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Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK takes advantage of EU state aid guidelines to encourage national flag shipping. 
Mr. Jamieson: We have introduced the tonnage tax, which has in the last two years contributed to a 61 per cent. increase in tonnage of the UK registered fleet. We have also extended and increased funding to the Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) scheme, which subsidises the costs of seafarer training, and we are committed to extending the Crew Relief Costs Scheme
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to cover European as well as more distant ports, when parliamentary time is available. We have already cleared the first two measures with the Commission to ensure that they comply with state aid guidelines, and will seek clearance for the third when appropriate.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the changes to (a) cost and (b) coverage of the proposed pension credit if the withdrawal rate of the savings credit were (i) 10 per cent., (ii) 22 per cent. and (iii) 25 per cent. 
Mr. McCartney [holding answer 5 December 2001]: The Savings Credit is designed specifically to reward pensioners with low or modest second pensions or savings. Setting the Savings Credit rate at 60 per cent. strikes the right balance between affordability and the objective of helping pensioners at the lower end of the income scale. As illustrated in the table, below increasing the rate of the Savings Credit to 90 per cent. would require an additional £2 billion for a full year. It would also mean the Pension Credit would be payable to single pensioners with incomes over £300 per week (nearly £16,000 per year) and over £430 for pensioner couples (around £22,500).
|Savings credit rate (percentage)||Change in costs (£ billion)||Changes in number of benefit units entitled (000s)|
1. Costs are the additional expenditure required for Housing and Council Tax Benefits and Pension Credit.
2. Numbers of benefit units relates to those entitled to Pension Credit.
3. The estimates are for 200405 (the first full year in which Pension Credit will be payable) and are based on estimates published in the pre-Budget report.
4. The estimates are for GB only and exclude persons residing in residential care and nursing homes.
5. The estimates are based on the Department's Policy Simulation Model, using data from the Family Resources Survey (FRS) for 19992000.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what proportion of single pensioners entitled to the pension credit are expected to be in receipt of less than the full rate of the state basic pension on the inception of the pension credit scheme in October 2003; 
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Tony Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many appeal tribunals in (a) Scotland and (b) the UK have been adjourned as a result of the Tribunal of Commissioners decision in CSDLA/1019/99; 
(3) if medical members who would be disqualified by conflict of interest as judged by the Tribunal of Commissioners decision in CSDLA/1019/99 are still being allocated to sit on Appeal Tribunal hearings; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) what costs have been incurred owing to the cancellation of appeal tribunal hearings as a result of the Tribunal of Commissioners decision in CSDLA/1019/99; 
(5) how many medical members in (a) Scotland and (b) the UK of appeal tribunal hearings he estimates could be disqualified from hearings when the findings of CSDLA/1019/99 are applied. 
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Tony Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when an Appeal Tribunal is adjourned, what costs have to be met for personnel and services; and what these have amounted to on average in the last year. 
Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people above state pension age have (a) reduced entitlement to the basic state pension and (b) no entitlement at all to a basic state pension. 
The Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) was introduced in April 1999 to provide a new higher income below which pensioners with little or no savings should not fall. From April 2002 no pensioner has to get by on less than £98.15 a week under MIG (£149.80 for couples). Over two million pensioners nationally benefit from this measure.
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Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people failed to claim their state pension within three months of reaching state pension age; what the total amount of state pension left unclaimed was in each of the last four years; and if he will make a statement. 
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