's successful policies and stewardship of the economy there are 700,000 fewer children living in relative low income than in 1997, and 400,000 fewer children in households where no one works.
The Spending Review 2002 Public Service Agreement (SR02 PSA) target is to reduce the proportion of children in households (CIWH) with no one in work over the three years from spring 2003 to spring 2006 by 6½ per cent.
The Spending Review 2004 Public Service Agreement (SR04 PSA) target is to reduce the proportion of children living in workless households by 5 per cent. between spring 2005 and spring 2008.
At the beginning of the SR02 PSA target period (spring 2003) the proportion of children living in workless households was approximately 16.1 per cent. (1.8 million). Achieving the SR02 PSA target will require a reduction of 1 percentage point to 15.1 per cent., equivalent to a reduction in the number of CIWH of approximately 150,000 by spring 2006.
At spring 2005 the proportion of children living in workless households was 15.7 per cent. (1.75 million), representing a reduction of 0.4 percentage points from the baseline. A further reduction of 0.6 percentage points would have to be achieved in 200506 to meet this target.
The spring 2005 figures form the baseline for the CIWH SR04 PSA. Achieving this target will require a reduction of 0.7 percentage points to 15 per cent. by spring 2008 equivalent to a reduction in the number of CIWH of approximately 128,000 by spring 2006.
13 Feb 2006 : Column 1701W
15. David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans the Home Office has to celebrate religious festivals over the coming 12 months. 
Paul Goggins: The Home Office has lead responsibility for race equality, diversity and cohesion. At various times throughout the year we celebrate the contribution made by all the main faiths including Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Sikh. We are still considering our programme of events for the next 12 months.
17. Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to amend the law relating to incitement to violence. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: Existing law already makes it an offence to incite murder or other crimes of violence. However, we are strengthening our law by creating a new offence of encouragement to terrorism. This will cover both direct and indirect encouragement and the Government believes it should also encompass glorification of terrorism.
18. Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in establishing a commissioner for victims and witnesses; and if he will make a statement. 
Andy Burnham: The recruitment campaign to appoint a new Commissioner for victims and witnesses was launched on 25 January.
The Commissioner will build on our recent reforms to the criminal justice system and be an independent voice for victims and witnesses in Government, influencing policy and championing their rights.
The Commissioner's role will include keeping the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime under review, making recommendations on funding of services to victims and their families via the victims' fund, and ensuring criminal justice system partners work together more effectively to meet the needs of victims and witnesses.
We aim to announce an appointment in April.
19. Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research he has commissioned to establish whether good accounting practices are followed in his Department. 
Mr. Charles Clarke:
The Home Office is in the process of commissioning a review of the factors that caused the delay to the accounts, an analysis of the current state of financial accounting environment; an assessment of the existing improvement plans; and recommendations for
13 Feb 2006 : Column 1702W
additional steps that need to be taken. This short-focussed review is due to commence in early March and initial conclusions will be reported to the Home Office Audit Committee on 27 March 2006.
25. James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the decision of the National Audit Office not to sign off his Department's accounts. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: I am disappointed at the National Audit Office's (NAO) decision. A great deal of work has already been done to put right the problems which arose from the introduction of the new accounting system.
Although the NAO could not sign off the Home Office resource accounts, they did confirm that no fraudulent payments were made during 200405. Both our systems and financial control frameworks are being strengthened and we are recruiting additional qualified accountants to improve our financial accounting capability.
I will be appointing a firm of accountants to undertake an urgent review to establish whether any additional steps need to be taken.
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