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WORK AND PENSIONS

Housing Benefit

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much money has been spent on housing benefit by local authorities in each of the last 15 years. [25009]

Malcolm Wicks: The available information is in the table.

Housing benefit expenditure since 1988–99
£ million

Expenditure
1988–893,774
1989–904,300
1990–915,147
1991–926,494
1992–937,877
1993–949,210
1994–9510,104
1995–9610,876
1996–9711,380
1997–9811,176
1998–9911,068
1999–200011,177
2000–0111,172

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest £ million and are consistent with, and underlie, the forecasts published in the Chancellor's pre-Budget report, November 2001.

2. The figure for 2000–01 is estimated. All other figures are actual annual expenditure but are subject to change as local authority activity is fully audited.

3. Information is not available for years prior to the introduction of the current housing benefit scheme in April 1988.

Source:

Annual subsidy returns by local authorities to Department for Work and Pensions; Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions; and National Assembly for Wales.


6 Feb 2002 : Column 1015W

Sir Robert Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the expenditure was, inclusive of outturn or estimated outturn expenditure, on (a) housing benefit rent rebates, and (b) housing benefit rent allowances for (i) housing association tenants and (ii) private tenants in each year from 1992–93 to 2000–01. [25276]

Malcolm Wicks: The available information is in the table.

Housing benefit expenditure
£ million

Rent allowance
Rent rebatesRegistered social landlord tenantsPrivate tenantsTotal
1992–934,5933,284
1993–945,0194,195
1994–955,2281,3093,5674,876
1995–965,4301,6413,8065,446
1996–975,5691,9913,8205,810
1997–985,4952,2083,4735,681
1998–995,4032,4273,2385,665
1999–20005,3622,7253,0905,815
2000–015,3192,9882,8655,853

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest £ million and are consistent with, and underlie, the forecasts published in the Chancellor's pre-Budget report, November 2001.

2. Totals may not sum due to rounding.

3. The figures for 2000–01 are estimated. All other figures are actual annual expenditure but are subject to change as local authority activity is fully audited.

4. The split of total rent allowance expenditure between tenants of social landlords and those of private landlords has been estimated.

5. No estimate is available for the split in rent allowance paid prior to 1994–95.

6. Figures for rent allowance paid to social landlord tenants includes housing association and non-housing association accommodation. Separate data on rent allowance paid to housing association tenants only are not collected.

Source:

Annual subsidy returns by local authorities to Department for Work and Pensions; Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions; and National Assembly for Wales.


6 Feb 2002 : Column 1016W

Sir Robert Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the budgeted expenditure is for (a) housing benefit rent rebates, and (b) housing benefit rent allowances for (i) housing association tenants only, and (ii) private tenants in each year from 2001–02 to 2003–04. [25277]

Malcolm Wicks: The available information is in the table.

Planned housing benefit expenditure (£ million)

Rent allowance
YearRent rebatesRegistered social landlord tenantsPrivate tenants
2001–025,3613,3852,932
2002–035,2753,8273,086
2003–045,0484,4773,248

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest £ million and are consistent with, and underlie the forecasts published in the Chancellor's pre-Budget report, November 2001.

2. Figures for rent allowance paid to social landlord tenants include housing association and non-housing association accommodation. Separate data on rent allowance paid to housing association tenants only are not collected.

Source:

Estimated outturn expenditure calculated using actual and forecast caseload information.


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer of 19 December 2001, Official Report, column 376W, on housing benefit, what the estimated expenditure on the housing benefit under occupation pilot is expected to be in 2001–02. [30134]

6 Feb 2002 : Column 1017W

Malcolm Wicks: For 2001–02 the estimated expenditure on the under-occupation pilot is £255,000.

Council Tax Benefit Restriction Scheme

Mr. Coleman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the savings to his Department in 2001–02 as a consequence of the council tax benefit restriction scheme. [26954]

Malcolm Wicks: It is estimated that the council tax benefit restrictions for people living in properties in Bands F, G and H will reduce spending on council tax benefit by £7 million in 2001–02.

Since 2 July 2001, local authorities have been able to make discretionary housing payments to those people entitled to housing benefit and council tax benefit who require additional financial assistance with their rent or council tax. This includes those whose council tax benefit has been restricted. These payments are at the discretion of the local authority and subject to an annual cash limit.

Disability Rights Commission

Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the impact of the Disability Rights Commission on the work of Government Departments. [30906]

Maria Eagle: The Disability Rights Commission is working closely with a range of Government Departments and has made a positive contribution in a number of areas. For example, it has prepared statutory Codes of Practice for my Department to support the October 2004 duties under Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act and for the Department for Education and Skills on the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act. It has responded to a range of government consultation exercises including on the future of social care and charging, the operation of the Human Rights Act, transport reform and disputes resolution. The commission has also been working extensively with the National Assembly for Wales and the Scottish Executive on a range of cross-cutting disability issues of particular relevance to those countries.

Appeals Service

Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what additional (a) staff and (b) money have been allocated to the Appeals Service in anticipation of the child support reforms. [30957]

Maria Eagle: Additional funding of £1.7 million has been allocated for 2002–03. This sum includes the staffing costs for 50 additional staff. A further £398,000 has been allocated to implement the necessary changes to IT procedures, and develop new training material for staff and panel members, resulting from the new child support legislation.

CSA

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many CSA cases from (a) the Angus constituency and (b) Scotland have been considered by the Independent Case Examiner in each year since the creation of the post. [31580]

6 Feb 2002 : Column 1018W

Malcolm Wicks: The information is in the table.

Details of the number of cases received by the Office of the Independent Case Examiner

Complaints receivedAccepted for investigation
Angus constituency
1997–9842
1998–9910
1999–200010
2000–0111
2001–02(17)11
Scotland
1997–987031
1998–9910246
1999–20008634
2000–0110857
2001–02(17)8042

(17) Position as at 28 January 2002

Note:

Figures subject to a small amount of error


Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what is the average time taken by the Independent Case Examiner to issue a determination in cases referred to him from (a) Angus and (b) Scotland in each year since the creation of the post. [31581]

Malcolm Wicks: The information is in the table.

Details of the average time taken by the Office of the Independent Case Examiner to clear cases accepted for investigation

Complaints accepted for investigationAverage clearance time (weeks)
Angus constituency
1997–98220
1998–990
1999–20000
2000–01136
2001–02(18)121
Scotland
1997–983129
1998–994641
1999–20003438
2000–01(18)57 (46 completed)33
2001–02(18)42 (12 completed)17

(18) Position as at 28 January 2002

Note:

Figures subject to a small amount of error



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