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2 July 2007 : Column 944W—continued

2 July 2007 : Column 945W

Pensions: Family Credit

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what effect past receipt of family credit has on entitlement to pensions under the state earnings-related pension scheme; by what means information about such receipt is transferred from his Department's computer records to those of HM Revenue and Customs; and if he will make a statement. [147019]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: A person entitled to family credit between 1995-96 and 2001-02 built up entitlement to the state earnings-related pension (SERPS) based on their family credit award provided they reached or are due to reach state pension age after 5 April 1999.

Prior to October 1999 information on family credit awards was transferred to the then Inland Revenue Department electronically or in exceptional cases clerically. Inland Revenue became responsible for administering family credit in October 1999 at which point more automated processes were put in place for the transfer of information between the family credit computer system and the national insurance recording system.

Prime Minister

10 Downing Street: Manpower

Mr. Heald: To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to change the number of staff employed by 10 Downing Street. [146873]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the senior staff appointments press notice issued by my Office on 27 June. The press notice is available on the No. 10 website, and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House.

Further information on staff in my Office will be published in “Dod’s Civil Service Companion” in due course.

Accident and Emergency Departments: Closures

Mrs. May: To ask the Prime Minister if he will visit accident and emergency departments due to close to discuss alternative provision. [147018]

The Prime Minister: My visits will cover a range of subjects, including health.

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Afghanistan: Reconstruction

Mrs. May: To ask the Prime Minister what recent representations he has received from military commanders on the allocation of additional funds to the reconstruction of Afghanistan. [147017]

The Prime Minister: I have received no such representations, but I have been briefed by military commanders on the situation in Afghanistan, in particular the Southern Region and Helmand Province where the majority of UK forces are deployed. The briefing covered the progress that has been made and the challenges that remain covering security, security sector reform, and reconstruction.

Departmental Responsibilities

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Prime Minister whether he has considered the recommendations of the recent report of the Public Administration Select Committee on changes to the machinery of government; and if he will make a statement. [147175]

The Prime Minister: The Government will respond in due course.

Departments: Pay

Mrs. May: To ask the Prime Minister how many bonuses were awarded to senior civil servants working in his Office in each year between 1997 and 2006; and at what total cost. [146588]

The Prime Minister: For these purposes my Office forms part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office today.

Ministerial Policy Advisors

Mr. Heald: To ask the Prime Minister who his new special advisers are. [146874]

The Prime Minister: Since 2003, the Government have published on an annual basis the names and overall cost of special advisers and the number in each payband. The information requested will be published in the normal way in due course.

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