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Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 15 January 2001, Official Report, column 80W, concerning winter fuel payments, how many of the people who were incorrectly issued with a winter fuel payment in 1997-98 were allowed to keep the money. 
Mr. Rooker: The information is not available in the format requested, as Winter Fuel Payment statistics are not collected by household. For such information as is available on the number of payments made in each parliamentary constituency so far this winter I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Northavon (Mr. Webb) on 31 January 2001, Official Report, column 238W.
6 Feb 2001 : Column: 469W
Mr. Rooker: The Department set out its strategy for tackling fraud and error in the paper--"A New Contract for Welfare: Safeguarding Social Security" (Cm 4276)--published on 23 March 1999. The overall aim of the strategy is to have a benefit system which is secure from first claim to final payment.
The implementation of this strategy means that an anti-fraud focus is integral to the work of the Department, as is dealing with the wider agenda of error and incorrectness in benefit payments. It is therefore not possible to account for the cost of all anti-fraud work separately. It is an important part of the Department's work.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what checks are being undertaken to ensure the veracity of National Insurance numbers; and when the programme to check the accounts held on the Departmental Central Index will end. 
Mr. Rooker: All adult applicants for a National Insurance number (NINO) will be interviewed by specially trained staff. Information given by the applicant in support of their application will be corroborated. Expert staff will also scrutinise documentation provided using specialist equipment.
We have developed an enhanced NINO process for adult registration which will be rolled out nationally by 31 March 2001. This enhanced process will increase the veracity of new National Insurance numbers with less duplicate accounts being created.
6 Feb 2001 : Column: 470W
Ms Blears: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what assessment he has made of (a) the cost of benefit payments to individuals with acquired brain injury and (b) the number of people with acquired brain injury who have not returned to work; 
It is not possible to estimate reliably the expenditure on benefit payments to individuals with acquired brain injury because it is not recorded as a separate category of incapacity for receipt of benefit. However, the latest available information on the number of people in receipt of benefit due to head injury is as follows.
As at 31 August 2000 there were 3,900 Incapacity Benefit recipients and 600 Severe Disablement Allowance recipients with a primary diagnosis of fracture of the skull, intracranial injury or other head injury.
Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his oral answer to the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) of 29 January 2001, Official Report, column 9, if he will make a statement on the basis on which the Minister of State said that Tesco is planning to take contributions at its supermarket checkouts. 
Mr. Rooker: Tesco have advised that they are considering taking contributions to a stakeholder pension at their checkouts, but to date have not made a final decision on the matter. I relied, for part of my answer to my hon. Friend the Member, on a paraphrase of an item in The Observer of 21 January 2001.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what his current estimate is of the date by which all existing Child Support Agency cases will be moved on to the new maintenance assessment procedure. 
6 Feb 2001 : Column: 471W
Angela Eagle: The child support reforms in the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000 will be introduced for new cases by April 2002. Existing cases will be transferred at a later date, once we are sure that the new system is working well.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Jones) of 15 January 2001, Official Report, column 79W, how many pensioners who live abroad and receive an annually up-rated basic state pension are (a) single and (b) married; and how many in each group are under the age of 75 years. 
Mr. Rooker: We estimate that as at 31 March 2000 there were 359,800 pensioners residing overseas who had an annually up-rated basic state pension. We further estimate that 238,600 pensioners were under the age of 75. Details are not available based on marital status.
Mr. Swinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many (a) staff, (b) personal computers, (c) printers, (d) fax machines and (e) vehicles are based at his Department's offices at Northgate in Glasgow; and what the annual running costs are of this facility. 
6 Feb 2001 : Column: 472W
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