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|Average weekly payments under the Fuel Direct scheme to electricity suppliers, Great Britain; 1 October 2006 to 30 September 2007|
|Creditor number||Supplier||Average payment (£)|
Some suppliers have more than one account to which payments are made for both gas and electricity, where this is the case the average for each account is shown.
Mr. Plaskitt: Funeral payments from the social fund may provide help with funeral expenses to people on a low income where someone has died and there are insufficient funds available for the burial or cremation. The person seeking help must have been awarded a qualifying income-related benefit or tax credit and have good reason for taking responsibility for the funeral arrangements. This is to ensure that available resources go to those who are least well off.
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations he has received on the flexibility afforded by his Department's guidance for the payment of local housing allowance. 
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the impact on the number of landlords providing tenancies to people in receipt of housing benefit of the implementation of local housing allowance. 
Mr. Plaskitt: An assessment of the likely impact of landlords providing accommodation to those on local housing allowance was made for the Regulatory Impact Assessment that was carried out prior to the introduction of the Welfare Reform Bill 2006. This assessment recognised that a potential risk of the policy was that some landlords might choose not to supply accommodation to those on local housing allowance. However, evidence gathered from the local housing allowance pathfinder areas shows that, overall, the supply of accommodation to local housing allowance recipients increased by around 7 per cent. during the evaluation period.
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to ensure that vulnerable people in receipt of local housing allowance can choose for the benefit to be paid directly to their landlords. 
Mr. Plaskitt: Anyone can request to have their local housing allowance paid directly to their landlord. The legislative requirement is for local authorities to make payments direct to the landlord where the authority considers that the customer is likely to have difficulty in relation to the management of their financial affairs.
The Department has provided comprehensive guidance to local authorities to support the implementation of local housing allowance and has consulted fully with a range of welfare rights organisations on the delivery of direct payments to housing benefit customers. In addition to this, we have provided local authorities with best practice for implementing the local housing allowance scheme which incorporates the safeguard policy for customers who may find it difficult to manage their own financial affairs. We have recently undertaken 19 regional seminars for local authorities, which included making recommendations for applying the safeguard policy.
Within the legislation there is also provision to make payment direct to the landlord where the customer has arrears of eight weeks or more. This is mandatory where it is in the overriding interests of the customer.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to increase the environmentally sustainable mobility of the long-term unemployed engaged under the Jobs Pledge created under the local employment partnerships, to enable them to travel to and from their place of work. 
Caroline Flint: For those participating in the New Deals, agreement has been reached with the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and Passenger Transport Executives to offer reduced fares.
For those starting work, Jobcentre Plus advisers have at their discretion the ability to pay for help to get to work, which has included paying for bicycles for customers. These provisions can apply to a range of jobless customers including those who subsequently find work through Local Employment Partnerships. Once in work, arrangements for on-going travelling to and from work are a matter for individuals themselves.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the timescale for the transfer of Child Support Agency cases being dealt with under the old rules to Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) rules in (a) Scotland and (b) Angus constituency after the establishment of CMEC. 
Mr. Plaskitt: Parents with care on benefits will be able to leave the statutory scheme and move into voluntary arrangements from late 2008. The transfer of cases for those remaining is expected to begin in 2010 and take around three years to complete. The Commission will prepare detailed plans for the transfer.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of pensioners have been subject to means testing for the purpose of determining benefit entitlement in each year since 1993. 
|Beneficiaries aged 60 and over of income-related benefits as a percentage of the population aged 60 and over|
1. Income-related benefits are: pension credit, housing benefit, council tax benefit and income-based jobseekers allowance (and predecessors of these benefits).
2. Beneficiaries is the sum of claimants aged 60 or over and claimants partners aged 60 or over.
3. Figures are for Great Britain, in May of each year.
4. Overlaps between benefits have been removed.
5. Housing benefit data excludes any extended payment cases.
6. Council tax benefit data excludes second adult rebate cases.
7. Percentage for population has been calculated using the revised Office for National Statistics mid-year population estimates for age group 60 and over.
8. Figures based on one per cent. and five per cent. samples are subject to sampling variation.
9. Data is only available up to 2004 as overlaps between HB/CTB and other benefits can only be removed by using the 1 per cent. annual HB/CTB data, for which the latest data is still May 2004.
DWP Information Centre 1 per cent., five per cent. samples and 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study data.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington will answer the letter of the 29 May 2007 from the hon. Member for Birkenhead. 
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform will answer the letter of 24 August 2007 from the hon. Member for Birkenhead. 
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of people in (a) Cambridgeshire and (b) the United Kingdom who hold National Insurance numbers and have made National Insurance contributions have made the required level of contributions to qualify for the basic state pension during each of the last 10 tax years. 
|Number of people in the UK who have paid, been treated as having paid or been credited with national insurance contributions and numbers who have gained a qualifying year as a result|
|Tax year||Total with any contributions||Total with enough contributions to gain a qualifying year|
1. Figures are shown to the nearest thousand
2. Some people may not have passed the first qualifying condition to receive a basic state pension in that they may not have paid at least one year of national insurance contributions.
3. Some people may not have passed the second qualifying condition in that they may not have accrued entitlement to at least 25 per cent. of the full basic state pension.
One per cent DWP Information Directorate datasets
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