Previous Section Index Home Page

Welsh GDP

Adam Price: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate changes in the proportion of Welsh GDP as a percentage of the UK economy in 2001. [35625]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Adam Price, dated 12 February 2002:

12 Feb 2002 : Column 249W

Personal Pensions

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what compensation proposals will be forthcoming in respect of those persons who have opted out of SERPS and who had their pension policies affected by delayed payments from the Treasury, as a result of the computer error last year. [35737]

Ruth Kelly: Where there is a delay in paying age related rebates to those with appropriate personal pensions, compensation will be considered where it can be demonstrated that a loss has been suffered. The Inland Revenue can consider and pay compensation under their Financial Redress Scheme.

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what changes he has made to departmental expenditure ceilings within the controlled total for (a) 2001–02 and (b) 2002–03 since the Budget. [27925]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Government will seek any resources additional to departmental budgets in the usual way through the Supply process, which includes the announcement to Parliament of additions to Departmental Expenditure Limits via parliamentary answers.

GDP/Revenues Ratio

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the change in the ratio of (a) income tax revenue and (b) national insurance revenue to GDP if GDP is (i) 1 per cent. above trend and (ii) 1 per cent. below trend in (1) the first, (2) the second and (3) subsequent years; and if he will make a statement. [34540]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Government's estimate of the impact of the economic cycle on the public finances is set out in "Fiscal policy: public finances and the cycle" (HM Treasury, March 1999).

Reputational Externalities

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 4 February 2002, Official Report, column 705W, on reputational externalities, if he will state the reasoning underlying the statements concerning reputational externalities made to the National Audit Office reported on in footnote 10 and paragraphs 44–45 of HC54 of Session 2000–01 'The financial analysis of the London Underground Public Private Partnerships'; and if he will make a statement. [34887]

Mr. Andrew Smith: I presume the hon. Member is referring to footnote 8 in the said document. The comments contained in the NAO report are self- explanatory. The hon. Member will find details of the financial analysis behind the value for money appraisal of the London Underground PPP in the final assessment report produced by London Underground.

12 Feb 2002 : Column 250W

Departmental Underspend

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' underspending against the departmental expenditure limits in the last four years. [35397]

Mr. Morley: I have been asked to reply.

The Department has only been in existence since June 2001, so does not have such historical information. It is forecast that budgets will be fully utilised during the current financial year.

Public Bodies (Resources)

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what resources were made available to the (a) Disability Rights Commission, (b) Equal Opportunities Commission and (c) Commission for Racial Equality in (i) 1999, (ii) 2000 and (iii) 2001. [33941]

Mr. Leslie: I have been asked to reply.

Details of the funding, staffing and expenditure of public bodies, and the remuneration of board members, are set out in the annual publication "Public Bodies".

Copies of "Public Bodies 1999" and "Public Bodies 2000" are available in the Libraries of the House. "Public Bodies 2001" will be published shortly. The Disability Rights Commission was established on 25 April 2000.


Pension Credit

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the 2001 pre-Budget report, if he will estimate the distribution by household income quintile of the additional expenditure arising from the introduction of the state pension credit. [31283]

Mr. McCartney [holding answer 29 January 2002]: The information requested is in the table.

Proportion of additional expenditure arising form the introduction of the State Pension Credit by household income quintile

Household income quintileProportion of additional expenditure from State Pension Credit (after housing costs quintiles)Proportion of additional expenditure from State Pension Credit (before housing costs quintiles)


1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 1 per cent.

2. The largest proportion of expenditure goes to households in the second quintile because there are more pensioner benefit units in the second household income quintile.


DWP Policy Simulation Model 2001–02 based on 1999–2000 Family Resources Survey.

Pension credit will help tackle poverty among today's pensioners, without discouraging future pensioners from saving. It will provide a decent income in retirement and a reward for those who have saved.

12 Feb 2002 : Column 251W

For the first time, we will reward savings, ensuring those who have worked hard to save modest amounts, who are more likely to be in the second quintile, will gain from having done so.

Savings Credit

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if pensioners' earnings will qualify for the savings credit. [30397]

Mr. McCartney: Our intention is to ensure pensioners are rewarded for their effort. We are continuing to consider the treatment of earnings in pension credit.

Stakeholder Pensions

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to improve uptake of stakeholder pensions. [31841]

Mr. McCartney [holding answer 31 January 2002]: Stakeholder pension sales of over 600,000 in the first nine months on the market are a very encouraging start. In addition, figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show 312,096 employers had designated stakeholder pension schemes for their staff by the end of December 2001.

The sales of stakeholder pension have had a wider impact, ABI figures show increased new pension sales of 9 per cent. for the quarter July-September 2001 amounting to £2.8 billion. Regular premium pension business rose by 50 per cent. to £584 million on the same period last year, and new single premium pension policies rose by 2 per cent. to £2.2 billion.

We are also working to provide information to help people make informed decisions about saving for their retirement. We have already greatly improved the general pension information available by actively promoting our series of pension education guides. In addition, we are working in partnership with employers and pension providers to introduce new pension forecasts giving both state and private pension details.


Mr. Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average time taken to process a new claim for the (a) working families tax credit and (b) jobseeker's allowance was in the last six months. [32469]

Malcolm Wicks: For the six months ending 31 December 2001 the average time taken to process a working families tax credit application was 15.2 working days and the average time taken to process a claim to jobseeker's allowance was 9.7 working days.

Occupational Pension Schemes

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to reform the regulations that govern the arrangements for electing trustees to the boards of occupational pension schemes. [32619]

12 Feb 2002 : Column 252W

Mr. McCartney [holding answer 1 February 2002]: Changes to the Member-nominated Trustee and Director requirements were introduced in the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000. We have been working on a package of regulations that would give effect to the changes, but need to ensure that they are consistent with the findings of the review of private pensions legislation that was announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 26 September.

We have, therefore, decided to wait until the review team reports in July, and we have had time to consider their findings.

We shortly will be consulting on draft regulations that will allow schemes to continue with their present arrangements for the time being.

Next Section Index Home Page