Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the likely impact of the SLC2 base level specification set out in the Cross Country Rail Franchise Consultation document of June on levels of rail usage in the North West. 
Derek Twigg: The changes proposed in service level commitment 2 are designed to allow longer trains to be operated on the busiest Cross Country routes. The changes also propose a new hourly service from Manchester to Bristol, which will benefit a large number of rail passengers.
The service between Scotland and Birmingham via the West Coast Main Line will continue to operate at the same frequency but with faster journey times and at regular intervals with better connections. I expect this will lead to increased levels of rail usage.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) road accident fatalities and (b) personal injury road accidents there were in (i) Bury St. Edmunds constituency and (ii) Suffolk in each year since 1997. 
Dr. Ladyman: The number of personal injury road accidents reported to the police, and the resulting fatalities, in the constituency of Bury St. Edmunds and the county of Suffolk from 1997 to 2004 (the latest year for which figures are available) are given in the table.
|Accidents and Fatalities in Bury St. Edmunds constituency and Suffolk, 1997-2004
|Bury St. Edmunds
|Bury St. Edmunds
|(1) The accidents in the table are those that occurred in the 2004 boundaries for Bury St. Edmunds constituency.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which bodies have (a) made representations to the Government and (b) are known by his Department to be (i) in favour of and (ii) opposed to the compulsory wearing of seat belts; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: Seat belt wearing has been compulsory since 1983. No representations to the Government on road safety in recent years have opposed this fundamental requirement. Information on those who specifically support the requirement is not recorded.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assumptions about traffic growth up to 2021 are being used by his Department in discussions with the growth areas directorate in the Department for Communities and Local Government on housing expansion in the Peterborough Unitary authority area. 
Gillian Merron: The East of England Spatial Strategy, which has recently been subject to examination in public following a period of consultation, will provide the overall framework for assessing and planning housing and other growth across the East of England region including Peterborough up to 2021. In that context it is for the local authority to develop detailed forecasts of traffic growth and reflect this in their local transport plans and local delivery frameworks.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the basis was for the Government's calculation in the Green Paper. A new deal for welfare that reaching an 80 per cent. employment rate would require getting one million people off incapacity benefit and one million more people over 50 years and 300,000 lone parents into work. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: As we set out in the Department's Five Year Strategy and in the Green Paper A new deal for welfare: empowering people to work, we have a long-term aim of reaching employment equivalent to 80 per cent. of the working age population. In order to achieve this we will reduce by one million the number on incapacity benefits, help 300,000 lone parents into work and increase by one million the number of older workers.
Because 80 per cent. employment is relative to the size of the future population, the total required increase in employment is dependent on population projections, which are revised regularly. Using the latest Government Actuary Department projections, employment would now need to increase by more than 2.5 million in order to achieve 80 per cent. in the long term. This is because the Government Actuary Department has increased their projection of the working age population.
We are currently considering the implications of this population change. However, our long-term aim of 80 per cent. employment is unaffected, and the commitments in the Green Paper to reduce by one million the number on incapacity benefits, help 300,000 lone parents into work and increase by one million the number of older workers will still be delivered.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the scale of identity fraud in relation to social security benefits; how many of his Departments staff have been involved in identity fraud since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
|National Benefit Fraud Hotline budget allocation
1. Figures include goods, services and staffing costs.
2. The National Benefit Fraud Hotline (NBFH) commenced in August 1996. Information around budget allocation is available only from year ending 2001-02. Prior to this NBFH was the responsibility of the former DSS Benefits Agency Security Branch and figures on funding and budget costs are no longer available.
3. The operational costs of administering the National Benefit Fraud Hotline include the costs of administering the report-a-cheat-online service. These costs cannot be separated.
National Intelligence Unit and Resource Management and IT.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how much his Department has spent on reducing benefit overpayments due to (a) fraud, (b) customer error and (c) official error in each year since 1997; 
The Departments overall aim is to have a benefit system which is accurate from first claim to final payment. This means that safeguarding the benefit system from loss due to fraud and error is integral to the work of staff involved in general benefits administration, as well as those working specifically on fraud and error.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his latest estimate is of the level of fraud and error in percentage terms for (a) child benefit, (b) income support, (c) incapacity benefit, (d) disability living allowance, (e) jobseekers allowance, (f) housing benefit, (g) pension credit and (h) council tax benefit. 
|Estimates of overpayments as a percentage of benefit expenditure
1. All figures are overpayments expressed as a proportion of expenditure for that benefit and are rounded to the nearest 0.1 per cent. They are based on sampling exercises and so are subject to sampling and other uncertainties. Sampling uncertainty is expressed in the form of confidence intervals; these have not been provided in these tables.
2. Income support, jobseekers allowance and pension credit figures come from the National Statistics report Fraud and error in Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance and Pension Credit from April 2004 to March 2005: Full report, published more recently than the 2004-05 DWP Resource Account.
3. Disability living allowance fraud and error figures come from the National Statistics report Fraud, error and other incorrectness in Disability Living Allowance covering the period 2004-05. The customer error overpayment figure includes around £580 million (7.9 per cent. of DLA expenditure) which was removed when reported in the Departmental Resource Account. These were cases where the change in customers needs may have been so gradual that it would be unreasonable to expect them to know at which point their entitlement to DLA might have changed. These cases do not result in a recoverable overpayment as we cannot quantify or define when the customers change occurred. Because legislation requires the Secretary of State to prove that entitlement to DLA is incorrect, rather than requiring the customer to inform us that their needs have changed, cases in this subcategory are legally correct.
4. Incapacity benefit estimates from the 2004-05 DWP Resource Account. Fraud and customer error estimates from April 2000 to March 2001, official error from April 2003 to March 2004.
5. Housing benefit estimates from the National Statistics report Fraud and Error in Housing Benefit April 2002 to March 2005. They are made up of reviews of around 85 per cent. of HB expenditure (used for measuring performance against the relevant PSA target to reduce fraud and error in HB) combined with more approximate estimates of error in the remaining 15 per cent. of expenditure. For further details on this, please see the relevant National Statistics reports.
6. Council tax benefit estimates from the 2004-05 DWP Resource Account. Council tax benefit has not been measured by the Department and was assumed to have the same levels of fraud and error as the latest housing benefit estimates available at the time (October 2003 to September 2004).
7. Child benefit is administered by HM Revenue and Customs and is a matter for HM Treasury.
Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many workers from the EU accession countries are claiming (a) jobseekers allowance, (b) housing benefit and (c) other benefits in the UK. 
Mr. Plaskitt: As at May 2006, there were 3,003 jobseekers allowance claimants in the Lewisham, Deptford parliamentary constituency and 7,689 jobseekers allowance claimants in the London borough of Lewisham.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were in receipt of each of his Departments means-tested benefits in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
|Income support (IS) and IS minimum income guarantee (MIG) caseloads: Great Britain each November 1997 to 2005