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Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individuals from EU accession states have been found to be fraudulently claiming (a) jobseeker's allowance and (b) housing benefit since accession. 
Mr. Plaskitt: We keep under review the way in which information is made available about benefits so that bereaved people, at this very difficult time in their lives, know about their possible right to benefit and can act on it at the right time.
As well as traditional sources of information we are working in partnership with funeral directors, registrars and voluntary groups such as Cruse, the National Association of Widows and Citizens Advice Bureaux who may be contacted by bereaved people. In addition we will continue to look for opportunities across Government and their services as they develop, to improve advice about this particular benefit, to those most in need of itthe newly bereaved.
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) benefits and (b) other assistance are offered by his Department to those who act as carers for (i) ill and (ii) disabled relatives in Wirral, West. 
Mrs. McGuire: The administration of carer's allowance is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Disability and Carers Service, Mr. Terry Moran. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what (a) benefits and (b) other assistance are offered by his Department to those who act as carers for (i) ill and (ii) disabled relatives in Wirral West.
The Minister for Disabled People, Anne McGuire MP, promised you a substantive reply from the Chief Executive of the Disability and Carers Service. In the Chief Executive's absence I have been asked to reply on his behalf.
In answer to parts (a) and (b) of your question, depending on their personal circumstances, carers have access to the full range of social security benefits. Those who provide regular and substantial care of at least 35 hours a week for a severely disabled person receiving Attendance Allowance or the equivalent rates of the Disability Living Allowance care component can be entitled to a Carer's Allowance and if on a low income, to the carer premium in the income-related benefits or the carer's additional amount in Pension Credit.
Information on the recipients of carer's related benefits in Wirral West is provided in the attached Appendix.
I hope you find the information helpful.
|Appendix: Recipients of carer's related benefits in the Westminster parliamentary constituency of Wirral, West, November 2005|
| Definition and convention|
"" nil or negligible.
1. Carer's allowance: Total shows the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and excludes people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital.
2. Pension credit: Pension credit was introduced on 6 October 2003 and replaced minimum income guarantee (income support for people aged 60 or over).
3. Parliamentary constituencies are allocated by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS Postcode Directory.
4. A smaller number of former MIG cases did not convert to pension credit on 6 October 2003. These cases have been excluded from the figures and are mainly cases where the claimant is aged under 60 and the partner over 60.
5. IS, PC and CA figures are taken from 100 per cent. WPLS data and are rounded to the nearest 10.
6. JSA (IB) figure is derived by applying 5 per cent. proportions to 100 per cent. WPLS data and are therefore subject to a degree of sampling variation.
7. November 2005 is the latest published data available.
DWP Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS).
Information Directorate, 5 per cent. samples.
Information on housing benefit (HB) and council tax benefit (CTB) recipients with a carer premium in the North West Government Office Region (GOR) is provided in the following table:
|HB/CTB recipients with a carer premium in the North West Government Office Region|
|May 2004 (Thousand)|
1. Numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand.
2. HB/CTB data refer to households and may be a single person or a couple.
3. HB figures exclude any extended payment cases.
4. CTB figures exclude any single adult rebate cases.
5. The figures are based on a 1 per cent. sample and are therefore subject to a degree of sampling variation.
6. May 2004 are the latest data available.
7. The lowest level the figures can be broken down to is GOR, therefore figures have been provided for North West Government Office Region.
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System, Annual 1 per cent. sample, taken in May 2004.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what his latest estimate is of the cost to his Department of Sir David Henshaws review of the Child Support Agency, broken down by (a) travel costs, (b) salary costs for Sir David Henshaw, (c) other staff costs, (d) telephone costs and (e) other costs; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Plaskitt: The redesign of child support is ongoing. Sir David Henshaw will deliver his findings to my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions before the summer recess. It is the intention to publish Sir David Henshaws report when a statement is made to the House.
|Estimated cost (£)|
Figures are rounded to the nearest £1,000.
Information on costs to this Department are not yet available. The redesign secretariat is staffed by employees from the Department for Work and Pensions and the Cabinet Office and the costs detailed are an estimate of the direct costs of Sir David Henshaw and his team for both Departments.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his Departments press release of 26 September 2005, why the gateway service for help with the resolution of potential Child Support Agency cases has not been established to date; and what representations he has received on this issue. 
The extent to which mediators could be used to secure agreement between the parents on the
subject of child support maintenance is clearly an area to be considered by Sir David Henshaw in his redesign. He is looking at initiatives across Government, including those in the Department for Constitutional Affairs and the Department for Education and Skills, with the aim of identifying scope for closer working so that all Government interventions will ensure parents both take financial responsibility for their children and reach agreements that reflect the best interests of their children.
|Estimated cost (£)|
Figures are rounded to the nearest £1000.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have worked in the Error Task Force in each year since it was introduced, broken down by civil service grade; what targets have been set for the Task Force; when it is expected to report to Ministers; and whether its report will be published. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The Official Error Task Force was set up in January 2006 with the aim of reducing official error in income support, jobseekers allowance and pension credit during 2006-07. It meets monthly with membership representing key policy and operational areas.
|Official Error Task Force|
|Civil service grade||Full-time/part-time||Number of staff|
The Task Force is also working with a number of people to implement its improvement activities. It reports directly to the Permanent Secretary. Progress reports are provided to Ministers on a regular basis.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library the information given to me under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 regarding how much companies, contracting bodies and local authorities received in
each of the last five years from the European Social Fund. 
|Estimates of take-up for family credit|
|Caseload take-up rate||Expenditure take-up rate|
1. Caseload take-up compares the number of benefit recipients, averaged over the year, with the number who would be receiving if everyone took up their entitlement.
2. Expenditure take-up compares the total amount of benefit received, in the course of the year, with the total amount that would be received if everyone took up their entitlement for the full period of their entitlement.
3. The estimates exclude the full-time self-employed, and cover private households only.
4. Estimates for 1988 to 1992 are sourced from the Family Expenditure Survey, and cover calendar years. These years have been combined due to small sample sizes in each of the years.
5. Estimates for 1998 and 1999 are based on the calendar year 1989 and April to December 1988.
6. Family credit was replaced with working families tax credit in October 1999; take-up statistics for the period April 1999 to October 1999 were not published.
7. Due to small samples sizes on the FES for family credit, estimates are open to a significant margin of error.
8. The source for estimates for 1993-94 to 1998-99 is the Family Resources Survey, and covers financial years.
9. Estimates up until 1995-96 were presented as point estimates. Thereafter, estimates were presented as ranges as the point estimate was adjusted to take account of sampling variation. Estimates were not adjusted to take account of possible bias, so the Department is less confident that the true level of take-up lies within the ranges given, than it is for other benefits.
10. Estimates were published in "Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-up" series. Copies are available in the Library.
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