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10 July 2006 : Column 1582W—continued

Table B lists those websites operated by the Department for Work and Pensions but where we are not responsible for the content.

Table B
Website Name Website Address Contracted and quantifiable costs

Disability Employment Advisory Committee

Disability Living Allowance Advisory Board

Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force

Independent Case Examiner

Industrial Injuries Advisory Council

National Employment Panel

Employer Task Force


Pensions At Work


Pensions Commission


Social Security Advisory Committee

Total Table B


(1 )The cost for these three sites is included in the figure for the Pension Service site in Table A
Notes: 1 Production, management and maintenance of DWP websites is carried out by the Department's own in-house E-Communications team. It is not possible to quantify internal costs for each site but contracted and quantifiable costs have been included where possible. 2 Contracted and quantifiable costs include payments to suppliers for services such as research, user testing and site builds, and payments to interim personnel. 3 Departmental sites are hosted by our IT contractors. In most cases it is not possible to separate these costs from contracted costs

Table C shows the total running costs for the 21 websites

Table C

Total Table A


Total Table B




The following special points should be noted:

10 July 2006 : Column 1583W

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total set-up costs were of the Targeting Fraud website; and what its total running costs have been in each year. [81027]

Mr. Plaskitt: There are no separately quantifiable set-up or running costs for the site, which was developed internally by the Department’s in-housee-communications team.

Deposited Papers

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make it his policy to make copies of deposited papers available in (a) the Vote Office and (b) Printed Paper Office at the same time as copies are deposited in the Library; and if he will make a statement. [82360]

Mrs. McGuire: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House of Commons on 3 July 2006, Official Report, column 729W.

Disability Benefits

Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to review the eligibility criteria for claimants of disability benefits, including disability living allowance and incapacity benefit; and if he will make a statement. [83737]

Mrs. McGuire: Disability living allowance is paid as a contribution towards the extra, disability-related costs incurred by severely disabled people. It is a tax free, non income related benefit. It is available to those who claim before the age of 65.

As part of a wide range of support that the Government makes available to older people, attendance allowance provides equivalent help to people who experience the onset of disability after age 65.

There are no plans to review the eligibility conditions for disability living allowance or attendance allowance.

Disability Living Allowance

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what action he is taking to reduce the level of (a) fraud and (b) error in relation to disability living allowance; and if he will make a statement. [81597]

Mr. Plaskitt: The Disability and Carers Service (DCS), the agency responsible for administering disability living allowance (DLA), is committed to reducing fraud and error in DLA.

All allegations of benefit fraud are carefully considered and, where appropriate, referred for investigation to the Fraud Investigation Service.

DLA cases are subject to a periodic inquiry process. This process has led to over 100,000 case interventions since its introduction in 1999. The periodic inquiry
10 July 2006 : Column 1584W
process has recently been refocused to target those cases with the highest propensity for change to ensure that these cases are correct.

DCS is currently testing an improved Customer Case Management (CCM) system. CCM is structured, IT-based support for decision-making, enabling greater consistency in both the outcome of decisions and in the level and length of awards.

DCS is also reviewing the DLA checking regime. This ensures the standard and quality of DLA/AA decision making across the agency.

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many individuals diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis who failed to qualify for disability living allowance appealed against the decision in (a) 2003, (b) 2004 and (c) 2005; [82079]

(2) how many individuals diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis applied but failed to qualify for disability living allowance in (a) 2003, (b) 2004 and (c) 2005. [82080]

Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 6 July 2006]: The requested information is not available. Details are not kept about the nature of the medical condition of people whose claims to attendance allowance or disability living allowance are unsuccessful, or about the nature of the medical condition of people taking their cases to appeal.

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households in Wakefield include a person with a learning disability who receives the care component of disability living allowance at the (a) highest, (b) middle and (c) lowest rate. [83478]

Mrs. McGuire: The administration of disability living allowance is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Disability and Carers Service, Mr. Terry Moran. He will write to my hon. Friend with the information requested.

Letter from Terry Moran:

Recipients of disability living allowance with learning difficulties by rate of care award as at November 2005 in Wakefield parliamentary constituency
Care component

Total with care component


Higher rate


Middle rate


Lowest rate


1. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Totals may not sum due to rounding.
3. Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant postcode directory.
4. Figures are based on the care component condition only.
DWP, WPLS 100 per cent. data.

10 July 2006 : Column 1585W

Disabled Persons' Scooters

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assistance is available to disabled persons for obtaining a disabled person's scooter; and if he will make a statement. [82359]

Mrs. McGuire: Disability living allowance (DLA) provides a contribution towards the extra costs faced by severely disabled people as a result of their disabilities. The higher rate mobility component of DLA is paid to disabled people who are unable or virtually unable to walk.

The Motability Scheme enables disabled persons to use their mobility component towards obtaining a disabled person's powered wheelchair or scooter. The scheme provides scooters in return for some or all of a customer's higher rate mobility component of disability living allowance or war pensioner's mobility supplement. Customers are able to choose from an extensive range of powered wheelchairs and scooters and 200 accredited dealer specialists provide further advice as part of an overall assessment process to obtain the right product to best meet a person's mobility needs. There are currently 6,300 customers using this scheme.

The scheme is overseen by Motability, an independent not-for-profit charity, operating at arms length from this Department and overseen by a board of governors.

Employment, Hartlepool

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department has taken to increase employment in Hartlepool constituency since 1997. [80549]

Mr. Jim Murphy: Latest figures show that there are more people in work than ever before. Employment now stands at 28.9 million, up by just over 2.5 million since 1997. More than 1.5 million people have been helped into work through our New Deal programmes, including more than 4,200 people in Hartlepool, and our successful labour market policies have contributed to the virtual eradication of long term youth unemployment, fewer people out of work, and fewer people on inactive benefits. In Hartlepool, the numbers of people claiming incapacity benefits has fallen by 14 per cent .since 1997 and the numbers claiming lone parent benefit by 31 per cent. Long term youth unemployment has fallen by 75 per cent.

Despite progress over the last eight years there remain pockets of persistent low employment, and tackling worklessness and inactivity, particularly among those on benefits, remains our top priority. Our successful Pathways to Work programme which has already achieved more than 21,000 job entries, including 50 in Tees Valley, will be extended to every part of Britain by 2008 and we will be investing a further £360 million on our welfare reform green paper proposals over the next two years.

Some of the most disadvantaged areas, including Hartlepool, have been asked to submit expressions of interest for our Cities Strategy initiative which will ensure that those still most disadvantaged in the labour
10 July 2006 : Column 1586W
market receive the help and guidance they need. This strategy fits with our wider aims of moving towards an 80 per cent. employment rate and reducing child poverty, by addressing the localised pockets of worklessness across Great Britain. It aims to deliver a significant improvement in the working age employment rate, particularly for disadvantaged groups.

Housing Benefit

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which the (a) best performing and (b) worst performing council, in respect of the level of housing benefit (i) overpayment and (ii) fraud was in 2005-06; and what assessment he has made of the performance of Luton council in each case. [80368]

Mr. Plaskitt: The available information is in the following table:

Detected overpayments of housing benefit by local authority, 2004-05
Local authority Weekly overpayment (£)

Lowest level of detected overpayment

West Devon


Highest level of detected overpayment





Source: Local authority data returns to DWP.

Information is not available on local authority performance in respect of the level of housing benefit overpayments and fraud present in their caseload, since it is not possible to estimate with sufficient confidence the amount of undetected fraud and error at local authority level.

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to collect information on the cost of housing benefit paid to households renting properties formerly owned by local authorities. [81598]

Mr. Plaskitt: We are currently looking at the information we collect and considering the feasibility of various options. Were it feasible, the earliest date that any such additional information could be collected would be April 2007.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost of housing benefit was in each year from 1985-86 at 2004-05 prices; and if he will make a statement. [81747]

Mr. Plaskitt: The available information is in the table.

10 July 2006 : Column 1587W
Housing benefit expenditure in Great Britain, Real Terms 2004-05 prices
£ million

1985-86 (1)


1986-87 (1)


1987-88 (1)


1988-89 (1)


1989-90 (1)


1990-91 (1)


1991-92 (1)


1992-93 (1)


1993-94 (1)


1994-95 (1)


1995-96 (1)


1996-97 (1)


1997-98 (1)


1998-99 (1)


1999-2000 (1)


2000-01 (1)


2001-02 (1)


2002-03 (1)


2003-04 (1)


2004-05 (1)


2005-06 (2)


(1) outturn
(2) estimated outturn
Figures are consistent with Budget 2006.
DWP benefit expenditure tables and historic information.

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