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Heathrow Terminal 5

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will publish the report and recommendations of the inspector who conducted the planning inquiry into the application to build a fifth terminal at Heathrow Airport. [146148]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The Secretary of State plans to publish the Inspector's Report when the decision is issued, in accordance with usual practice.


Advertising Costs (Pension Saving)

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the cost of the advertising campaign to increase awareness of the need for pension saving; and by what criteria he will assess the effectiveness of that expenditure. [146317]

Mr. Rooker: This Department is running a £6.5 million pensions education marketing campaign. This figure covers a number of elements, including the cost of researching and developing the campaign concept, producing and featuring the adverts on TV, in the cinema, national press and magazines, as well as running a campaign leaflet orderline and producing and mailing the supporting campaign information materials.

We are evaluating the campaign by conducting quantitative, tracking research to gauge people's awareness and understanding of the publicity. In addition, we are monitoring the numbers of orders placed for our information guides in response to the advertising campaign. We will also be consulting the pensions industry for their views.

22 Jan 2001 : Column: 465W

Date of Death Notifications

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many erroneous dates of death were broadcast by the departmental central index computer system to other benefit computer systems in March 2000. [145339]

Mr. Rooker: During the period 1 January 2000 to 21 March 2000, of the 1,666 date of death notifications made from Departmental Central Index to other benefit systems only four were known to be incorrect.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the cause of erroneous dates of death being broadcast by the departmental central index computer system in March 2000 to other benefit systems; and what action was taken to prevent the problem recurring. [145340]

Mr. Rooker: A small number (there are four cases known) of incorrect dates of death were registered during the transfer of notifications from the Inland Revenue to the Departmental Central Index. Revised procedures are now in place to check the accuracy of this information.

Minimum Income Guarantee (Lancaster and Wyre)

Mr. Dawson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people from Lancaster and Wyre are claiming minimum income guarantee. [145614]

Mr. Rooker: There are around 2,500 recipients of the minimum income guarantee in the parliamentary constituency of Lancaster and Wyre.

Anti-fraud Hotline (Glasgow)

Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the new combined anti-fraud hotline for his Department and Glasgow city council. [145910]

Mr. Rooker: We are working closely with local authorities to drive up performance standards and reduce losses owing to fraud and error. Glasgow city council is one of 11 local authorities (LAs) across the country which have volunteered to take part in trials with the Benefits Agency of a Shared Fraud Hotline.

This project will trial the extension of the existing BA "Hotline" facility to LAs and determine whether this will lead to increased detection of Housing Benefit fraud and deter people from committing such fraud.

The trials began on 8 January 2001 and are due to finish on 31 March 2001. An evaluation of the trials will take place between April and July with a report expected by August 2001.

22 Jan 2001 : Column: 466W


Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Walsall North of 5 December 2000 regarding a constituent. [146297]

Mr. Rooker: A reply was issued on Wednesday 17 January 2001.

Housing Benefit

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 11 January 2001, Official Report, column 606W, on benefit payments, if he will estimate (a) the value and (b) the percentage of Housing Benefit payments that were found to be inaccurate in each local authority area for (i) 1996-97 and (ii) the most recent period for which figures are available. [146093]

Mr. Rooker: The information requested is not available. The only measure of the level of Housing Benefit accuracy has been the National Housing Benefit accuracy reviews, the latest of which was carried out during 1997-98, and which are in the Library. However, under the arrangements for Best Value, local authorities are required, from 1 April 2000, to collect information on the percentage of cases for which the calculation of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit is correct.

We are also continuing to work on introducing a consistent national measure for fraud and error in Housing Benefit in all local authorities for April 2001.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the proportion of Housing Benefit claims processed by local authorities within 14 days, for (a) the period immediately before and (b) the period since the implementation of the verification framework. [143523]

Angela Eagle: The information requested is not available.

This Department collects information from local authorities on the number of Housing Benefit claims determined within 14 days of receipt of all necessary information. However, this is not a measure of the time taken to process a claim and it should not be affected by the operation of the verification framework, which is concerned with the gathering of necessary information and evidence.

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the number of people who have been waiting for more than three months to receive the Housing Benefit to which they are entitled; and if he will estimate the total value of those arrears. [146316]

Angela Eagle: No. Information about unprocessed cases is not collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Benefit Take-up Campaigns

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much was spent by his Department on take-up campaigns in (a) 1997-98, (b) 1998-99 and (c) 1999-2000. [145202]

22 Jan 2001 : Column: 467W

Mr. Rooker: No records are held of the cost of take-up activity prior to the current year as this activity was the responsibility of individual Benefits Agency districts.

The Department's current campaign to increase the take-up of the minimum income guarantee (MIG), has cost approximately £9 million. The telephone claimline is not part of the take-up campaign--it is a permanent fixture--therefore these costs are not included.

Income Support (Scotland)

Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many lone parents in (a) Inverclyde and (b) Scotland are in receipt of income support; and what the comparable figures were for (i) 1994 and (ii) 1997. [144501]

Mr. Bayley: The administration of Income Support is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency, Mrs. Alexis Cleveland. She will write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Alexis Cleveland to Dr. Norman Godman, dated 18 January 2001:

Lone Parents in receipt of Income Support in Scotland, and Inverclyde, August 1994, August 1997 and August 2000

Number of claimants August 1994Number of claimants August 1997Number of claimants August 2000
Inverclyde Local Authority(14)--2,1001,700

(14) Not available.


1. Based on 5 per cent. sample therefore subject to sampling error.

2. Lone Parents are defined as single claimants with dependants not receiving the disability or pensioner premiums.

3. Cases are allocated to each Local Authority/Government Office Region by matching the postcode against the appropriate version of the 1995 to 2000 Office for National Statistics (ONS) Directories.

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