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Mr. Hogg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the value of the assets, including pension funds, which (a) a man aged 65 and (b) a woman aged 60 years would need in order to receive a higher income than if they had no such assets. [67226]

Mr. McCartney: The value of assets needed for the individuals described will depend upon the level of entitlement to state pension benefits that have been built up over the individuals working lives.

For illustrative purposes, the following estimates can be made for a man aged 65 who has built up rights to a full single basic state pension but has no other sources of income. At current market rates assets of about £14,000 or more are currently needed to purchase an annuity that generates a higher income level than if he had no such assets. The equivalent figure for a woman aged 60 is approximately £17,000. In practice, it is common for someone with full basic state pension entitlement to also have additional income from SERPS but this has been excluded in the above illustration.

From October 2003, the introduction of the pension credit will mean that these levels will fall to zero. Any individual with a full basic state pension who has saved for their retirement will have a higher income from doing so, regardless of the amount of this saving.

These estimates use current 2002–03 single rates for the basic state pension and minimum income guarantee, and the most favourable annuity rates quoted by The Annuity Bureau as at 4 July 2002 for an index-linked annuity with spouses benefits. It is assumed that the full pension pot is annuitised and no tax-free lump sum is taken.

Disabled People (Employment Opportunities)

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a further statement on progress with the job preparation and retention pilots for disabled people. [67108]

Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 9 July 2002]: We will make an announcement in due course.

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Throckmorton Asylum Centre

Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) if the planning inspector leading the inquiry into the application to build an asylum seekers centre at Throckmorton may reach his conclusion only on planning issues; [68756]

Mr. McNulty: The Home Office has not yet served a Notice of Proposed Development on Wychavon district council. If it does, and the council objects, the dispute will be referred to the Deputy Prime Minister, who may decide to hold a non-statutory public inquiry. The planning inspector holding any such inquiry would treat it as if it were into an appeal against refusal of planning permission. Every relevant planning issue, whether of local or national importance, which is a material consideration in assessing the proposal, would be taken into account. The inspector would weigh all the arguments and evidence presented by the parties before reaching his conclusions and recommendations, including the likely effect of the proposed development on the surrounding area, and taking into account the views of the local planning authority and local residents.

The inspector would be making a report to the Deputy Prime Minister, not making the determination himself. It would be for the Deputy Prime Minister to determine the dispute between the developing Department and the local planning authority taking into account the inspector's report and all other material considerations.

Members of Parliament (Personal Data)

Mr. Forth: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what information is held by his Department on each hon. Member in relation to (a) personal relationships, both current and past, (b) financial status and dealings, (c) connections with companies and interest groups, (d) connections with Governments and (e) published works; and what was held in January 2002. [61818]

Mr. Leslie: Ministers and officials in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister have access to published reference sources, as well as the information about hon. Members made publicly available by the House authorities, for the purpose of parliamentary business.

Social Housing Allocation

Mr. Laws: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the incentives there are in the system of allocation for social housing for young people to have children at an early age; and if he will make a statement. [62399]

Mr. McNulty: S167 of the Housing Act 1996 provides that local housing authorities must give reasonable preference in the allocation of social housing to families with dependent children, and to households consisting of or including someone who is expecting a child. Under S16 of the Homelessness Act 2002, which will come

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into effect early next year, the "reasonable preference categories" are revised to reflect housing need more clearly in their formulation.

The Government's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy aims to halve the under 18 conception rate by 2010 and increase the participation of teenage parents in education and employment. Early signs of the strategy's impact are encouraging with figures for 2000 showing a 6.2 per cent. reduction from 1998 in both under-18 and under-16 conception rates. The percentage of teenage parents in education or employment has increased from 17 per cent. in 1996 to 29 per cent. in 2001.

Our strategy also sets the aim that all lone parents under 18, who cannot live with their parents or partner, should be provided with suitable accommodation with support by 2003. To date the Housing Corporation has approved funding for over 1,500 new units of supported accommodation for young parents. Supported housing offers young parents adult and peer support to help prepare them for independent living and facilitate their return to education or employment.

Local Government Finance

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what plans he has to take account of the costs of council tax collection within the review of the local government finance system; [67828]

Mr. Leslie: My right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government launched a consultation on options for the reform of the local government finance system. This included authority-by-authority detailed exemplification of options for the Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services block, to which all these questions relate. No decisions have yet been taken and we welcome representations from all interested parties.

Housing Corporation

Ms Buck: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how he plans to ensure that in (a) the financial year 2003–04 and (b) future years the Housing Corporation investment programme for London reflects housing need. [67496]

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Mr. McNulty: The Housing Corporation's National Investment Strategy sets out the national objectives for the Approved Development Programme and the national targets. The Corporation also produces a London Investment Strategy which contains priorities for investment in that region. In addition, the Government office for London and the Housing Corporation's London office produce a London Housing Statement working closely with local and regional stakeholders including local authorities and housing associations. The statement highlights key housing issues and pressures and helps to identify regional priorities.

Ms Buck: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the criteria by which the recent additional grant to the Housing Corporation Draft Programme in London will be allocated; and what steps he will take to ensure that those areas with the most acute levels of housing need and homelessness derive the maximum amount of additional assistance. [67495]

Mr. McNulty: The regional cash limit for London for 2002–03 was increased in line with priorities set out in the Housing Corporation's Regional Investment Strategy. Of the programme: 60 per cent. is targeted on schemes to increase the supply of affordable housing; 20 per cent. is going to the London Housing Partnership supply initiative which is specifically focused on homeless families; 15 per cent. to support regeneration programmes which have a significant housing element; and 5 per cent. to projects that demonstrate innovation, address pan-London issues or sub-regional supported housing schemes.

Ms Buck: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans he has to ensure that in financial year 2003–04 the London boroughs are consulted about the Housing Corporation investment programme. [67497]

Mr. McNulty: When drawing up the Regional Housing Statement and the Regional Investment Strategy, the Housing Corporation's London office consults all the London boroughs through an Officers' Working Group. The Housing Corporation also consults the association of London Housing Directors, and meets a representative group of Association of London Members as a matter of routine.

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