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Fraud

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer of 26 February 2002, Official Report, column 1256W, in what format the information requested is available. [39869]

Malcolm Wicks: Information is available only on the total number of cases involving benefit fraud and claimant error. To produce a separate figure for the number of benefit fraud cases, and hence the proportion of these in which prosecutions were brought, each case would have to be re-examined individually.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his most recent estimate is of the level of benefit fraud in 2001–02. [39017]

Malcolm Wicks: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. Sarwar) on 30 November 2001, Official Report, column 1166W.

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what systems exist to enable members of the public to inform his Department of cases of benefit fraud. [38197]

Malcolm Wicks: Members of the public can inform the Department of cases of suspected benefit fraud by either telephoning the Benefit Fraud Hotline (0800 854 440); using the Targeting Fraud Website www.targetingfraud.gov.uk; or writing or calling in at their local Benefit Office or Jobcentre. All the information provided is strictly in confidence and members of the public do not have to give their name if they do not wish to do so.

Minimum Income Guarantee

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assumption he has made about the proportion of pensioners receiving the minimum income guarantee (a) with and (b) without setting the basic

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state pension at the same level for (i) all pensioners, (ii) those aged over 75 years and (iii) those aged over 80 years. [29722]

Mr. McCartney: In August 2001 there were just over 2 million pensioners receiving the minimum income guarantee. This represents just under 17 per cent. of the total population of Great Britain who are aged over 60, further information is in the table.

Total MIG caseload and the proportion of pensioners aged over 60 who would be on MIG if the basic state pension was set at the singles level of MIG for a) those over 60 b) those over 75 and c) those over 80.

Total MIG caseload after uprating of BSPRemaining MIG caseload as a percentage of total 60+ population
a) over 601.19
b) over 751.512
c) over 801.6514

Note:

Numbers of pensioners rounded to the nearest 50,000 and given in millions of pensioners. Per cent. given to nearest 1 per cent.


Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in Walthamstow are claiming the minimum income guarantee. [38470]

Maria Eagle: As at November 2001 there were 3,300 pensioners claiming the MIG in the Walthamstow constituency.

LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT

Power of Attorney

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will list the cost of obtaining power of attorney in each of the last five years. [40801]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Most people who make powers of attorney do so with help from legal advisers. We have no information about the cost to individuals as this is a private matter agreed between the individual and his or her legal advisers. Where the individual has made an enduring power of attorney, there is a fee to register the power of attorney if the individual becomes mentally incapacitated. The fee for registering an enduring power of attorney was £50 from 1997 and increased to £75 on 1 October 1999. The Public Guardianship Office (PGO) has recently conducted a review of the fees charged, including fees for registration of enduring powers of attorney, as the existing fees policy does not meet the full cost of the service delivered, as required by HM Treasury guidance. Fees charged by the PGO are set by the Lord Chancellor, in consultation with the consent of HM Treasury, and will be laid before Parliament shortly.

Job Sharing

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will make a statement on the extent of job sharing in her Department. [41051]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Twickenham (Dr. Cable) on 25 February 2002, Official Report, column 844W.

City Status

Bob Russell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when the announcement will be made as to which applicants have been granted the status of city to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen's accession. [42146]

Mr. Burns: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when she expects an announcement on the bestowing of city status to celebrate the Golden Jubilee. [41439]

Ms Rosie Winterton: My noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor hopes to announce the results of the Golden Jubilee city status competition shortly.

1901 Census

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when she expects to place details of the 1901 Census onto the internet; and if she will make a statement. [41925]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington) on 4 March 2002, Official Report, column 55W.

Catering Services

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what the cost was of (a) in-house canteen and (b) other catering services provided by his Department in each of the last four years. [38928]

Mr. Wills: The Lord Chancellor's Department also replies on behalf of its associated offices and the Court Service.

Catering services to meet the Department's requirements are provided through contractual arrangements with specialist suppliers.

(a) With reference to the first part of the question, the term "in-house canteen" is taken to mean facilities provided primarily for use by the Department's staff.

Staff canteens are provided at a number of key central locations where staff are concentrated. These facilities are used regularly by staff from other locations and visitors to the Department's premises.

Revenue from sales to staff and visitors is used to defray costs to the Department. However, it is necessary to support the service as outlined:

Lord Chancellor's Department and associated offices

£
1998–99140,763.74
1999–2000141,564.00
2000–01213,794.86
2001–02(21)161,362.92

(21) To January.


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(b) The majority of expenditure on catering services in the Department is required for facilities provided to jurors and other members of the public attending court buildings. Court staff, the legal profession and judges also use these facilities; use by these groups is around 10 per cent. of sales. Catering services are provided at 63 Crown and Combined Court Centres in England and Wales. Revenue from sales is used to defray cost to the Department. The remaining costs for each of the last four years is set out in the table:

Court Service

£
1998–991,027,011.00
1999–20001,442,516.00
2000–011,323,969.00
2001–02(22)948,603.00

(22) To December.


Accommodation Costs

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what the cost was of hotel accommodation for departmental staff working away from home in each of the last four years. [41062]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not immediately available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The Department has authority to reimburse expenses incurred by LCD staff in connection with their employment subject to the conditions set out in section 8 of the Civil Service Management Code. However the Lord Chancellor's Department does not maintain separate data on the hotel element within the total of travel and subsistence costs.

Lord Chancellor's Department staff can claim reimbursement of actual expenditure (subject to provision of receipts) within an overall ceiling of £100 per night in London and £90 per night in major cities and £80 per night elsewhere. This ceiling covers hotel bed and breakfast, lunch and dinner and travel between hotel and place(s) visited on official business.


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