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Andrew Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what targets are set for the length of time taken by Her Majesty's prison governors to reply to letters from (a) hon. Members and (b) the public; and if the Governor of HMP Strangeways has met these targets. 
Beverley Hughes: The target is for 95 per cent. of letters to be answered within 20 working days in both cases. In the last three months, the Governor of Manchester prison has met this target with 95.6 per cent. of correspondence answered within 20 working days. This represents a marked improvement on the establishment's performance for the year 200001.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with the French authorities regarding the removal of immigration officials from the ports of Dieppe and Cherbourg; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were refused visitors visas by British High Commission offices in (a) Pakistan, (b) India and (c) Sri Lanka during the last 12 months. 
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Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many widowers whose spouses died prior to 9 April are estimated to be eligible for the new widowed parent's allowance; how many claim forms have been sent to this group of widowers; how many claim forms have been returned; and how many of these widowers already have the allowance. 
Malcolm Wicks: To ensure that as many men as possible were able to claim widowed parent's allowance from the outset, the Department identified over 11,000 potential male beneficiaries from the child benefit computer system and sent them claim forms in March 2001. In addition, the Department has placed articles advertising the benefit in targeted magazines. Local Benefits Agency offices have also issued forms direct to men widowed before 9 April on request. Information on the number of men who have successfully claimed widowed parent's allowance is not yet available.
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benefit in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and what percentage this represents of the total claims. 
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what is the average time to complete a review of incapacity benefit; and if he will make a statement on the factors underlying delays and the availability of clinicians to conduct reviews 
Malcolm Wicks: The medical assessment procedure involves several stages including gathering information from the claimant and their GP or other health care professional and arranging and carrying out examinations.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the (a) duration of claim and (b) type of incapacitation, of those receiving incapacity benefit; and if he will place the results in the Library. 
|Diagnosis||Average duration (days)|
|Recipients without any diagnosis code on the system||1,308|
|Certain Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (A00B99)||1,782|
|Diseases of the Blood and Blood forming organs and certain diseases involving the immune mechanism (D50D89)||2,290|
|Endocrine, Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases (E00E90)||2,627|
|Mental and Behavioural Disorders (F00F99)||2,415|
|Diseases of the Nervous System (G00G99)||3,038|
|Diseases of the Eye and Adnexa (H00H59)||2,851|
|Diseases of the Ear and Mastoid Process (H60H95)||2,213|
|Diseases of the Circulatory System (I00I99)||2,308|
|Diseases of the Respiratory System (J00J99)||2,533|
|Diseases of the Digestive System (K00K93)||2,245|
|Diseases of the Skin and Subcutaneous System (L00L99)||1,913|
|Diseases of the Musculoskeletal system and Connective Tissue (M00M99)||2,183|
|Diseases of the Genitourinary System (N00N99)||1,985|
|Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Puerperium (O00O99)||467|
|Certain Conditions Originating in the Perinatal Period (P00P96)||0|
|Congenital Malformations, Deformations and Chromasomal Abnormalities (Q00Q99)||4,586|
|Symptoms, Signs and Abnormal Clinical and Laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00R99)||2,322|
|Injury, Poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes (S00U22)||1,701|
|Factors influencing Health Status and Contact with Health Services (Z00Z99)||2,088|
1. These figures are based on a 1 per cent. sample of claims to benefit on 31 March 2000.
2. These figures represent the average duration of a claim to Incapacity Benefit current at 31 March 2000.
3. All diagnoses are coded using the International Classification of Diseases, 10 Edition (ICD10), published by a World Health Organisation. The codes in brackets following each description refer to the ICD codes within that group.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the 20 parliamentary constituencies with the (a) highest economic inactivity rate, (b) highest unemployment rate, (c) highest proportion of people of working age claiming incapacity benefit and (d) lowest employment rate, indicating the rates in each case. 
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will estimate the number of pensioners who are currently receiving incorrect payments in respect of (a) the state retirement pension and (b) SERPS that have been caused by problems with the NIRS 2 computer system; 
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(3) if he will estimate the average weekly (a) underpayment and (b) overpayment in respect of (i) the state retirement pension and (ii) SERPS that are caused by problems with the NIRS 2 computer system. 
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost is of writing to pensioners about their entitlement to inherited SERPS; if all the letters have now been sent out; and if he will place a copy of the letter in the Library. 
Mr. McCartney: A letter was issued in February and March 2001 to inform pensioners of the changes in inherited SERPS and to reassure them that they will be unaffected by the changes. It was sent to approximately 8.3 million pensioner households. The cost of sending the letter was £1,887,126. A copy of the letter was placed in the Library on 29 January.
A second letter is scheduled to be issued later this summer to approximately 1.3 million people who will also be unaffected by the changes in inherited SERPS. These are people who have reached state pension age since the first letter was issued and also those who will reach state pension age by 5 October 2002. The estimated cost of sending this letter is £560,000. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library before this letter goes out.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library (a) a copy of the letter informing pensioners that they are unaffected by the changes in entitlement to inherited SERPS and (b) a copy of the letter informing people that they might be affected by the changes that are being issued by his Department. 
Mr. McCartney: A letter was issued in February and March 2001 to inform pensioners of the changes in inherited SERPS and to reassure them that they will be unaffected by the changes. It was sent to approximately 8.3 million pensioner households. A copy of the letter has been placed in the Library.
A second letter is scheduled to be issued later this summer to approximately 1.3 million people who will also be unaffected by the changes in inherited SERPS. These are people who have reached state pension age since the first letter was issued and also those who will reach state pension age by 5 October 2002. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library.
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