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Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have died from asbestos-related conditions in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years. 
Mrs. McGuire: The number of deaths from mesothelioma and asbestosis combined in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years for which data are available is given in the following table:
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Health & Safety Executive British mesothelioma and asbestosis registers, Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA)
The number of asbestos-related lung cancer deaths cannot be directly enumerated, since asbestos-related lung cancers are clinically indistinguishable from lung cancers due to other causes. Current evidence suggests that the number of asbestos-related lung cancer deaths is similar to the number of deaths due to mesothelioma. Therefore, since mesothelioma deaths account for the vast majority in the table, the total number of deaths due to asbestos is approximately double those given in the table.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent, excluding staff costs, on administering (a) disability living allowance, (b) attendance allowance, (c) carers allowance and (d) incapacity benefit claim forms in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. McGuire: Information is not available in the format requested. The Department now accounts for its administration and benefit expenditure by Strategic Objective, as set out in its public service agreements (PSA), and by individual Requests for Resources (RfRs), as set out in the Departmental estimates and accounts.
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 1 March 2006, Official Report, column 795W, on benefits, what the reasons are for the variations between the budgeted expenditure for council tax benefit in the answer and the outturn figures for expenditure on council tax benefit set out in table 8 of the pre-Budget report 2005. 
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Mr. MacNeil), 1 March 2006, Official Report, column 796W, on benefits, for what
reasons the budgeted expenditure for council tax benefit varies from the outturn figures for expenditure on council tax benefit set out in table 8 of the pre-Budget report 2005. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The budgeted amounts given in my reply of 1 March 2006, Official Report, column 795W, are derived from departmental reports and reflect the provision made for expenditure in the relevant years. The figures in the outturn expenditure tables, which are consistent with pre-Budget reports, provide details of adjusted expenditure. The two sets of figures are not directly comparable.
Mr. Plaskitt: Under the current cold weather payment scheme every residential postcode is linked to one of 74 weather stations, 44 of which cover England. Cold weather payments are made to all eligible customers when the average daily temperature is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days at the weather station linked to their postcode.
Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to ensure that the hon. Member for Walsall, North is sent a reply to his letter of 20 April 2006 to the manager of the Works and Pensions Office, St. Nicholas Street, Hereford, on bereavement benefit for a constituent. 
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the Disability Carers Service will reply to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West's letter of 8 February 2006 with regard to his constituent, Mrs. Elaine Fordyce. 
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when you would receive a reply to your letter of 8 February 2006 about entitlement to Carer's Allowance (CA) for Mrs Elaine Fordyce of 10 Springfield Crescent, South Queensferry, West Lothian, EH30 9SB. I am sorry that your letter was not replied to but I do not appear to have received the original and only became aware you had written after you raised your concerns in the House of Commons.
The circumstances surrounding Mrs Fordyce's claim for CA have been carefully and sympathetically reconsidered but regrettably I can only confirm that her award cannot be backdated to 27 July 2004. We have considered all statutory means with which to backdate the claim but the rules governing this are clear and cannot be relaxed or varied no matter how compelling an individual's circumstances might be.
As you know we also considered whether a special payment should be made because Mrs Fordyce has lost out on entitlement to benefit as a direct result of a clear and unambiguous error made by the department. It is appreciated that without a record of the conversation held between Mrs Fordyce and the Benefit Enquiry Line it is difficult to confirm what was actually said. However, as explained, our advisors are fully conversant with the rules for claiming CA and deal with a great number of enquiries on this very issue on a daily basis. I am confident, therefore, that they would have provided the correct advice to Mrs Fordyce. In view of this a special payment could not be made.
Despite the fact that it is clearly stated on the DLA claim pack that if carer's want to claim CA they should do so straightaway, we were aware that some carers chose to wait for a decision on DLA before claiming. With new legislation, brought in from10 April 2006, there is no longer the need to claim both benefits at the same time. As long as the claim for CA is made within three months of the decision being made on the claim to DLA the carer can request backdating to the start of the DLA award date. Although this will not help Mrs Fordyce it should ensure that this situation does not reoccur and affect other carers.
If Mrs Fordyce needs any further information or assistance in connection with her CA Nicola Moorby, the Team Leader responsible for her claim, will be pleased to help. She can be contacted by writing to The Carer's Allowance Unit, Palatine House, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1ZW or by telephoning 01772 899915.
If Mrs Fordyce is unhappy with the way her complaint has been dealt with and wants to take the matter further, she can, within six months of the date at the top of this letter, contact the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) for the Disability and Carers Service who will consider complaints about our service, though not matters of law or Government policy. ICE can be contacted in writing at PO Box 155, Chester CH99 9SA, by telephone 0845 6060777 or by e-mail email@example.com.
I am sorry that this will be a disappointing reply for Mrs Fordyce but I can assure you that everything has been done to backdate her claim.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the occasions when an amendment has been moved by (a) a Labour backbencher, (b) an Opposition backbencher and (c) an Opposition front bench spokesman to a Bill sponsored by his Department that has been accepted by his Department during the current session; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate the Health and Safety Executive has made of the number of headstones removed for safety reasons in the last 12 months. 
Mrs. McGuire: Neither HSE nor the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) has central records of the number of headstones removed for safety reasons. The Government are committed to finding a way forward on this difficult issue, which strikes a balance between safety and the sensitivities of relatives. A cross-departmental group has started work on new guidance to help burial authorities with the problem.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which local authorities in England and Wales allow a discretionary award for (a) veterans disabled during the second world war and (b) their widows in the assessment of housing benefit; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt: Currently, all local authorities in England and Wales allow discretionary disregards for war disablement pensioners and war widows' pensioners above the statutory £10.00 disregard. All these disregards apply regardless of when the disability occurred.
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