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Stakeholder Pensions

Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) by what means he will ensure that smaller companies provide stakeholder pensions to their employees; [10436]

Mr. McCartney: Employers are required to provide employees with access to a stakeholder pension scheme. Employers are not themselves required to set up a pension scheme or to contribute to it.

Regulation of compliance with the requirement for employers to designate a stakeholder pension scheme for their employees will be undertaken by the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (Opra).

The number of employees in companies that have designated stakeholder pensions schemes for their staff is not available. However, figures from the Association of British Insurers show that the end of September this year, 212,242 employers of all sizes had designated stakeholder pension schemes for their workforces.

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what action he is taking to improve access to free or low-cost advice to those intending to take out stakeholder pensions. [13901]

Mr. McCartney: Stakeholder pensions are designed to be simple. Many pension providers currently offer basic advice within the 1 per cent. annual management charge cap for stakeholder pensions. Additionally, the Financial Services Authority has produced decision trees to assist consumers.

Benefit Fraud

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what measures he has taken to ensure that local authorities have implemented their action plans drawn up in response to reports by the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate. [11816]

Malcolm Wicks: Shortly after the publication of a Benefit Fraud Inspectorate (BFI) report, the local authority concerned is invited to respond to the BFI's findings, giving its proposals for improvement. Where the response indicates that the actions the authority has already taken or plans to take to improve its performance are satisfactory, the Department monitors the performance of the authority through the management information they provide and their performance against Best Value performance indicators.

Where there are continuing concerns, authorities are asked to submit progress reports to ensure that their planned improvements are being implemented and achieved. If it is thought necessary to gain additional assurance that improvements have been implemented, the BFI may be asked to undertake a further inspection.

13 Nov 2001 : Column: 701W

Benefit Appeals

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) appeals and (b) successful appeals there were in respect of each centre processing

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(i) disability benefit claims and (ii) incapacity benefit claims (A) in 2000–01 and (B) since April. [11907]

Maria Eagle: The information is in the table.

The number of appeals cleared for disability benefits and incapacity benefit in respect of each appeals service regional centre and the number found in favour of the appellant for 2000–01 and 2001 (year to date)

1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001 1 April 2001 to 30 September 2001
Appeals service regional centre/disability benefitAppeals cleared at hearingAppeals found in favour of the appellantAppeals cleared at hearingAppeals found in favour of the appellant
Attendance Allowance1,056399413165
Disability Living Allowance7,1913,1263,4751,576
Incapacity Benefit2,7719831,333533
Industrial Injuries and Disability Benefit1,273526541262
Severe Disablement Allowance172627533
Attendance Allowance1,266516725311
Disability Living Allowance11,6965,6856,4223,426
Incapacity Benefit4,7611,7772,6671,111
Industrial Injuries and Disability Benefit2,5469561,416569
Severe Disablement Allowance29511816378
Attendance Allowance2,2151,0261,210632
Disability Living Allowance13,6917,1157,2544,180
Incapacity Benefit5,1362,1692,5491,098
Industrial Injuries and Disability Benefit3,2411,2611,767795
Severe Disablement Allowance2388312350
Attendance Allowance1,035407468194
Disability Living Allowance7,6683,6813,5081,775
Incapacity Benefit4,8461,9131,886743
Industrial Injuries and Disability Benefit2,8576591,526315
Severe Disablement Allowance185415910
Attendance Allowance869345304129
Disability Living Allowance9,7554,6973,9401,935
Incapacity Benefit4,7852,1151,980961
Industrial Injuries and Disability Benefit1,597606749309
Severe Disablement Allowance135638934
Attendance Allowance790347315148
Disability Living Allowance7,1623,3373,5401,727
Incapacity Benefit2,8011,0021,404545
Industrial Injuries and Disability Benefit2,5831,3111,485730
Severe Disablement Allowance100477130
Attendance Allowance1,462668680289
Disability Living Allowance10,3564,9575,6142,800
Incapacity Benefit5,0001,7612,016694
Industrial Injuries and Disability Benefit2,7331,2771,554726
Severe Disablement Allowance39213519277
Attendance Allowance45518320884
Disability Living Allowance5,2202,4982,6991,279
Incapacity Benefit2,8661,0361,325460
Industrial Injuries and Disability Benefit824380342140
Severe Disablement Allowance69335327
Attendance Allowance999625642400
Disability Living Allowance6,0953,9903,6132,439
Incapacity Benefit4,6262,4322,1541,145
Industrial Injuries and Disability Benefit944498330177
Severe Disablement Allowance2551249638


Generic Appeals Processing System

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Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what were the total running costs in respect of each centre of (a) processing disability benefit appeals and (b) processing incapacity benefit appeals in (i) 2000–01 and (b) 2001. [11908]

Maria Eagle: The information is in the tables:

Total running costs in respect of each appeals service regional centre for disability benefits (disability living allowance and attendance allowance) and incapacity benefit for 2000–01 and 2001

1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001
Appeals service regional centreDisability benefits(14)Incapacity benefit


1 April 2001 to 30 September 2001
Appeals service regional centreDisability benefits(14)Incapacity benefit

(14) Only Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance

Minimum Income Guarantee

Mr. Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in Morley and Rothwell are receiving the Minimum Income Guarantee; and how many pensioners he estimates are entitled to it. [13450]

Mr. McCartney: Estimates of the numbers of people who may be eligible for, but who have not claimed Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) are not available below national level.

As at May 2001, there were an estimated 2,600 MIG recipients in the Morley and Rothwell constituency.

Agency Costs

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the cost of the launch of the new agency to bring together the work of the Employment Service and parts of the Benefits Agency. [14095]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Havant (Mr. Willetts) on 28 June 2001, Official Report, column 160W.

13 Nov 2001 : Column: 704W

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