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2 Mar 2006 : Column 889W—continued

Housing Benefit

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were in receipt of housing benefit in the most recent period for which figures are available; how many had their housing benefit paid directly to a landlord. [54010]

Mr. Plaskitt: As at May 2004, the most recent figures for which a breakdown is available, there were a total of 3,879,000 households in Great Britain in receipt of housing benefit.

Of these, 1,808,000 were local authority tenants entitled to rent rebates. A further 1,328,000 were tenants of Registered Social Landlords and 744,000 were tenants of private landlords, entitled to rent allowance.

Of the rent allowance cases, 1,218,000 of the tenants of Registered Social Landlord and 417,000 tenants of private landlords had their benefit paid directly to the landlord or their agent.

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many housing benefit claims in 2004–05 were subject to each rate of non-dependant deduction. [54436]

Mr. Plaskitt: The information is not available in the format requested; as some claimants have more than one non-dependent and the rate of deduction is determined by the non-dependant's status.

The available information on the numbers of each type of deduction is in the table.
Housing benefit non-dependants by deduction type: Great Britain, May 2004

Housing benefit claims attracting non-dependant
Total non-dependants (all categories)140,000
of which:
In remunerative work
Gross income <£979,000
Gross income £97–£143.999,000
Gross income £144–£185.9911,000
Gross income £186–£246.999,000
Gross income £247–£307.996,000
Gross income £308 and over14,000
Not receiving IS/JSA(IB) nor working.32,000
Receiving IS/JSA(IB); not in work.48,000
On Government Training Allowance; not in work.(17)1,000

(17) Figures under 2,500—subject to a high degree of sampling variation and should be used only as a guide to the situation.
1. The data refers to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple.
2. The caseload figures are rounded to the nearest thousand. Totals may not sum to rounding.
3. Housing benefit figures exclude any Extended Payment cases.
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System, Annual 1 per cent. sample, taken in May 2004.

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Incapacity Benefit

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people with a learning disability claimed incapacity benefits in each year since 1997. [50062]

Mrs. McGuire: The information is not available in the format requested.

Figures for those incapacity benefit (IB) and severe disablement allowance (SDA) claimants with a primary diagnosis within the diagnoses groups that include learning difficulties are in the table.
Incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance claimants in Great Britain, by certain diagnoses

Pervasive development disordersSpecific development disorders of scholastic skills

1. 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 hundred.
3. Claimant" figures include all IB and SDA (including IB credits only cases).
4. All diagnoses are coded using the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition, published by the World Health Organisation.
DWP Information Directorate, 5 per cent. Samples from 1997 to 1998 and Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent. data thereafter.

National Insurance Numbers

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many temporary national insurance numbers have been allocated in each year since 1997. [55300]

Mr. Plaskitt: None; the Department does not issue temporary national insurance numbers.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he intends to answer questions (a) 19191 and (b) 19192 tabled by the hon. Member for Lancaster and Wyre on 18 October. [29684]

2 Mar 2006 : Column 891W

Mrs. McGuire: A reply, linking both questions was given to the hon. Member on 6 December 2005, Official Report, column 1196W.

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he will reply to (a) Question 38218, on security of data, tabled on 13 December 2005 and (b) Question 30081, on over-paid benefits, tabled on 15 November 2005, by the hon. Member for Daventry. [47622]

Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 2 February 2006]: Replies were made to the hon. Member for both the questions as follows:


Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff were employed by (a) the Pension Service in the UK and (b) each pension centre at the end of each of the last 18 months for which figures are available. [54234]

Mr. Timms: The following table shows the amount of staff in The Pension Service for each of the last 18 months. Information is not available by pension centre.
MonthNumbers of total TPS Staff(18)
August 200417,428
September 200416,955
October 200416,651
November 200416,539
December 200416,520
January 200516,970
February 200516,848
March 200516,189
April 200515,870
May 200515,792
June 200515,540
July 200515,242
August 200515,014
September 200514,859
October 200514,756
November 200514,686
December 200514,600
January 200614,482

(18) Full-time equivalent.

The above figures are based on Mandate calculation up to and including November 2005 and reflect full-time equivalent staff numbers. From December 2005 the figures are based on the Office for National Statistics methodology.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has introduced standard definitions for use in the calculation of all public sector employment statistics. The revised definition includes staff on certain types of paid leave such as paid maternity leave and paid sick leave previously excluded. In line with other public sector organisations, DWP has implemented the new ONS definitions, internally, from November, although this definition was used in reporting DWP staffing figures to ONS for the Quarter 3 Public Sector Employees Survey published on 13 January 2006.
2 Mar 2006 : Column 892W


Office for Public Service Reform

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he has abolished the Office for Public Service Reform; and if he will make a statement. [55299]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The work previously being undertaken by the Office for Public Service Reform is now being taken forward elsewhere in the Cabinet Office.


Parliamentary Questions

Mrs. Hodgson: To ask the Leader of the House what proposals he has received for a system for tabling parliamentary questions during recess. [54156]

Mr. Hoon: Members may already table questions during recesses, by post or via the e-tabling system. Questions are published in one or more blue notice papers which appear towards the end of each recess.

I have received representations from colleagues on both sides of the House seeking an extension of this system, including the answering of questions during recesses.

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