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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners living overseas have not had their pensions uprated annually in each year since 1976-77, broken down by country; what plans he has to change this policy; and if he will make a statement. 
James Purnell: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available has been placed in the Library. We have no plans to change the current arrangements on uprating state pension overseas.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the Governments policy is on uprating pensions of UK citizens who take-up residence overseas; what the policy will be on pensioners living overseas when the link to earnings is restored; and if he will make a statement. 
James Purnell: The UK State Pension is payable in all countries abroad to those who are entitled to it. It is uprated in the same way for UK pensioners living overseas where there is a reciprocal social security agreement or a legal requirement to do so. We have no plans to change these arrangements.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria need to be met to enable a reciprocal agreement to be in place between the United Kingdom and another country to allow for the pensions of British expatriates who live in that country to be uprated fully each year. 
The primary purpose of reciprocal social security agreements is to provide a measure of coordination between social security schemes to protect the social security of workers moving between the two countries during their working lives. They avoid the duplication of payments of social security contributions and most make provisions for uprating of UK pensions.
The last reciprocal agreement is over 25 years old. There are a number of factors, for example, the numbers of people moving between the UK and the other country, the benefits available under the other country's scheme and the compatibility of the social security systems, which determine whether a reciprocal social security agreement is entered into with another country. There are therefore no set criteria.
James Purnell: Under bilateral social security agreements, annual upratings of State Pensions are payable to pensioners living in the following countries: Barbados; Bermuda; Guernsey; Israel; Jamaica; Jersey; Mauritius; the Philippines; Turkey; the United States of America and the now separate republics of the former Yugoslavia that are not EU Member States (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the State Union of Serbia-Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much has been spent on (a) administration and (b) legal fees for the Financial Assistance Scheme in each month since its inception; and if he will make a statement. 
James Purnell: The Financial Assistance Scheme was announced in May 2004. Monthly information on expenditure is not available in a comparative form covering the whole period. Total expenditure on administration in 2004-05 was £1.06 million and in 2005-06 £4.73 million. One off legal fees of £2,089 arose in March 2005. In 2006-07 expenditure to the end of October totalled £1.74 million and a monthly breakdown is as follows:
|Current financial year 2006-07||£|
|Female sickness benefit (SB), invalidity benefit (IVB), non-contributory invalidity pension (NCIP), housewife's non-contributory invalidity pension (HNCIP), and severe disablement allowance (SDA) claimants in Great Britain at dates shown|
|Female claimants of incapacity benefit (IB) and severe disablement allowance (SDA) in Great Britain in February each year|
| Notes: 1. SDA replaced NCIP and HNCIP in November 1984.|
2. Incapacity benefit replaced SB and IVB on 13 April 1995. 3. Incapacity benefit figures include contribution-only cases. 4. May 1995 to May 1999 (inclusive) figures are uprated to WPLS totals and rounded to the nearest hundred. 5. August 1999 to February 2006 figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
DWP Information Directorate 5 per cent. sample and 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which web-related information technology projects have cost his Department more than £50,000 since 2001; how many qualified tender proposals there were for each project; and which company was awarded each contract. 
James Purnell: The Department for Work and Pensions undertakes a large number of projects which deliver business change and policy initiatives. Many projects will include web-related technology available to the public. The following table includes only those projects where the web-enabled IT element is such that non-delivery of the IT would significantly damage the project s ability to deliver its intended results.
|Project||Number of qualified tender proposals||Supplier|
(a) The Employment Service framework was known as ITPA. This framework was a competitively let PFI agreement that complied with EU and UK regulations for the letting of such contracts. EDS was the successful contractor for ITPA.
(b) The Department for Social Security framework was known as Accord. This framework was a competitively let PFI agreement that complied with EU and UK regulations for the letting of such contracts. EDS was the lead for one of three consortiums under Accord. The other leads were BT and Fujitsu (formerly ICL). In each case the principal contractor had the right to appoint sub-contractors with the Departments approval.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many questions for written answer from (a) the hon. Member for Yeovil and (b) other hon. Members have been colour-coded red by his Department since the traffic light system was introduced; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many questions for written answer from hon. Members in the last parliamentary session were not answered by 8 November 2006; how many and what proportion of these were colour-coded (a) green, (b) amber and (c) red; and if he will make a statement. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he introduced a traffic light colour-coding system for dealing with questions for
written answer; for what reasons this system was introduced; what proportion of such questions have been coded as (a) red, (b) amber and (c) green since the new system was introduced; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department began trialling in October of this year an informal colour-coding system to identify questions of which press office should be made aware, and for which Ministers wish separate media briefing to be developed. As there is no formal departmental monitoring system in place related to the trialling, the information on numbers is not available.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether an estimate has been made of the net cost of compensating those identified in the Ombudsmans report Trusting in the Pensions Promise taking into account the resulting reduction in (a) pension credit, (b) council tax benefit and (c) housing benefit payable to those compensated. 
James Purnell: No reliable estimate can be made. We have estimated the cost of replacing in full the lost pensions for those covered by the Ombudsmans report as £15 billion cash, over 60 years and around £3 billion in NPV. This is, as we have always made clear, the gross cost, taking no account of any possible savings from a reduction in the payment of income-related benefits or any possible increase in tax income. The length of time over which payments would be made make it difficult to estimate what the cost would be after these adjustments, as this would depend on the income distribution of people affected, the tax brackets they are in and their benefit entitlements.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will disaggregate the cost of basic state pension reforms, as shown in figure 9 of the Pensions White Paper, Security in Retirement: Towards a New Pension System, to show (a) the gross cost of saving from increasing the basic state pension in line with earnings from 2012 on existing qualifying criteria, (b) the net cost of increasing the basic state pension in line with earnings from 2012 on existing qualifying criteria, (c) the changes to qualifying criteria and (d) the changes to adult dependency increases proposed in the White Paper. 
James Purnell: Under our reforms, more people will be receiving state pensions based on their National Insurance records, and there will be a more generous basic state pension due to the restoration of the earnings link. This provides a solid foundation for private saving. The guarantee credit will continue to provide a safety net and reforms to the savings credit will reduce the spread of means testing and support the savings incentives that are an integral part of the reform package.
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