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John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total current unrecovered Social Fund debt is; and what the figure is for (a) London and (b) each office in London. 
|Social fund debt balances|
|Budgeting loan||Crisis loan||Funeral payment||Total|
1. Balances have been taken as at 28 February 2007.
2. London has been defined as all offices within the London Government office region.
3. Totals may not appear as sum of the individual lines due to rounding.
Social Fund Computer System.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much Social Fund debt was written off in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and what the figure was for London in each year. 
|Social fund debts written off 2001-02 to 2005-06, nationally and for London|
1. London has been defined as all offices within the London Government office region as at 30 March 2007.
2. Totals may not appear as sum of the individual lines due to rounding.
Programme Accounting Computer System.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were claiming (a) jobseekers allowance, (b) incapacity benefits and (c) disability allowance in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2006; and how many of these categories of data are classified as national statistics. 
|Jobseekers allowance, incapacity benefit, and severe disablement allowance claimants in Great Britain; as at August 1997 and 2006|
|Benefit||August 1997||August 2006|
1. Jobseekers allowance figures have been rounded to the nearest 100.
2. Jobseekers allowance figures are seasonally adjusted.
3. Claimant figures for incapacity benefit include incapacity benefit credits only cases.
100 per cent. DWP Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS) and 100 per cent. Count of claimants of unemployment-related benefits, Jobcentre Plus Computer Systems.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria are used to decide the levels of payments made for (a) income support, (b) jobseeker's allowance and (c) the carer's allowance; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The Government take into account a number of factors when reviewing benefit rates each year, the most important of which is the level of inflation. For some years, carer's allowance has been increased in line with the retail prices index. However, jobseeker's allowance and income support are increased by the Rossi index, which is based on the retail prices index and reflects the costs of living increases for people living on these benefits.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people who claim disability living allowance are also claiming (a) industrial injuries disablement benefit, (b) war disablement pension, (c) funding from the independent living fund and (d) constant attendance allowance. 
As at August 2006, the most recent available information, there were 253,360 people in
receipt of both disability living allowance and industrial injuries disablement benefit.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what benefits are available for people with disabilities who are below the retirement age but receive private pensions; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department administers a wide range of working age benefits to cover different needs and circumstances. All of these could be available to people with disabilities who receive private pensions. However, entitlement to each benefit, and the amount payable, would depend on a person meeting the relevant conditions.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases were referred to the National Identity Fraud Unit in each year since 1997; how many of these cases were investigated in each year; and how many of these cases resulted in a conviction in each year. 
|Number of cases referred to NIFU( 1)||Number of cases referred by NIFU to Fraud Investigation Services( 2)|
|(1) Data regarding the number of cages referred to the NIFU not available prior to 1998-99. (2) Not all cases referred to NIFU are referred to the DWP Fraud Investigation Service for investigation. Many are referred to other Government Departments either as intelligence files or for further investigation. The Fraud Investigation Service will only investigate referrals which involve a claim to benefit. Many cases referred to NIFU do not involve benefit cases. (3) Data not available. (4) There was a large increase in the number of referrals in 2002-03 and 2003-04 due to Operation Esme, which was a joint operation with the Home Department which flagged a few thousand immigration offenders to prevent incorrect payment of benefit. Source: National Identity Fraud Unit|
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department plans to continue to fund two posts in the benefit maximisation team at Highland Council after the end of March. 
James Purnell [holding answer 27 March 2007]: No. Under the Link-Age Programme, it was made clear to contractors that funds from The Partnership Fund were time limited and there was no expectation that future funding would be sought from any source, or any extension of funding granted. The purpose of the project was solely for information gathering and evaluation to inform any future strategies and policies.
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