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Winter Fuel Payments

Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will extend payment of the winter fuel allowance to adults below the age of 60 years who are housebound through disability. [146267]

Mr. Rooker: There are no plans to extend the Winter Fuel Payment scheme.

Free Television Licence

Dr. Whitehead: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proportion of pensioners entitled to receive a free television licence from November 2000 have not yet received one because of difficulties in reconciling data on entitlement between his Department and the Television Licensing Authority. [146467]

Mr. Rooker: The information is not available.

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Departmental Policies (Slough)

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Slough constituency, the effects on Slough of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [146936]

Mr. Rooker: The Department's policies and initiatives have made a significant contribution to our overall objectives of:

These goals are being pursued nationwide and our achievements are set out in our annual "Opportunity for all reports". Our second report, "Opportunity for all--One year on: making a difference" (Cm4865, September 2000) sets out what progress has been made in the past year, as well as highlighting what more needs to be done. Nationwide statistical information is necessarily more complete than constituency level data, but the following information provides a comparative guide to the effect of the Department's policies and actions in Slough since May 1997.

We are spending an additional £7 billion a year on support for families and children. This includes significant increases in Child Benefit, which is now worth £15 a week for the eldest child and £10 a week for other children: nationally, about 7 million families receive Child Benefit, and in Slough 13,865 families benefit.

We have launched the New Deals to help lone parents, the young unemployed, the long-term unemployed, the over-50s and partners of the unemployed to move from benefit into work. In the period since August 1998 the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance nationally has reduced from 1,323,600 to 1,044,900; in Slough the number has reduced from 2,100 to 1,200. The number of lone parents who claim Income Support has decreased over the same period from 955,000 to 909,200 nationally and in Slough from 1,900 to 1,800.

Next year we will be spending £4.5 billion a year extra in real terms on pensioners as a result of our policies. The Winter Fuel Payment has continued to tackle fuel poverty. Last winter, around 10 million pensioners, of whom 13,300 were in Slough, benefited from the payment. We have now extended the scheme to include eligible people from age 60 so that even more older people will benefit. This winter, households that qualify will receive an increased payment of £200. The Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) targets the poorest 1.6 million pensioner families, 2,600 of whom live in Slough. These pensioners will benefit from our alignment of all MIG rates from April 2001, giving single pensioners at least £92.15 each week--a real increase of £12.45 for the poorest pensioners.

Essential Care Allowance (Disabled People)

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations he has received from the National Centre for Independent Living concerning the proportion of a disabled person's income which may be

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taken to pay for essential care without which that person cannot live an independent life; and if he will make a statement. [147058]

Mr. Bayley: None.

Far East Prisoners of War

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when the compensation for former prisoners of war of the Japanese will be paid. [147218]

Mr. Bayley: We expect to begin sending out ex-gratia payments at the beginning of February.

Child Support Agency

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if the Child Support Agency's performance against compliance targets is independently verified. [146245]

Angela Eagle: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive, Mr. Doug Smith. He will write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Mike Isaac to Mr. Mark Todd, dated 24 January 2001:

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much money per year the Child Support Agency collects on behalf of children; and what the equivalent amount recovered for this purpose by other means was in the three years prior to its inception. [146265]

Angela Eagle: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive, Mr. Doug Smith. He will write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Mike Isaac to Mr. Mark Todd, dated 24 January 2001:

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Since the creation of the Agency it has collected or arranged maintenance payments as follows:



(11) September to March


Amounts shown as collected are amounts which are paid to the Agency, while amounts shown as arranged are paid directly between the Non-Resident Parent and the Parent or Person With Care following CSA assessment.


Barnet Health Authority

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much funding in addition to original expenditure plans has been given to (a) Barnet health authority and (b) Barnet council to improve continuing and community care since May 1997; and for what purposes the money has been allocated; [144699]

Mr. Denham: The additional allocations made to Barnet health authority since May 1997 total £77 million and are set out in the table. We do not collect information centrally on how each allocation has been spent.

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Between 1997-98 and 2000-01 the level of funding provided by central Government to the London borough of Barnet for social services increased by £10 million or 10.2 per cent. in real terms. Most of these additional resources have been provided through the revenue support grant and the council decides how to allocate and spend these additional resources.


RecurrentNon- recurrent
Recurrent allocation increase
Special allocations
1998-99 (drugs misuse HIV/AIDS, GMS cash limited)940--
1999-2000 (drugs misuse, HIV/AIDS)138--
2000-01 (drugs misuse, HIV/AIDS)(15)281--
Cancer services (16)
1997-98 breast cancer services66--
1998-99 colorectal cancer--63
1999-2000 lung cancer68--
Waiting lists (16)
1998-99 (including funding for whole systems approach)1,955658
1999-2000 waiting list performance fund/cancer out-patients19834
2000-01 cancer outpatients waiting times--64
2000-01 booked admissions pilots--256
2000-01 O/P long waiters (revenue rewards)--161
Winter pressures
Mental Health(16)
Other allocations increases
Total additional allocations60,31417,136
Total recurrent and non recurrent77,450

(12) Includes modernisation funding £3,170,000 of which £1,706,000 was allocated for waiting lists and times

(13) Includes modernisation funding distributed as part of allocations. £446 million nationally of which £22 million was allocated for mental health, £276 million for waiting times and £9 million for cancer (gynaecological). These totals were not analysed across individual health authorities.

(14) Includes cost of living allowance and health inequalities adjustment as well as hypothecated funds for cancer and coronary heart disease (£450 million nationally), waiting times and access (£423 million nationally). These sums are not attributed to individual HAs.

(15) HA allocations for drugs misuse and HIV/AIDS treatment and care and prevention are not yet known for 2001-02.

(16) Largely funded from modernisation fund moneys.

(17) Includes £32,000 allocated with initial allocations.

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