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|Cold weather payments made in Great Britain|
1. Figures for 2005-06 and 2007-08 include payments triggered in March but not actually made until April of the following year.
2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 1,000.
Annual reports by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the Social Fund.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of winter fuel payment applications which have been delayed owing to incomplete application forms in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 19 January 2009]: Over 95 per cent. of winter fuel payments are made automatically before Christmas. This is to reassure pensioners that they will have extra money available to pay for heating their homes during the coldest part of the year before the winter heating bills arrive.
To date for this year's exercise over 12 million payments have been made and, of them, 63,000 (0.5 per cent. off all winter fuel payments made) claims for winter fuel payments suffered a delay in processing, which was due to customers not supplying all the information required to progress their claim.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Information on winter fuel payment claims made by households in Wansdyke is not available. The following table shows the number of households in Wansdyke constituency receiving a winter fuel payment in the last five years. Figures for winter 2007-08 are not yet available but we expect the numbers to be similar.
|Number of households in Wansdyke constituency receiving a winter fuel payment|
1. Figures from 2002-03 to 2004-05 are rounded to the nearest five.
2. Figures from 2005-06 are rounded to the nearest 10.
3. Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.
Information directorate 100 per cent. data.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will place in the Library a copy of the legal advice commissioned by the Office of Fair Trading on whether trades union members are consumers for the purposes of consumer protection legislation. 
Mr. Thomas: The OFT did not commission external legal advice on whether trade union members are consumers for the purposes of consumer protection legislation, conducting a preliminary internal analysis only.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues on steps to ensure that women are not discouraged from giving evidence in court proceedings in cases of domestic and sexual violence. 
Expanding the Specialist Domestic Violence Court (SDVC) programme;
Ensuring there are Specialist Officers and Specialist Rape Prosecutors across the country; and
Making video-recordings of rape victims automatically admissible as evidence-in-chief in trials.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what the policy of the Government Equalities Office is on granting staff time off in lieu for working (a) in lunch breaks, (b) in evenings and (c) at other times outside contracted working hours; and if she will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: The Government Equalities Office's policy is to allow staff time off in lieu for work in lunch breaks, evenings and at other times outside contracted working hours. These arrangements are subject to agreement between individual staff and their line managers and take account of the business needs of the Office.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what targets his Department set for the Adjudicator's Office to respond to correspondence in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09; and what his assessment is of the performance of the Adjudicator's Office against these targets. 
Mr. Timms: HM Revenue and Customs does not set targets for the Adjudicator's Office. The performance targets for the Adjudicator's Office are set out in its annual business plan. The targets for dealing with correspondence, along with performance against these targets, are as follows:
1. When a customer first contacts the Adjudicator's Office and a written response is required, 95 per cent. of responses will be within 10 working days. Actual performance against this was 97.3 per cent. in 2007-08.
2. 95 per cent. of investigation correspondence dealt with within 15 days. Actual performance against this was 98.3 per cent. in 2007-08.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what restrictions he has put in place to prevent the payment of bonuses to bankers who work for those institutions in which the Government has a majority stake. 
Ian Pearson: On 13 October, implementing the measures announced on 8 October, the Chancellor announced that the Government would be underwriting capital investments for Royal Bank of Scotland and, on successful merger, for HBOS and Lloyds TSB.
UK Financial Investments Ltd. (UKFI), which is wholly owned by the Government, will oversee the conditions attached to subscribing to the Governments recapitalisation fund, including in relation to remuneration policies. UKFI will work to ensure management incentivisation based on long-term value maximization, which attracts and retains high quality management and which minimizes the potential for rewarding failure.
More broadly, on 13 October the chief executive of the Financial Services Authority wrote to the chief executives of the major banks and building societies,
setting out the criteria for remuneration policies and practices which are properly aligned to sound risk management and controls. The FSA is currently undertaking a review of regulated firms remuneration practices and the authorities have made it clear that failure to comply with the standards set out in the 13 October letter will be reflected in the FSAs risk assessment of firms and will be taken into account when setting capital requirements.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) guidance and (b) instructions he has issued to those banks in receipt of public money under the Bank Lending Programme announced on 19 January in respect of lending to overseas-registered companies with (i) operations and (ii) no operations in the United Kingdom. 
Ian Pearson: As set out by the Chancellor on 19 January 2009, Official Report, columns 485-86, the Government intend to negotiate lending agreements with each bank which will be binding and externally audited in return for access to support measures.
Dan Norris: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many children in Wansdyke constituency have been eligible to receive a voucher to open a child trust fund account in each year since the schemes inception; and how many such accounts were opened in each of those years. 
Ian Pearson: Constituency level data, including parental account opening figures, on Child Trust Fund accounts was published on 6 November 2008 and can be viewed on the HM Revenue and Customs website at:
Mr. Gauke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the full-year cost to the Exchequer for (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12 of reducing the main corporation tax rate to 25 per cent.; 
Mr. Timms: The direct revenue effects of a one percentage point change in both the small companies rate and the main rate of corporation tax are shown in table 5 of Tax Ready Reckoner and Tax Reliefs November 2008.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his Department's average response time to a letter received from (a) an hon. Member and (b) a member of the public was in each of the last three years. 
Angela Eagle: The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of departments in replying to Members correspondence. The report for 2007 was published on 20 March 2008, Official Report, columns 71-74WS. Information for 2008 is currently being collated and will be published as soon as it ready. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which ICT projects initiated by his Department were abandoned before completion in each year since 1997; what costs were incurred on each project; who the contractors were; what the date of (a) commencement and (b) abandonment was in each case; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: In respect of projects prior to September 2008, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr. Hammond) on 10 September 2008, Official Report, column 1950W, and to the answer given by the then Financial Secretary to the Treasury to the hon. Member for Angus (Mr. Weir) on 9 October 2006, Official Report, column 289W.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 15 December 2008, Official Report, column 428W, on departmental ICT, what his most recent estimate is of (a) the cost and (b) the completion date of each of the projects referred to; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: In respect of the Consultancy Frameworks Contract, which was completed in July 2008, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) on 15 December 2008, Official Report, column 428W.
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