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13 Mar 2007 : Column 266W—continued


Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research he has commissioned into the operation of non-dependant deductions from housing benefit; and if he will make a statement. [118812]

Mr. Plaskitt: The Department last commissioned research into non-dependant deductions in the mid 1990s.

We have no plans to commission further research into the operation of non-dependant deductions from housing benefit, but we will keep them under review.

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the proportion of housing benefit that was (a) overpaid and (b) underpaid due to the incorrect application of non-dependant deductions in the latest period for which figures are available. [118814]

Mr. Plaskitt: The housing benefit review survey estimates that in 2005-06 the proportion of housing benefit expenditure overpaid due to incorrect or missing non-dependant deductions was 0.3 per cent. The equivalent figure for underpaid housing benefit expenditure was 0.1 per cent.

The underpayment estimate only covers recipients who were getting less than they were entitled to, and does not include those who were entitled to benefits but did not apply.

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many tenants are claiming local housing allowance in each of the 18 pathfinder areas; and if he will make a statement. [125029]

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


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13 Mar 2007 : Column 268W
Number of tenants claiming local housing allowance in Pathfinder areas, February 2006
Pathfinder Local housing allowance caseload

Original Pathfinders

Blackpool

8,600

Brighton and Hove

8,900

Conwy

2,400

Coventry

4,900

Edinburgh

6,300

Leeds

6,800

Lewisham

4,600

North East Lincolnshire

4,700

Teignbridge

2,100

Second Wave Group

Argyll and Bute

1,100

East Riding of Yorkshire

4,600

Guildford

700

Norwich

1,200

Pembrokeshire

1,800

Salford

2,000

South Norfolk

800

St. Helens

2,000

Wandsworth

3,100

18 Pathfinders total

66,600

Notes:
1. These are the latest available validated data.
2. The reported figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.
3. The reported figures include transitionally protected cases.
4. The second wave group areas are not subject to evaluation but are assessing operational readiness.
Source:
DWP Pathfinder administrative data, February 2006.

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average housing benefit payment for a (a) single pensioner, (b) married pensioner, (c) single person under pensionable age, (d) married couple under pensionable age and (e) married couple with children was in (i) 1997 and (ii) at the latest available date. [127209]

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

Average weekly amounts of housing benefit: (£ per week)
As at May each year: Those aged 60 or over with no partner Those aged 60 or over with a partner Those aged under 60 with no partner Those aged under 60 with a partner Those with a partner and children

1997

36.94

34.44

47.81

46.21

47.66

2003

49.09

48.58

60.25

63.95

70.07

Notes:
1. The figures are based on a 1 per cent. sample and subject to a degree of sampling variation.
2. Housing benefit cases exclude extended payment cases.
3. Average amounts are shown to the nearest penny.
4. Pensioner figures refer to cases where the claimant and/or partner are aged 60 or over.
5. Figures for those under 60 refer to cases where both claimant and partner are under 60.
Source:
Housing benefit and council tax benefit management information system, annual 1 per cent. sample, taken in May 2003.

Income Support: Lone Parents

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many lone parents had claimed income support for (a) up to three months, (b) between three and six months, (c) between six and 12 months, (d) between one and two years, (e) between two years and three years and (f) more than three years in each quarter since 1992. [121436]

Mr. Jim Murphy: Information is not available prior to 1999. The available information is in the following table.


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Income Support lone-parent claimants in Great Britain by duration of claim: each quarter August 1999 to May 2006
Date Up to 3 months 3-6 months 6-12 months 1-2 years 2-3 years 3 years and over

August 1999

67,080

61,050

103,120

147,540

103,240

458,670

November 1999

60,060

60,960

99,530

148,040

105,850

451,460

February 2000

52,130

57,620

102,570

149,860

107,470

449,430

May 2000

56,700

49,670

100,730

152,420

106,950

448,300

August 2000

59,880

54,520

91,360

153,250

107,450

449,060

November 2000

55,910

54,630

88,610

148,180

108,070

445,690

February 2001

52,220

55,320

94,670

144,300

109,800

447,150

May 2001

52,640

49,330

94,940

141,660

111,290

445,680

August 2001

54,790

50,670

90,210

140,660

111,850

447,190

November 2001

47,920

49,440

84,830

138,160

108,590

444,770

February 2002

46,010

47,360

86,750

138,900

105,680

447,420

May 2002

51,650

43,810

83,620

135,720

103,930

447,210

August 2002

53,630

49,650

79,550

133,340

104,080

449,860

November 2002

48,980

49,050

80,190

125,940

101,910

445,210

February 2003

40,550

48,520

85,090

123,050

102,080

444,470

May 2003

56,920

39,890

85,280

124,760

100,780

445,680

August 2003

49,570

53,790

77,240

125,800

98,330

446,720

November 2003

44,250

44,760

81,190

125,130

93,940

442,460

February 2004

45,840

42,800

84,460

123,210

92,080

441,860

May 2004

44,320

44,270

76,370

126,180

92,450

439,660

August 2004

46,430

42,750

75,670

122,800

92,550

437,890

November 2004

44,260

42,340

72,990

116,080

91,650

429,190

February 2005

45,010

42,510

73,090

116,720

89,900

425,910

May 2005

45,230

42,990

73,580

111,730

90,910

424,870

August 2005

49,280

43,010

74,680

110,190

88,180

424,030

November 2005

47,010

45,240

73,360

109,350

84,090

419,520

February 2006

44,170

45,990

76,550

109,690

84,690

416,000

May 2006

44,210

42,470

79,750

110,220

81,560

416,660

August 2006

51,550

43,000

77,690

114,290

81,020

415,630

Notes:
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Figures do not include lone -parents whose primary entitlement to benefit is for other reasons, for example disability
Source:
100 per cent DWP Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS)

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