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Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on what dates the Scotland forum of the regional change implementation programme executives has met; and if he will make a statement. 
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of jobs created since 1997 which have been filled by immigrants, asylum seekers and foreign nationals who have arrived in the UK since 1997. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 8 October 2007]: Labour Force Survey figures show that in 1997 there were 1.1 million foreign nationals in employment in the UK. In the intervening period over half (0.6 million) of these individuals have moved out of employment or have left the country, while 1.4 million foreign nationals are recorded as in employment having arrived in the UK. Accounting for these flows into and out of the UK, the total number of foreign nationals in employment in the year to the second quarter of 2007 is 1.9 million, a rise of 0.8 million since 1997. Data broken down for asylum seekers are not available.
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons a general practitioner may not attend an appeal hearing with a client with respect to an application for incapacity benefits; and if he will make a statement. 
Appeal hearings in respect of incapacity benefit decisions are heard by appeal tribunals which are constituted by the Lord Chancellor and are independent. The tribunal has an inquisitorial function and appellants we encouraged to attend and to present their case, which may include any written or oral evidence from those who may support their appeal such as medical practitioners. There is nothing in the tribunal rules that would exclude an appellant's general practitioner from attending such an appeal hearing.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people expected to receive local housing allowance in 2008; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 8 October 2007]: The local housing allowance (LHA) will be rolled out nationally from 7 April 2008; it will apply to new claims and to those that have moved address. We estimate between 45 to 60 per cent. of housing benefit cases in the deregulated private rented sector will be on LHA for the period 2008-09. This would represent between 370,000 to 500,000 cases.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has had with local authorities on the provision of advice on the roll- out of the local housing allowance in 2008. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 8 October 2007]: The Department for Work and Pensions has an extensive programme of support and advice to help local authorities with the introduction of the local housing allowance (LHA) in 2008.
The Department delivered 19 regional seminars for local authorities throughout summer 2007. A range of implementation and guidance products have already been made available to assist local authorities with specific activities, based largely on examples of good practice provided by LHA pathfinder authorities.
The Department will continue to provide communications, advice and support to local authorities in the run-up to the roll-out of the LHA in April 2008. This will include an LHA guidance manual and a training brief for local authority staff.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what additional financial resources will be made available to (a) local authorities and (b) advice agencies for the provision of advice on the roll- out of the local housing allowance in 2008. 
This is intended to support the range of activities local authorities will need to undertake in order to implement the LHA effectively, including setting up appropriate structures to provide financial advice to their customers. This includes an element of funding for the provision of financial advice to customers and local authorities are free to choose how this funding is spentincluding financing arrangements with advice agencies if they wish to do so.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many national insurance numbers were in existence in (a) Cambridgeshire and (b) the United Kingdom in each of the last 10 tax years. 
The available information regarding the number of national insurance numbers in issue in the United Kingdom in each of the last 10 years is in the following table. This information is not available by tax year.
|Total approximate number of national insurance numbers in issue at 31 December in each year between 1997 and 2006|
|National insurance numbers in issue (million)|
1. In order to maintain the integrity of the system NINOs are not removed. For example, they are retained after a person dies or moves abroad.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 1 million.
Mr. Plaskitt: We have made good progress in tackling pensioner poverty. Since 1997 the number of pensioners living in relative poverty, based on a threshold of 60 per cent. of contemporary median income after housing costs, has fallen by 1.1 million, from 2.9 million to 1.8 million in 2005-06.
Take-up of council tax benefit of 100 per cent. is estimated to reduce the number of pensioners below 60 per cent. of contemporary median income after housing costs by around 200,000, based on 2007-08 benefit rates.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what his most recent estimate is of the number of people claiming benefits with no entitlement (a) accidentally and (b) on purpose; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the total amount of benefit money claimed with no entitlement (a) on purpose and (b) accidentally in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people who claimed benefit for the first time owing to marriage breakdown in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Walter: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what assessment his Department has made of the case for the extension of the winter fuel allowance to terminally ill people; 
Mr. Mike O'Brien:
The structure of the scheme, which provides an annual lump sum payment, is not appropriate for the needs of terminally ill people. Entitlement is based on a persons circumstances in a
qualifying week which is the third full week in September. The process to establish entitlement then takes a further six weeks and payments are made in November and December. This ensures that older people are confident that they will be able to afford the heating that they use in the coldest part of the year. The extra heating needs of terminally ill people can arise at any time of year, not just in the winter months. Help is available for terminally ill people through the care and mobility components in disability living allowance and the disability premiums in the income- related benefits which have a substantially higher annual value and are spread over a 52 week period.
People who are terminally ill can receive the highest rate of the care component of disability living allowance without having to serve the three months
qualifying period and the benefit is usually paid within 10 days from the time the claim is received. Most people who qualify for the highest rate disability living allowance care component under these special rules also qualify for the highest rate disability living allowance mobility component. Also, where a disability premium is paid in an income related benefit, a cold weather payment is payable in periods of very cold weather. Together, these payments are designed to meet the extra costs, including heating, of terminally ill people.
The annual cost of extending winter fuel payments to people aged under 60 receiving disability living allowance under the special rules related to a terminal illness is estimated at approximately £6 million.