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SOCIAL SECURITY

National Insurance Numbers

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if national insurance numbers are checked to ensure that the declared income is the only source of tax income. [158200]

11 May 2001 : Column: 388W

Mr. Rooker [holding answer 23 April 2001]: The Department uses available information to detect discrepancies in declared income.

When a claim is made for Income Support (IS) or Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) claimants are required to provide evidence of any declared income, for example wage slips for earnings or payment slips for occupational pensions. Details on the pay slips are checked by Benefits Agency (BA) staff for deductions from pay, including the rate of income tax. Where the amount of tax deducted is disproportionate to the gross payment, or the tax code quoted seems inappropriate, further inquiries are made to establish if there is another source of taxable income being paid to the claimant.

Regular checks are made on continuing claims where there is a declared source of income to ensure that any changes have been reported. These checks confirm not only the net payment made to the claimant but the details of any deductions for tax and NI. Once again, this information can act as an indicator of other taxable income.

In addition to checks made on claims where there is a declared income, the Department work closely with Inland Revenue (IR) to detect those claimants in receipt of IS and JSA who fail to declare that they have commenced remunerative work. Tax form P46 is completed by employers for all new employees who are unable to provide a P45. IR is able to provide data to the Department of all P46 completions on a monthly basis.

The Department match the NINOs of all employees who appear in the P46 data with the NINOs of claimants who have a current claim to IS or JSA. Where the employment start date overlaps a benefit claim by more than four weeks, the case is referred to the Benefit Fraud Investigation Service (BFIS) for investigation.

Disability Living Allowance

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many (a) initial applications, (b) renewal claims, (c) reviews and (d) appeals for Disability Living Allowance were cleared outside the target clearance times in each month of 1998; and how many (i) initial applications, (ii) renewal claims, (iii) reconsiderations, (iv) supersessions and (v) appeals for Disability Living Allowance were cleared outside the target clearance times in each month of 2000. [160684]

Mr. Bayley: The information is in the tables.

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Disability Living Allowance: Numbers and percentages of cases cleared in 1998 which were outside target clearance times

New claims Renewals Reviews within three months(2) Reviews outside three months(3) Appeals
MonthNumberPercentageNumberPercentage NumberPercentageNumberPercentageNumberPercentage
January5,306142,503143,291161,9361348910
February4,585142,202122,730151,5721351212
March3,746112,315132,652151,534134248
April2,54582,147152,018131,004112747
May2,70492,440181,55712890113248
June3,07293,002191,906121,288123789
July3,20793,304201,909121,6181543210
August3,038103,047231,858141,6311736810
September3,446114,332261,972131,9941739410
October4,054133,563202,014132,0561651612
November6,353183,566202,227152,0531743111
December4,991172,744191,730151,4111534911

(2) Cases where the existing decision may be changed from the date it came into effect

(3) Cases where the existing decision may be superseded from a later date


Disability Living Allowance: Numbers and percentages of cases cleared in 2000 which were outside target clearance times

New claims Renewals Reconsiderations(4) Supersessions(4) Appeals
MonthNumberPercentageNumberPercentage NumberPercentageNumberPercentageNumberPercentage
January8,514307,004434697650211,30334
February10,448327,422432,186252,935412,40545
March9,860287,250364,271396,269533,64852
April3,134121,907111,460182,711212,47042
May3,852111,990101,728163,021183,35543
June5,003122,556121,319122,741153,84045
July5,194132,29181,09392,896143,77638
August5,408141,317891282,024133,59430
September4,655131,153770171,740133,94634
October4,161121,258776471,795133,84229
November3,56610705474571,377102,71921
December2,19496425446689291,37919

(4) Reconsiderations and supersessions replaced reviews under the new system of decision making and appeals which was introduced from October 1999


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The number of people who receive Disability Living Allowance continues to increase. Significant backlogs of work accrued in the processing of this benefit last year, because of the growing case load and introduction of a new system of decision making and appeals. The Benefits Agency tackled the backlog as a priority and it has now been substantially cleared. The continuing high level of appeals cleared outside of the target clearance time reflects in the numbers received following the introduction of the new procedures.

Working Time Directive

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proportion of senior civil servants in his Department have signed waivers to work voluntarily more than 48 hours a week; and if he will make a statement. [160882]

Mr. Rooker: Our records show that of 132 senior civil servants in this Department five have signed a waiver under the Working Time Regulations.

Social Inclusion

Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the funding programmes for social inclusion for which his Department is responsible that can be accessed by (a) national sports bodies and (b) local clubs and communities. [161010]

Mr. Bayley: The Department does not have any responsibilities for funding the type of social inclusion programmes described in the question.

Expenditure and Caseloads

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer to the Member for Wythenshawe and Sale, East (Mr. Goggins) of 1 May 2001, Official Report, column 594W, what analysis his Department has carried out on the changes in the growth of social security expenditure to isolate the changes in benefit expenditure on (i) unemployed claimants, (ii) single parents, (iii) changes in entitlement arising from legislation passed prior to May 1997, (iv) changes in entitlement arising from legislation passed since May 1997 and (v) other causes; and if he will place a copy in the Library. [160839]

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Mr. Rooker: No analysis has been made in the format outlined in the question, as it would not be possible to identify separately the continuing effects of all legislation since 1991-92.

The analysis that has been carried out is presented in the table.

2001-01 prices(5)
£ billion

Expenditure on unemployed people(6)Expenditure on lone parents(7)Expenditure arising from legislative change since May 1997(8)
1991-929.55.5n/a
1996-978.48.1n/a
change from 1991-92-1.1+2.6n/a
2000-014.27.42.5
change from 1991-92-5.3+2.0n/a
change from 1996-97-4.2-0.62.5
2003-044.27.28.8
change from 1991-92-5.3+1.7n/a
change from 1996-97-4.2-0.88.8

(5) Figures are rounded to the nearest £0.1 billion. Change figures may not appear to sum due to rounding.

(6) Expenditure on unemployed people by reason of their unemployment, through Unemployment Benefit (1996-97 only), Income Support (1996-97 only), Jobseeker's Allowance, Housing and Council Tax Benefits.

(7) Expenditure on lone parents by reason of their lone parent status, through Income Support, Housing and Council Tax Benefits.

(8) Figures relate to new measures affecting Social Security benefits for pensioners and families. They do not include Working Families' Tax Credit or Disabled Person's Tax Credit.


Analysis of changes in expenditure on unemployed people and lone parents has been made from administrative data. Analysis of the change in expenditure arising from legislation since May 1997 affecting social security benefits for pensioners and families has been made using administrative data and statistical models. The figures provided by the different analyses are not mutually exclusive, in that some of the changes in expenditure arising from legislative change will have applied to unemployed people and lone parents, notably the increases in child amounts in income-related benefits. Therefore, the change figures cannot be added together. The figures do not account for all the changes since 1991-92, nor do they cover all groups of recipients.

11 May 2001 : Column: 391W


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