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Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the maximum number of forms an applicant for each benefit administered by his Department must complete is (a) between initially applying and receipt of benefit and (b) each year thereafter. 
If, however, they claim more than one benefit or their circumstances change then an individual will need to fill more forms. In such cases there is no absolute maximum. The number of forms will depend on a claimants circumstances.
The Department and its Agencies administer more than 20 different benefits and local authorities administer other benefits on the Departments behalf. All these benefits are designed to meet the needs of a particular section of the population, so different amounts of information are needed in order for decisions on entitlement to be made.
For all our benefits, we try and keep the amount of information required to the minimum that allows for the proper administration of the benefit and ensures benefit is paid to those who are entitled to it.
We continue to reduce complexity wherever possible. For example, since 2005, those applying for pension credit by telephone have been able to get council tax benefit and housing benefit, using a shortened claim form completed by the Pension Service, and sent to the claimant to sign and return to their local authority. We have already announced plans to streamline this service even further, removing the need for the pensioner to take any further action. This will allow pensioners to access up to four benefits with one phone call.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to answer Question 162142, tabled by the hon. Member for
Hertsmere on 6 November 2007, on national insurance numbers. 
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to answer Question 162140, tabled by the hon. Member for Hertsmere on 6 November 2007, on Bulgarian and Romanian citizens. 
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to answer Question 162361, tabled by the hon. Member for Hertsmere on 6 November 2007, on jobseekers allowance claimants. 
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to answer Question 162689, tabled by the hon. Member for Hertsmere on 6 November 2007, on EU A8 nationals and national insurance numbers. 
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to answer (1) question 162687, tabled by the hon. Member for Hertsmere on 6 November, on national insurance numbers; 
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was paid by his Department to Capita Group plc and its subsidiaries in each financial year since 2000; which contracts were awarded by his
Department to Capita Group plc in each year from 2000-01 to the most recent available date; what the cost was of each contract; what penalties for default were imposed in contract provisions; what the length was of each contract; whether the contract was advertised; how many companies applied for the contract; how many were short-listed; what criteria were used for choosing a company; what provision was made for renewal without re-tender in each case; and if he will make a statement. 
|Capita Group plc|
Details of spend before 2002-03 and details of the contracts awarded; the cost of each contract; penalties for default; the length of each contract; if the contract was advertised; the number of companies that applied for the contract; the number of companies short listed; the selection and evaluation criteria; and provisions for renewal can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
As National Statistician and Registrar General for England and Wales, I have been asked to reply to your recent questions asking a) out of which Departmental budget the cost of the 2011 Census will be met, b) what estimate has been made of the cost of adding an extra page to the 2011 Census form, c) whether a question on carers will be included in the 2011 Census, and d) what work the Office for National Statistics has done on assessing whether or not people will be less inclined to complete a four page Census rather than a three page Census form. (180520, 180522, 180521, 180523).
I will take this opportunity to answer all the questions together.
Funding for the 2011 Census is provided to ONS by Parliament through the Treasury under the terms of the Comprehensive Spending Review.
Our current funding for the 2011 Census allows for 3 pages of questions per person. We are at present investigating the potential for a fourth page which would allow for the inclusion of more questions. The cost of an adding a fourth page of questions per person has been estimated at £25m.
The value of the information on carers provided by the 2001 Census is well recognised. However, such a question is competing for space on the questionnaire with a number of other questions such as second residence, citizenship, year of entry to the UK, qualifications, industry, end language. Currently ONS is only proposing to include a question on carers if there are 4 pages of questions.
ONS has extensively reviewed and considered the potential impact on response rates of a four page per person census questionnaire for 2011. The 2011 Census Questionnaire Design Team carried out a postal test in April 2007 covering 10,400 households with half of the sample receiving a questionnaire with 3 pages of questions per person and the other half receiving a questionnaire with 4 pages of questions per person. There was no evidence that-the length of a self-completion questionnaire had a significant effect on response rates. However, it should be noted that the postal test was voluntary.
Research into international census experiences was inconclusive on the effect of length of questionnaire but has shown that other factors, including ineffective design and layout, question clarity, and controversial topics have more of an impact on response rates.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many deaths there were which mentioned diabetes on the death certificate in each of the last 10 years, broken down by (a) age cohort and (b) primary care trust area; and if he will make a statement. 
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many deaths there were which mentioned diabetes on the death certificate in each of the last 10 years, broken down by (a) age cohort and (b) primary care trust area. I am replying in her absence. (180519)
The tables, which have been placed in the House of Commons Library, provide the number of deaths where diabetes was mentioned on the death certificate, either as the underlying cause or as a contributing factor, in (a) England by five-year age group, and (b) each primary care organisation in England, from 1997 to 2006 (the latest year available).
Mr. Morley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will assess the merits of including double-glazed units meeting new part L building standards in the list of energy-saving products that qualify for reduced VAT; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The availability of VAT reduced rates is governed by the European VAT agreements signed by successive governments. We are making the case at EU level for more widespread application of reduced VAT rates to energy-saving materials and energy efficient products.
Angela Eagle: The Chancellor met with representatives of Ofgem on 15 January. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Governments practice to provide details of all such meetings.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the likely effect of developments in US financial markets on the economy of the United Kingdom over the next 12 months. 
Jane Kennedy: The Governments latest assessment of UK economic prospects over the next 12 months, including the impact of the disruption in global financial markets, was set out in Annex A of the 2007 pre-Budget report and comprehensive spending review (Cm 7227). The Government will update their forecasts, as normal, in the Budget.
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will reply to the letter of 4 December 2007 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. Rodney Perrin. 
Jane Kennedy: Agricultural buildings allowances (ABAs) were introduced in 1945 to encourage post-war reconstruction. They are now a poorly focused subsidy, selectively available on a disparate range of assets, including some that typically appreciate in value. ABAs have long been recognised as a significant distortion in commercial property investment. These issues are compounded by the compliance burden imposed by their complicated rules.
The phased withdrawal of ABAs is part of a package of measures which also saw the reduction of the main rate of corporation tax and the basic rate of income tax and the introduction of a £50,000 annual investment allowance (AIA), allowing 95 per cent. of businesses to write off all their expenditure on plant and machinery in the year in which it is made.
Slurry tanks used for temporary storage in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones are eligible for capital allowances and businesses will therefore be able to benefit from the AIA when investing in this infrastructure.
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what estimate has been made of the number of employees in the UK with a salary of more that £40,000. (180980)
Annual levels of earnings can be estimated from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), and are provided for all employees on adult rates who have been in the job for more than one year. I attach a table showing an estimate for 2007 of the percentage of UK employees with a salary of more than £40,000 per year.
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