Previous Section Index Home Page


Departmental Policies (Great Grimsby)

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will set out, with statistical information

3 Apr 2001 : Column: 161W

relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effect on the Great Grimsby constituency of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [156247]

Mr. Rooker: The Department's policies and initiatives have made a significant contribution to the Government's 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 data at a local authority level, but the following provides a comparative guide to the effect of the Department's policies and actions in Great Grimsby since May 1997.

Measures in our five Budgets so far will lift over 1.2 million children nationally out of poverty. These include record increases to Child Benefit, the introduction of the Working Families Tax Credit, increases in the income-related benefits, the minimum wage and tax changes.

Child Benefit will be worth £15.50 a week for the eldest child and £10.35 a week for other children from April 2001: nationally about 7 million families receive Child Benefit, and in Great Grimsby 12,007 families benefit.

We now have the lowest unemployment rate in 25 years. The New Deals have helped 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 May 1997 the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance nationally has reduced form 1,562,400 to 960,600; in Great Grimsby the number has reduced from 4,300 to 3,300. Since May 1997 the number of lone parents who claim Income Support has decreased from 1,013,500 to 894,100 nationally and in Great Grimsby from 2,300 to 2,200.

Older people are disproportionately affected by fuel poverty. So we have introduced Winter Fuel Payments to help with their heaviest fuel bill. This winter, the payment is £200 for households who qualify. Around 16,400 older people in Great Grimsby have received a Winter Fuel Payment for this winter.

To demonstrate our commitment to combating pensioner poverty, this year we will spend £4.5 billion extra in real terms on pensioners. Some 15,700 pensioners in Great Grimsby will benefit from the substantial increases in the basic State pension this April and next; this year's increase is £5 a week for single pensioners and £8 for couples. In addition we have introduced free TV licences for the over-75s of whom we estimate there are about 6,600 in Great Grimsby. 3,600 pensioner families in Great Grimsby are receiving the Minimum Income Guarantee, which we introduced in April 1999 to help our

3 Apr 2001 : Column: 162W

poorest pensioners. From April they will be at least £15 a week, or £800 a year, better off in real terms as a result of Government measures since 1997.

Other reforms in the pipeline include: the new Pension Credit in 2003 designed to ensure that pensioners benefit from their savings; the launch of Stakeholder Pensions in April this year; and the introduction of the State Second Pension in April 2002 both of which will help provide greater security for tomorrow's pensioners.

Ministerial Meetings

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many ministerial meetings with hon. Members have been cancelled by Ministers since 1 January. [155243]

Mr. Rooker: Our records do not show any meetings with hon. Members have been cancelled.

National Insurance

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list in respect of each major benefit (a) the number of national insurance claimants and (b) the average size benefit payment made for the latest period for which figures are available. [156095]

Mr. Rooker [holding answer 29 March 2001]: The information is in the table.

Social Security BenefitNumber of claimantsAverage weekly amount (£)
Jobseeker's allowance (contribution based)(23),(24),(25),(26)153,70049.70
Retirement Pension(23),(24),(27),(28),(29)11,043,00067,40
Widow's Benefit(23),(24),(27),(28),(29)256,50054.81
Incapacity Benefit(23),(30),(31)1,509,70081.73

(23) Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred, amounts to the nearest penny

(24) Based on 5 per cent. sample therefore subject to sampling error.

(25) Includes claimants who are entitled to contribution based Jobseeker's Allowance and are also in receipt of income-based Jobseeker's Allowance.

(26) Source: Jobseeker's Allowance Quarterly Enquiry, November 2000.

(27) Figures include the Channel Islands and overseas.

(28) Average weekly amounts are based on entitlement recorded on PSCS at the date of extraction.

(29) Source: Pension Strategy Computer System at 30 September 2000.

(30) Excludes a small number of cases held clerically.

(31) Source: 5 per cent. sample of the benefit computer system.


Disability Income Guarantee

(Shrewsbury and Atcham)

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people will benefit from the Disability Income Guarantee in Shrewsbury and Atcham; and if he will make a statement. [154650]

Mr. Bayley: It is estimated that in 2001-02 approximately 150 individuals or families will benefit from the Disability Income Guarantee in the Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency.



3 Apr 2001 : Column: 163W


Benefits (Deductions)

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security under what circumstances deductions from benefit payments are made in cases where a claimant has been awarded compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board; and if he will list the benefits concerned. [155839]

Mr. Bayley [holding answer 27 March 2001]: A person's capital can affect entitlement to the following benefits; Income Support (IS), Jobseeker's Allowance (income based) (JSA(IB)), Housing Benefit (HB) and Council Tax Benefit (CTB).

Whether an injured person's entitlement to one of those benefits will be affected by compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board will depend on a number of factors including the amount of that compensation, the amount of other capital they have, the benefit concerned and whether they place the award in trust.

If the compensation award is placed in a trust for the person who has been injured, the capital value of that trust is ignored. Income which the person receives from the trust may be taken into account in the same way as other trust income.

In all other cases, normal capital rules will apply.

Miners Compensation

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many officials are working on clawing back moneys from miners' compensation; and if he will make a statement. [154188]

Mr. Bayley: Sixty-seven officials in the Department's Compensation Recovery Unit are working on miners' compensation recovery. These staff are also employed on other duties.

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many clawback calculations on miners' compensation have been completed to date; and if he will make a statement. [154062]

Mr. Bayley: The number of assessments made by the Compensation Recovery Unit up to and including 16 March 2001 is 97,858. On only a limited number of these cases has the action required by both the Department of Trade and Industry and the Compensation Recovery Unit been fully completed--the majority of cases are therefore still being dealt with.

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what the average cost is of each clawback sum from invalid miners' compensation reclaimed by his Department; and if he will make a statement. [154189]

Mr. Bayley: The average administration cost per case based on all miners compensation cases completed (including those cases where no recovery is made) is £72.48.

3 Apr 2001 : Column: 164W

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what average sum has been clawed back by his Department from miners' compensation. [154207]

Mr. Bayley: The average sum per case recovered in all miners compensation cases completed (including those cases where no recovery is made) is £2,069.81 in respect of benefit already paid to the individual.

Any amounts recovered are in respect of payments to miners as a consequence of their illness and are recovered direct from the Department of Trade and Industry, not the miners themselves. Sums are recovered by the Department of Trade and Industry from the miners compensation payments in only a limited number of cases.

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many cases of clawback from compensation awarded to invalid miners were completed in (a) 1998 and (b) 2000; and if he will make a statement. [154187]

Mr. Bayley: The following is the information:

Number of cases where the action required by both the Department of Trade and Industry and the Compensation Recovery Unit has been fully completed

YearNumber of cases
1998-99876
2000-01 (to 16 March 2001)2,928

Any amounts recovered are in respect of payments to miners as a consequence of their illness and are recovered direct from the Department of Trade and Industry, not the miners themselves. Sums are recovered by the Department of Trade and Industry from the miners compensation payments in only a limited number of cases.


Next Section Index Home Page