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12 Jun 2008 : Column 426Wcontinued
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average duration was of a finished incapacity benefit claim commenced in each year since 1997. 
Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 2 June 2008]: The available information is in the following table.
|Number of terminated incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claims commencing in each year since 1997 by duration|
|Year ending August||Number of incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance commencements||Number of the commencements whose claim has now terminated (since 1997)||Average (median) duration of the commencements whose claim has now terminated (since 1997) (days)|
1. Numbers of claims are rounded to the nearest 100.
2. Both the number of claims terminated and the average length of terminated claims are subject to revision. This is particularly the case for more recent years as claims recorded as terminating subsequently will have the effect of increasing the average length of claim.
DWP Information Directorate 5 per cent. terminations dataset.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the target figure for reducing the number of incapacity benefit claimants by 2010 is for each local authority area in Hampshire. 
Mrs. McGuire: Our aim is to reduce the national incapacity benefits caseload by one million over the decade to 2015. We do not have area specific aims as part of this. We are committed to meeting our stretching long term goal, and believe it will support the delivery of real change over the coming years. Our upcoming Green Paper will consult on how best to build on our progress so far.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his latest estimate is of the number of people receiving incapacity benefit in (a) Leeds Metropolitan District and (b) Leeds West constituency. 
Mrs. McGuire: The available information is in the following table.
|Incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claimants in Leeds metropolitan district and Leeds, West parliamentary constituency: November 2007|
|Number of people|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Figures include credits only cases.
Information Directorate 100 per cent. WPLS data.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much he expects to spend on each type of income support in each of the next five years. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 6 June 2008]: The available information is in the following table.
|Income support planned expenditure by type|
|£ million nominal terms|
|Long-term sick and disabled||Short-term sick||Lone parents||Others|
| Notes: 1 Figures are plans only and are subject to change. 2 Expenditure plans are only produced for the Comprehensive Spending Review period. Source: DWP Spring forecasts, as published in DWP expenditure tables|
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his latest estimate is of the numbers of (a) male and (b) female pensioners in Leeds West constituency. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The state pension caseload is in the following table.
1. Caseload figures are as at 30 November 2007.
2. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Some additional disclosure control has also been applied.
3. Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant postcode directory.
DWP Information DirectorateWork and Pensions Longitudinal Study.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the future of the Post Office card account following the expiry of the current contract. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The existing Post Office card account contract ends in March 2010 as always planned. We are currently in the process of procuring a successor to the existing Post Office card account. An announcement will be made later this year in accordance with appropriate procurement rules once a decision has been reached.
Sir Robert Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he plans to announce the result of the tender for a replacement of the Post Office card account; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 9 June 2008]: We are currently in the process of procuring a successor to the existing Post Office card account. An announcement will be made later this year in accordance with appropriate procurement rules once a decision has been reached.
Sir Robert Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria for rural access are required to be met by those tendering for the replacement of the Post Office card account. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The notice that appeared in the Official Journal of the European Union for the replacement to the Post Office card account specified that customer access to cash is requested at ATMs and personal teller outlets located throughout the UK. The contractors are asked to detail their intended number and the location of outlets, but the size of the network is expected to be in the region of 10,000 outlets.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many appointeeships there were (a) in 2007 and (b) in total over the last 10 years. 
Mrs. McGuire: The information for the last 10 years is not available.
As at December 2007, the number of customers in Great Britain whose benefit payments were made to appointees was 526,320.
1. Benefit data is included for pension credit, retirement pension, severe disablement allowance, incapacity benefit, income support, jobseekers allowance, widows benefit and bereavement benefit. Appointee information for other benefits is not available.
2. If a person has an appointee registered for more than one benefit then the appointee is only counted once in the above figure.
3. The figure is rounded to the nearest 10.
Source: Information Directorate, 100 per cent sample.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent representations he has received on the reduction in backdating periods for pension credit, council tax benefit and housing benefit; and what estimate he has made of the number of claims for backdating for periods of over three months in (a) 2005, (b) 2006 and (c) 2007. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 6 June 2008]: The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) is currently consulting on the package of regulations which include the changes to the time allowed for pensioners to claim pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit and reducing the backdating period for housing benefit and council tax benefit customers of working age. Once the consultation period is over the SSAC will produce a report which will include a summary of the representations they have received. The SSAC report and the Secretary of State's response to the consultation will be published. A number of representations have been submitted directly to the Department, which will all receive due consideration.
I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (Danny Alexander) on 15 May 2008, Official Report, column 1699W, which provides available data on the number of pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit claims backdated for over three months over the last five years.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of pensioners who will be entitled to (i) means-tested benefits and (ii) pension credits in (A) 2010, (B) 2020, (C) 2030, (D) 2040 and (E) 2050; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 6 June 2008]: The latest projections of the proportion of pensioners entitled to means-tested benefits, including pension credit, are published in table three and table one respectively of the factsheet Proportions of entitlement to Income Related Benefits to 2050, placed in the Library on 2 June 2008.
The information requested is given in the following table.
|Projected number and proportion of pensioner households entitled to income-related benefits in selected years|
|Any income related benefit||Pension credit|
|Number (million)||Proportion (percentage)||Number (million)||Proportion (percentage)|
1. All estimates are given on a United Kingdom basis, consistent with the Pensions Bill regulatory impact assessment.
2. Estimates are given for financial years. For example, estimates for 2010 relate to the financial year 2010-11.
3. Estimates account for the state pension reforms in the Pensions Act 2007.
4. Estimates do not take account of the effect of the private pension reforms in the current Pensions Bill, such as personal accounts and auto-enrolment.
5. Pensioners are defined as single people or couples containing at least one person of qualifying age for pension credit, including those in residential care.
6. Estimates account for equalisation of state pension age between 2010 and 2020. They also account for the increases in state pension age between 2024 and 2046. The estimates assume that the minimum age at which people can claim pension credit rises in line with (womens) state pension age.
7. Entitlement to any income related benefit is defined as entitlement to at least one of pension credit, housing benefit or council tax benefit.
8. Projections are designed to illustrate the impact of benefit policy under a set of reasonable assumptions. They are sensitive to modelling assumptions and to projected changes in the distribution of pensioner incomes. Estimated numbers and proportions have been rounded to the nearest 0.5 million and 5 per cent. respectively.
9. Projections for proportions entitled to individual benefits have been calibrated to National Statistics estimates for past years, which adjust Family Resources Survey data to take account of possible biases in reporting. The National Statistics are published as a range; the projections have been calibrated to the mid-point of that range.
10. There are no corresponding National Statistics estimates to calibrate projected proportions entitled to any income related benefit, so these estimates are subject to greater uncertainty.
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