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15 Feb 2006 : Column 2181W—continued

GPs (Personal Capability Assessments)

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what changes in the role of general practitioners he expects in relation to personal capability assessments for benefits. [48591]

Mrs. McGuire: General Practitioners do not play any direct role in the personal capability assessment; they do however provide medical information as part of the initial evidence gathering process.

We will be reviewing this process, including the forms that General Practitioners have to complete, to increase compliance with requests for medical information and the quality of the information provided. In addition the claimant's General Practitioner will receive a copy of the new capability report at the end of the assessment
 
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process identifying health interventions which would help the individual improve their functional capability so that they would be more likely to return to work.

Our Green Paper; A new deal for welfare: Empowering people to work"; has proposals for measures to support this. These include proposals designed to help General Practitioners support patients with health conditions and disabilities to remain in or return quickly to work thus reducing the likelihood of them having to claim incapacity benefits.

Health and Safety Executive

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the Health and Safety Executive was involved in (a) recommending and (b) approving planning permission for the development of (i) the Buncefield Oil Depot in Hemel Hempstead and (ii) residential or business properties near the depot; and if he will make a statement. [50954]

Mrs. McGuire: Since 1995 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has advised the local planning authority on 28 planning applications for developments near the Buncefield Depot. HSE advised against four proposals and advised that a further seven should be allowed only if additional conditions were met. So far as HSE is aware, the local planning authority followed HSE's advice in all 28 cases. No records are available concerning the original development of the Depot, which took place before HSE was established.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the role of the Health and Safety Executive is in (a) approving and (b) commenting on planning applications relating to (i) fuel depots and (ii) developments near fuel depots. [51078]

Mrs. McGuire: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is consulted under the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 1992 by a hazardous substances authority before the authority decides whether to issue a consent for an establishment, such as a fuel depot, to hold a quantity of prescribed hazardous substances above a specified threshold. HSE advises the authority on the hazards and risks presented by the proposed substances and supplies a consultation distance around the establishment. Before granting planning permission for specified subsequent developments within this consultation distance, the local planning authority is required to consult HSE under the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995.

HSE's role is to advise the hazardous substances authority or the local planning authority on whether or not to grant consent or planning permission. In all cases the decision is made by the relevant authority.

Incapacity Benefit

Sir Malcolm Rifkind: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people aged 25 years or under claimed incapacity benefit in each year for which figures are available since 2000. [30848]


 
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Mrs. McGuire: Information on the number of claims made broken down by age is not available. The available information, caseloads for those under 25, is in the following table.
Incapacity benefit (IB) and severe disablement allowance (SDA) claimants aged 25 years or under; Great Britain.

MayIB/SDAIBSDA
2000194,900133,80061,100
2001204,200143,60060,600
2002204,900173,80031,100
2003208,900184,60024,300
2004210,300192,60017,700
2005201,000189,60011,400



Notes:
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100.
2. 'Claimant' figures include all incapacity benefit (IB) and severe disability allowance, including IB credits-only cases.
3. Figures place 25-year-olds in the '25 years or under' group.
Source:
DWP Information Directorate, Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent. data.


Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of incapacity benefit claimants in Gravesham constituency who might be able to work if provided with support. [43267]

Margaret Hodge: No formal assessment has been made.

Mr. Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Tooting are in receipt of incapacity benefit, broken down by age, gender and ethnicity. [47747]

Mrs. McGuire: Information on the ethnicity of incapacity benefits claimants is not available. The available information is in the following table.
Incapacity benefit (IB) and severe disablement allowance claimants in the Tooting parliamentary constituency, as atAugust 2005.

All personsMenWomen
All ages3,4002,0001,400
Under 25200100100
25–34500300200
35–44800500300
45–49400300200
50–54500200300
55–59600300300
60–64300300(52)
65 and over(52)(52)(52)


(52) Nil or negligible.
Notes:
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.
2. 'Claimant' figures include all IB/SDA claimants, including IB credits only cases. Source:
DWP Information Directorate, Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent.


Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many recipients of incapacity benefit in Tamworth had their benefit reduced in each of the last five years, broken down by reason; and if he will make a statement; [48647]
 
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(2) how many people living in Tamworth constituency claimed incapacity benefit in each year since 1997; and what proportion of the working age population in the constituency this represents in each year. [48648]

Mrs. McGuire: The only reason for a claimant's incapacity benefit to be reduced is the receipt of an occupational pension in excess of £85.00 a week. The number of cases so affected in Tamworth is too small to be able to provide a precise figure.

Information on the number of incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance claimants in the Tamworth parliamentary constituency is in the following table. Working-age population figures are not available for parliamentary constituencies, so the information about proportions cannot be estimated.
Incapacity benefit (IB) and severe disablement allowance (SDA) claimants in the St Albans parliamentary constituency.

AugustNumber
19973,800
19983,600
19993,400
20003,500
20013,600
20023,600
20033,700
20043,600
20053,600



Notes:
1. The parliamentary constituency figures for the years 1997 to 1998 have been produced using the 5 per cent. data and have been rated up proportionally using the Great Britain WPLS 100 per cent. IB/SDA totals.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100.
3. 'Claimant' figures include all IB and SDA, including IB credits only cases.
Source:
DWP Information Directorate, 5 per cent. Samples from 1997 to 1998 and Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent. data thereafter.


Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many recipients of incapacity benefit in St. Albans had their benefit reduced in each of the last five years, broken down by reason; and if he will make a statement; [49334]

(2) how many people living in St. Albans claimed incapacity benefit in each year since 1997; and what proportion of the working age population in the constituency the figure represents in each year. [49335]

Mrs. McGuire: The only reason for a claimant's incapacity benefit to be reduced is the receipt of an occupational pension in excess of £85.00 a week. The number of cases so affected in St. Albans is too small to be able to provide a precise figure.

Information on the number of incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance claimants in the St. Albans parliamentary constituency is in the table. Working-age population figures are not available for parliamentary constituencies, so the information about proportions cannot be estimated.
 
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Incapacity benefit (IB) and severe disablement allowance (SDA) claimants in the St. Albans parliamentary constituency.

Number
August 19972,800
August 19982,400
August 19992,400
August 20002,400
August 20012,400
August 20022,400
August 20032,400
August 20042,400
August 20052,500



Notes:
1. The parliamentary constituency figures for the years 1997 to 1998 have been produced using the five percent. data and have been rated up proportionally using the Great Britain WPLS 100 percent. IB/SDA totals.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.
3. Claimant' figures include all IB and SDA, including IB credits only cases.
Source:
DWP Information Directorate, five percent. samples from 1997 to 1998 and Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 percent. data thereafter


Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many new (a) applicants and (b) recipients there were of incapacity benefits in each of the last five years. [51765]

Mrs. McGuire: The information is not available in the format requested. The available information on the number of claims processed each year is in the table.
Incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance claims processed and awarded

Period
(January to
December)
Claims processedClaims where payment was awardedClaims where NI credits-only were awardedNo award
2001811,715258,225290,300263,190
2002806,550274,410422,010110,130
2003787,525281,435428,39577,695
2004759,545261,265366,475131,800
2005691,760242,745306,875142,140



Notes:
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest five.
2. 'No award' figures include cases where conditions of entitlement were not met, together with 'transferred out', 'withdrawn', 'deleted' and 'accident declaration' cases.
3. Nl" = National Insurance.
4. Figures for overseas cases are excluded.
Source:
MISP 100 per cent. counts.



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