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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the Governments targets were for lifting children out of poverty in each year since 1997; and whether each target was met. 
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) people, (b) senior citizens and (c) families (i) were entitled to and (ii) received council tax benefit in each borough in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 12 September 2007]: The latest estimates of the take-up of the main income-related benefits: income support, pension credit, housing benefit, council tax benefit and jobseeker's allowance (income-based) in Great Britain can be found in the DWP report entitled Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up in 2004/2005.Copies of the publication are available in the Library.
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households are in receipt of council tax benefit, broken down by region; and what estimate he has made of the number of households eligible to receive council tax benefit. 
The latest estimates of the take-up of the main income-related benefitsincome support, pension credit, housing benefit, council tax benefit and jobseeker's allowance (income-based)in Great
Britain can be found in the DWP report entitled Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up in 2004-05.Copies of the publication are available in the Library.
|Council tax benefit caseloads by Government office region, February 2007|
|Total CTB claimants|
1. The data refer to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple.
2. Caseload has been rounded to the nearest 10.
3. Figures for any non-responding authorities have been estimated.
4. CTB figures exclude any second adult rebate cases.
5. The totals may not sum due to rounding.
Housing benefit and council tax benefit management information system quarterly 100 per cent. caseload stock-count taken in February 2007.
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of black and minority ethnic households that are (a) eligible for and (b) in receipt of council tax benefit. 
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the (a) minimum and (b) maximum number is of pages of the council tax benefit form a person is required to complete to claim the benefit. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 12 September 2007]: DWP issues model claim forms for council tax benefit (CTB). The minimum number of pages a claimant has to complete on a DWP CTB form is two, where they are reclaiming CTB after a break of less than 12 weeks.
The maximum number of pages a claimant has to complete to claim CTB is 27. This is where the customer is making a brand new claim for CTB, and is not claiming alongside another means-tested benefit. If housing benefit is also claimed at the same time as CTB, the total number of pages to claim both benefits could be a maximum of 33.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will bring forward proposals to change the council tax benefit system to redistribute unclaimed benefit to the poorest households. 
|Council Tax Benefit Subsidy Paid to Scottish Local Authorities|
| Notes: 1. Local authorities pay council tax benefit (CTB) to eligible claimants and central Government fund the payments by way of CTB subsidy paid to the authorities. 2. Payment of CTB subsidy is made to individual local authorities, not the Scottish Executive, based on audited claims made by the authorities. 3. Benefit which is paid in accordance with CTB rules is subsidised at 100 per cent., but lower rates of subsidy are paid where there has been an overpayment of benefit, caused by, for example, claimant error or fraud. Source: Audited subsidy claims submitted to DWP by local authorities.|
This is the 18 successive year in which I have qualified the Department's accounts. I am please to report, however, that this year has seen further real progress towards removing or tackling these long-standing qualifications, building on initiatives put in train last year.
The Department's staff have continued to demonstrate real determination to resolve the underlying causes of these qualifications. Indeed I have been able to remove two aspects of the long-standing limitation of scope qualification on customer overpayment debt balances, which is a tribute to the clear leadership evident within the Department in tackling these issues.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was spent by his Department and its agencies on the hire of mobile air conditioning units in each of the last five years. 
The Department entered into a 20 year PFI Contract with Land Securities Trillium (LST) in 1998 known as the PRIME Contract, which was expanded in 2003 following the merger of Department of Social Security and the Employment Service. The contract is for the provision of fully serviced accommodation and the Department pays an all-inclusive unitary charge to LST for this provision.
This unitary charge includes the provision, if required, for mobile air conditioning units. Therefore, the costs identified are for the provision of a unit that falls outside of the scope of the PRIME Contract, and is therefore relatively small. An example of a requirement outside the scope would be a site not included within the PRIME portfolio, where facility management responsibility is retained by the Department.
(a) £6,374 on first class flights
(b) £1,415,556 on business class flights
This provision, when in force, will make it a criminal offence for a local authority employee to make an unauthorised disclosure of benefit information obtained under section 42 of the 2007 Act. A person guilty of an offence under section 43 is liable to a maximum of two years imprisonment in the Crown court or (subject to section 43(8)) 12 months imprisonment before the magistrates court or a fine or both.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what volume of correspondence his Department sent (a) by Royal Mail and (b) by other commercial delivery services in each of the last five years; and what the reasons were for the use of other commercial delivery services. 
Mrs. McGuire: The information for (a) is listed in the following table. It does not include output of mail items sent from the Departments local offices as this information is not held centrally and could be obtained only by incurring disproportionate costs. Royal Mail collect, sort and deliver mail from majority of DWP sites including the collection of first class mail from a DWP supplier who produces mail on behalf of the Department.
UK Mail were recently awarded a contract following a competition to handle items of DWP second class mail collected from two regional distribution centres which is passed to Royal Mail for final mile delivery under downstream access. DWP will achieve significant savings over the duration of this contract.
The Department sends approximately 18 million items per year between DWP offices through a courier service. This includes the distribution of internal mail and stationery from our print suppliers. We are unable to provide more accurate information as these data are not held centrally and to obtain them would incur disproportionate costs.
The Department has an annual average volume of 1.5 million items of international mail dealt with from various sites by a company called Spring. Again, we are unable to provide more accurate data as the information is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 16 July 2007, Official Report, column 84W, on Departments: Departmental Records, what estimate he has made of the annual increase of files in storage since 2004; what the basis is on which files are kept and accessed; for how long they are kept; and what the criteria for disposal are. 
|File holding Heywood site|
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