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Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners who reached the age of 80 in 2008 have not qualified for winter fuel payments because their birthday was later than 15 September 2008. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Winter fuel payments of £200 (£250 for 2008-09) are available to eligible people who are aged 60 or over by the qualifying week (15-21 September for winter 2008-09). Where an eligible person is aged 80 or over in this qualifying week, they will receive an amount of £300 (£400 for 2008-09).
The estimated number of pensioners in Great Britain who reached the age of 80 in 2008, and would not have qualified for the increase in winter fuel payments because their birthday was later than the qualifying week, is around 87,000. The September qualifying week is used to ensure that payments can be made before Christmas. If the qualifying period were to be extended or a later week used, the payment exercise could not be completed in time for the payments to be available when they are most needed. Whichever qualifying week is used, there will always be people who just miss out.
1. An estimate of the number of people turning 80 in the calendar year 2008 has been derived from the 2006-based national population projections for Great Britain from the Office for National Statistics.
2. The estimated number of pensioners in Great Britain who reached the age of 80 in 2008, and would not have qualified for the increase in winter fuel payments, are those who turned 80 between 22 September and 31 December 2008.
3. This estimate was rounded to the nearest 1,000 individuals.
4. The estimate does not include those people living in the European Economic Area or Switzerland.
5. The winter fuel payments rates quoted in the answer are for full rate payments. Where there is more than one eligible person in a household people may receive a shared payment.
DWP and The Office for National Statistics
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the number of pension funds which invest in mortgage-backed securities; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: It is not possible to give the precise number of staff who were working on the Post Office card account successor contract prior to cancellation. A small core team of DWP and Northern Ireland Social Security Agency staff worked full-time on the exercise, with a number of other staff contributing to the procurement process alongside their other duties.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many apparent benefit claimants also appear on the mortality and bereavement register; and how much has been paid in benefits to such claimants in each of the last four years. 
Mr. McNulty [holding answer 23 February 2009]: The Department for Work and Pensions has arrangements in place to receive daily notification of death registration data from the Office for National Statistics. Such data are then matched against benefit and pension records to identify deaths which have not otherwise been reported direct to the Department for Work and Pensions. The Department for Work and Pensions does not collect information about the number or amount of overpayments identified from this specific source of data matching.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people referred to welfare to work providers have subsequently been found to appear on the mortality and bereavement register in each of the last four years. 
Mr. McNulty [holding answer 23 February 2009]: The Department for Work and Pensions has arrangements in place to receive daily notification of death registration data from the Office for National Statistics. Such data are then matched against benefit and pension records to identify deaths which have not otherwise been reported direct to the Department for Work and Pensions.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many times deductions have been made from benefits for non-payment of council tax in each local authority area since August 2007; how many claimants have had deductions made from their (a) pension credit, (b) jobseekers allowance and (c) income support for not paying council tax in each local authority area since August 2007; how many claimants have had deductions made to benefits for non-payment of council tax (i) once, (ii) twice, (iii) three times, (iv)
four times and (v) five times or more in each local authority area in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: The Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) was launched in April 2006 to address cases likely to result in a criminal sanction. Prior to that date, fraud was managed by regional directors as part of the overall business in Jobcentre Plus and directly comparable figures are not available. Additionally in April 2006, customer compliance teams were set up within each customer service region to look at those cases where there is an apparent irregularity that does not warrant a criminal investigation. At the time FIS was launched it is estimated 810 staff nationally were invested in the customer compliance process.
|As at April each year||Number|
The figures include staff working in area fraud, criminal intelligence, organised fraud and technical and support roles all of whom provide an essential and integral contribution to the investigation process.
|DWP fraud investigators|
|April to March||Full time e quivalent|
|1. Information is not available in the aforementioned format prior to 2004.|
Fraud Business Report.
Mr. McNulty: Estimates of amount of benefit overpaid due to fraud are available in the DWP National Statistics publication Fraud and Error in the Benefit System: April 2007 to March 2008 (ISBN: 978-1-84763-691-1), a copy of which is in Library.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of families in (a) Hemel Hempstead and (b) Hertfordshire who have received benefits as a result of the Government's policy on welfare reform. 
Active intervention is key and at no time is this more important than in economic slowdowns. If it is becoming harder to find work, it is right that we do more to help, not less. This is why we are moving people from inactive benefits to the active regime of jobseeker's allowance if this will help them, even if this means an increase in the jobseeker's allowance count in the short term.
We strongly believe that the welfare state should combine rights with responsibilities. Our welfare reforms have been built on this foundation, that in order to receive support during periods of unemployment people should be actively seeking work or making efforts to move closer to work.
Our reforms have resulted in high numbers of people in work throughout the country, and have put an end to the rise in the number of people claiming incapacity benefits. We remain committed to further reform to reduce welfare dependency and support more people into work, provide greater support and control for disabled people and strengthen parental responsibility.
Previous experience has taught us that the worst thing we can do in a downturn is to write people off, consigning them to a lifetime on benefits. We are investing an additional £1.3 billion over the next two years to support Jobcentre Plus and our employment programmes; and a further £0.5 billion to guarantee more support to people unemployed for six months or more by providing incentives for firms to hire, access to help in setting up a business, extra funding for training and opportunities for work-focused volunteering.
Our welfare reform programme will allow us to bring about the most radical reform of the welfare state for generations. Our reforms promise greater support for people on benefits and a more flexible, personalised system to help them find sustainable employment. In return we expect people to take up this help, and work with us to help themselves. The Welfare Reform Bill will take the primary powers needed to complete the transformation of the welfare state, turning it from being essentially passive to profoundly active.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many benefits applicants resident in (a) Aylesbury and (b) Milton Keynes were required to take a medical examination in each year since 2000; and how many of those examinations were undertaken in (i) Luton, (ii) Aylesbury and (iii) Euston. 
|Number of benefit customers resident in Aylesbury and Milton Keynes who have been required to take a medical examination in each year since 2000|
|Aylesbury postcodes||Milton Keynes postcodes|
|Number of customers with Aylesbury postcodes (HP1-24 and HP27) and the examination centres where their examination took place|
|Aylesbury MEC||Luton MEC||Euston MEC||Marylebone MEC|
Euston Medical Examination Centre closed in 2005. All customers previously referred to Euston were transferred to Marylebone Medical Examination Centre in 2006.
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