Previous Section Index Home Page

EU Pensions Directive

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations have been made (a) by his Department to the EU and (b) to his Department in respect of the proposed EU Pensions directive. [45310]

Mr. McCartney: Officials from the Department, together with their colleagues from the Treasury, are members of the council working group which is discussing the draft directive on the prudential supervision of occupational pension schemes. The directive has also been discussed at routine meetings between Ministers and their European counterparts. Ministers and officials frequently meet and receive representations from a range of organisations with an interest in occupational pension provision. The subjects discussed have included the draft directive.


Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer of 18 March, Official Report, column 145W, to the hon. Member for Northavon (Mr. Webb), on pensioners, how many (a) men and

10 Apr 2002 : Column 241W

(b) women not making national insurance contributions or receiving credits in the years mentioned were (i) under 24 years of age and (ii) full-time students. [46619]

Mr. McCartney: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the table.

Number of people, aged 16 to 23, who have neither paid national insurance contributions nor received credits for pension purposes in each financial year since 1979



1. Figures are taken from a 1 per cent. sample so are subject to rounding error and are rounded to the nearest thousand.

2. Figures exclude those not registered on NIRS in each year (particularly affecting women in the early years of this analysis and those aged 18–21).


Figures are taken from the Lifetime Labour Market Database (LLMDB), extracted from the National Insurance Recording System.

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the number of pensioners with low incomes who are living alone and who are not in recept of IS or CTB. [48019]

Mr. McCartney: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is contained in the publication, "Income Related Benefits: Estimates of Take Up 1999–2000". Copies are available in the Library.

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the gap between the average income of the best off fifth of pensioners and the least well off was in the last year for which figures are available. [45914]

Maria Eagle: The information requested is contained in Table 13 of the National Statistics publication "The Pensioners' Incomes Series 1999–2000" a copy of which is available in the Library.

Winter Fuel Payments

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what measures his Department has taken to ensure that winter fuel payments are not paid twice to the same household. [36920]

10 Apr 2002 : Column 242W

Malcolm Wicks: Many households are entitled to more than one winter fuel payment. This is because whether a person is entitled to a winter fuel payment and, if so, at what level, is determined by their personal circumstances in a set qualifying week. An individual who is the only eligible person in that household will receive £200. However, where an eligible person shares a household with another eligible person, each will be entitled to £100, unless income support or income-based jobseeker's allowance is in payment, when the winter fuel payment is £200 per benefit unit.

We have procedures in place to ensure that all eligible people in a household receive the correct level of winter fuel payment. The addresses on the various benefit computer systems are cross-referenced and matched against each other where appropriate. By doing this, the correct level of payment can be determined.

As a further check, we use staff with local knowledge to identify cases where the nature of the address may cause an incorrect level of payment to be issued.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether someone aged over 60 remains eligible for the winter fuel payment if they move to another EU country; and in what other circumstances a British person living abroad can claim the benefit. [46464]

Mr. McCartney: Department officials met recently with officials from the European Commission to discuss the extent of the Government's responsibilities regarding winter fuel payments under Community law. As a result, we expect to bring this matter to a close shortly.

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the answer of 12 March 2002, Official Report, column 959W, on winter fuel payments, if he has concluded his discussions with the European Commission about the extent of the United Kingdom's legal obligations under European regulations on winter fuel payments; and if he will make a statement. [48306]

Mr. McCartney: No, but we hope to do so as soon as possible.

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in Clwyd, South are in receipt of the winter fuel allowance. [41901]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: Figures for this year are not yet available. For details of last year's payments I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to the hon. Member for South-East Cornwall (Mr. Breed) on 18 March 2002, Official Report, column 152W.

Sandler Review

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many responses to the Sandler Review had been received by the end of the consultation period; and when he expects the review to provide its report to the Government. [40193]

Ruth Kelly: I have been asked to reply.

The Sandler review is an independent review of the retail savings industry. More than 200 responses have been submitted to the review team, which is expected to report to the Government in the summer.

10 Apr 2002 : Column 243W


Public Relations Consultants

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was spent by his Department and bodies for which it is responsible on external public relations consultants in each of the last four years. [27385]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The information is as follows:




Values are inclusive of VAT and rounded up to the nearest £1,000.

10 Apr 2002 : Column 244W

Detail of the expenditure for each Department is contained in the following table:

Amount (£)ProjectCompany used
1996–97PACE was launched as an agency in April 1996. Since the costs for PR for the launch were incurred in the previous financial year they have not been included in this table.
1999–200045,000Burtonwood DisposalRoland Dransfield Ltd.
2000–0166,000Burtonwood DisposalRoland Dransfield Ltd.
National Savings
1996–9721,798Consumer RoadshowsNot available
1997–9834,039Regional PR ActivitiesKey Communications Ltd.
529Inflation and interest ratesFinancial Perspectives Ltd.
1998–993,408Quarterly PR BulletinFinancial Perspectives Ltd.
111,675PR Support for NS ISA launchHill and Knowlton (UK) Ltd.
25,667PR Consultancy re: Premium BondsRegister Larkin Ltd.
5,875Consultancy re: PR campaignsCitigate Dewe Rogerson
1999–200049,879Consultancy re: PR campaignsCitigate Dewe Rogerson
9,988Radio editorial coverageEMR
2000–0128,842Broadcast support servicesBulletin International Ltd.
84,367Consultancy re: PR campaignsCitigate Dewe Rogerson
18,277Radio editorial coverageEMR
41,202Consultancy re: PR campaignsThe Red Consultancy
Office for National Statistics
2000–01202,000Publicity advice for the 2001 CensusBell Pottinger
Royal Mint
Detailed information by year not available but total spend over the period 1996–97 to 2000–01:574,000Press Office support; Launch of an average of two commemorative coinage issues per year; Crisis management; General PR activity of coinage; Publication of annual results.Good Relations

Next Section Index Home Page