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Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will bring forward proposals to (a) end or (b) reduce hospital car parking charges for (i) cancer patients and (ii) disabled people travelling regularly to hospital for treatment. 
Mr Simon Burns: The Government have now published their response to the recent consultation on national health service car parking, which makes clear that NHS organisations are responsible for their own policy, taking into account local operational circumstances and local community interests. It also makes clear that local policies should include fair concessions for all patients whose healthcare needs require extended or frequent access to hospital. This will include, but is not restricted to, disabled patients or those undergoing cancer treatment. Hospitals must also comply with their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to meet the needs of disabled visitors.
Margot James: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many inmates discharged from prison are in contact with mental health services following their discharge; and how many had such contact in the first (a) week and (b) month following the date of discharge in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Burstow: The Department is leading cross-Government work to further develop diversion services in police stations and courts. These services identify people with mental health problems at an early stage in the criminal justice process allowing non-custodial approaches to be considered where it is appropriate to do so. The Department is also developing a new cross-Government mental health strategy which is to clarify the outcomes expected for people with mental health problems when they come into contact with the criminal justice system
With the agreement of the Secretary of State for Justice, prisoners with mental disorder who meet the criteria for detention under the Mental Health Act are transferred to secure mental health services to receive in-patient treatment.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department issues to NHS trusts on the acceptance of medical qualifications obtained in (a) other EU and (b) non-EU countries as equivalents of UK-obtained qualifications in the appointment of medical staff; and if he will make a statement. 
Anne Milton: The acceptance of medical qualifications obtained in other countries of the European economic area (EEA) falls under EU Directive 2005/36/EC which consolidates the rules regulating the mutual recognition of professional qualifications. Under that directive, medical qualifications obtained by nationals of other EEA countries receive mutual recognition in the United Kingdom. It entitles EEA doctors to registration with the General Medical Council and a licence to practise medicine in the UK.
they hold an acceptable overseas qualification;
they posses the knowledge, skills and experience necessary for practicing as a fully registered medical practitioner in the UK;
their fitness to practise is not impaired; and
that they have the necessary knowledge of English.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effects on staffing levels in the NHS of the implementation of the proposed targets contained in the White Paper "Equality and Excellence: Liberating the NHS". 
Mr Simon Burns: The White Paper 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS' laid out proposals for fundamental changes to the ways that the national health service is structured and run, including the abolition of primary care trusts and strategic health authorities (from 2012-13). The precise details of the transition to the new system will not be known until the new organisations that will underpin the new system have been designed in more detail. The Department is in the process of consulting on how the new organisations should be designed, and once the results of this are known we will publish the costs and implications of the new system in an impact assessment.
Alan Keen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many surgical procedures were carried out in NHS facilities on people with a body mass index of (a) 40 or more and (b) 36 or more with a co-morbidity of each (i) sex and (ii) ethnic origin in each year since 2004. 
The following table provides a count of finished consultant episodes with a primary diagnosis of obesity and any procedure or intervention, broken down by sex, and ethnic group for 2004-05 to 2008-09.
|Activity in English NHS hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector|
|Finished consultant episodes( 1) with a primary diagnosis( 2) of obesity where there was any main operating procedure or intervention( 3)|
|Ethnic group( 4)||Sex||2008-09||2007-08||2006-07||2005-06||2004-05|
| Notes: The data are not a count of people, as the same person may have been admitted on more than one occasion. 1. Finished consultant episode (FCE) A finished consultant episode (FCE) is a continuous period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one health care provider. FCEs are counted against the year in which they end. Figures do not represent the number of different patients, as a person may have more than one episode of care within the same stay in hospital or in different stays in the same year. 2. Primary diagnosis The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 20 (14 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and seven prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data set and provides the main reason why the patient was admitted to hospital. The ICD-10 code what used to define obesity is E66-Obesity. 3. Number of episodes with a (named) main procedure The number of episodes where the procedure was recorded in the main procedure field in a HES record. Note that more procedures are carried out than the number of episodes with a main procedure. For example, patients under going a 'cataract operation' would tend to have at least two procedures-removal of the faulty lens and the fitting of a new one-counted in a single episode. The number of episodes with any main procedure include '&' (not known), and for OPCS 4.3/4.4/4.5 (from 2006-07) codes A01-X97, or for OPCS 4.2 (prior to 2006-07) codes A01-X59. 4. Ethnicity Ethnicity data may not be good enough to allow accurate analysis, including analysis of ethnic differences. Ethnic group was collected from 1 April 1995 to 31 March 2002 and ethnic category, using the definitions in the 2001 census, from 1 April 2002. Patients are asked to select their category from a standard list, and some decline to do this. Data may therefore be incomplete and of poor quality. 5. Assessing growth through time HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. Changes to the figures over time need to be interpreted in the context of improvements in data quality and coverage (particularly in earlier years), improvements in coverage of independent sector activity (particularly from 2006-07) and changes in NHS practice. For example, apparent reductions in activity may be due to a number of procedures which may now be undertaken in out-patient settings and so no longer include in admitted patient HES data. Data quality HES are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England and from some independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain. Bariatric surgery OPCS codes Gastric bypass codes OPCS 4.2 G27.1 Total gastrectomy and excision of surrounding tissue G27.2 Total gastrectomy and anastomosis of oesophagus to duodenum G27.3 Total gastrectomy and interposition of jejunum G27.4 Total gastrectomy and anastomosis of oesophagus to transposed jejunum G27.5 Total gastrectomy and anastomosis of oesophagus to jejunum nec G27.8 Other specified total excision of stomach G27.9 Unspecified total excision of stomach G28.1 Partial gastrectomy and anastomosis of stomach to duodenum G28.2 Partial gastrectomy and anastomosis of stomach to transposed jejunum G28.3 Partial gastrectomy and anastomosis of stomach to jejunum nec G28.8 Other specified partial excision of stomach G28.9 Unspecified partial excision of stomach G31.1 Bypass of stomach by anastomosis of oesophagus to duodenum G31.2 Bypass of stomach by anastomosis of stomach to duodenum G31.3 Revision of anastomosis of stomach to duodenum G31.4 Conversion to anastomosis of stomach to duodenum G31.8 Other specified connection of stomach to duodenum G31.9 Unspecified connection of stomach to duodenum G31.0 Conversion from previous anastomosis of stomach to duodenum. G32.1 Bypass of stomach by anastomosis of stomach to transposed jejunum G32.2 Revision of anastomosis of stomach to transposed jejunum G32.3 Conversion to anastomosis of stomach to transposed jejunum G32.8 Other specified connection of stomach to transposed jejunum G32.9 Unspecified connection of stomach to transposed jejunum G32.0 Conversion from previous anastomosis of stomach to transposed jejunum G33.1 Bypass of stomach by anastomosis of stomach to jejunum nec G33.2 Revision of anastomosis of stomach to jejunum nec G33.3 Conversion to anastomosis of stomach to jejunum nec G33.8 Other specified other connection of stomach to jejunum G33.9 Unspecified other connection of stomach to jejunum G33.0 Conversion from previous anastomosis of stomach to jejunum nec. From April 2006 additional OPCS-4.3 codes were added: G28.4 Sleeve gastrectomy and duodenal switch G28.5 Sleeve gastrectomy NEC G31.5 Closure of connection of stomach to duodenum G31.6 Attention to connection of stomach to duodenum G32.4 Closure of connection of stomach to transposed jejunum G32.5 Attention to connection of stomach to transposed jejunum G33.5 Closure of connection of stomach to jejunum NEC G33.6 Attention to connection of stomach to jejunum G71.6 Duodenal switch. Gastric band Gastric band procedures may include the insertion, removal or adjustment of the gastric band. OPCS-4.2 There were no specific codes for gastric banding procedures in OPCS-4.2. OPCS-4.3 and OPCS-4.4. Insertion of a gastric band G30.3 Partitioning of stomach using band. Removal of a gastric band G38.7 Removal of gastric band. Adjustment of gastric band G30.8 Other specified plastic operations on stomach Y03.6 Adjustment to prosthesis in organ noc. Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The NHS Information Centre for health and social care.|
(2) whether (a) HM Treasury and (b) No. 10 Downing street were informed of his Department's proposals to end the nursery milk scheme before the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health wrote to the devolved administrations on the subject; 
(3) whether the letter from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health to the devolved administrations on proposals to end the nursery milk scheme was copied to (a) Ministers and (b) officials in (i) HM Treasury and (ii) 10 Downing street (A) prior to and (B) at the time of issue; 
|Financial year||Cost £ (million) GB total|
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 26 July 2010, Official Report, column 827W, on direct payments, what funding his Department will provide to local authorities for the provision of social care in 2010-11. 
Luciana Berger: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward proposals to make entrepreneurs' relief from capital gains tax available to those who rent out property in the private rented sector. 
Mr Gauke: The Government believe that the current definition of entrepreneurs' relief accurately targets entrepreneurial business activity, offering a reduced capital gains tax rate to the vast majority of small business owners and material investors. Expanding the relief to cover those renting out property would not meet the policy objective.
Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many families resident in Angus constituency were overpaid child tax credit between 2007-08 and 2009-10; and what the average overpayment was. 
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families resident in Dundee East constituency were overpaid child tax credit between 2007-08 and 2009-10; and what the average overpayment was. 
Mr MacNeil: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families resident in Na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency were overpaid child tax credit between 2007-08 and 2009-10; and what the average overpayment was. 
Angus Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families resident in Moray constituency were overpaid child tax credit between 2007-08 and 2009-10; and what the average overpayment was. 
Dr Whiteford: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families resident in Banff and Buchan constituency were overpaid child tax credit between 2007-08 and 2009-10; and what the average overpayment was. 
Pete Wishart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families were overpaid child tax credit in Perth and North Perthshire constituency in each year from 2007-08 to 2009-10; and what estimate he has made of the average level of overpayment to such families and the average amount to be repaid. 
Mr Gauke: The number of tax credits awards, and the amounts that were overpaid by each parliamentary constituency, are available in the HMRC publication "Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Finalised Annual Awards. Supplement on Payments. Geographical Analysis". The latest figures available are for 2008-09 and can be found at:
Mr Gauke: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. It is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.
Diana R. Johnson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 8 July 2010, Official Report, column 440W, on pregnant women: grants, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of providing information on the number of Health in Pregnancy grants made in Kingston upon Hull North constituency in 2009-10. 
Mr Gauke: HMRC estimates that regional breakdowns of expenditure on the Health in Pregnancy Grant would take one full-time equivalent staff member around two weeks to compile the necessary data and complete the full quality assurance processes.
Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government is taking to alleviate food shortages in the Sahel region of North Africa; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr O'Brien: An estimated 4.6 million people across Niger, Chad and Mali are facing severe food shortages following two years of bad harvests and poor rains. A further 5 million people are 'moderately' food insecure and may become more vulnerable without additional support.
The UK Government are supporting United Nations agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations in the Sahel region to provide food aid to 160,000 people for three months; treat 27,500 children with severe acute malnutrition and 50,000 children with moderate acute malnutrition; provide cash for work or direct payments to 20,000 households; and provide seeds to more than 81,000 households.
Mr Andrew Mitchell: The humanitarian situation in Gaza remains fragile. In terms of levels of malnutrition, disease and access to primary healthcare, the humanitarian situation is stable but remains a constant cause of concern. Food insecurity is particular serious, with 75% of Gazans (approximately 1,045,000 people) dependent on food aid. We estimate that the erosion of skills, infrastructure and institutions in the health and water sectors is likely to lead to further deterioration in the humanitarian situation over time.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) women and (b) men in each age group not in receipt of carer's allowance have an underlying entitlement to the allowance. 
|People with entitlement to carer's allowance in Great Britain and abroad not in receipt of payment, by age group: February 2010.|
|Age of claimant||Male||Female|
| Source: DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent. data.|
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate he has made of the number of carers in receipt of carer's allowance who are caring for someone who is receiving the middle rate care component of disability living allowance. 
The National Statistics datasets on carer's allowance claimants do not contain any information about the identity or characteristics of the person being cared for. Similarly, the datasets on disability living allowance (DLA) claimants do not contain any information about the identity or characteristics of any person caring for the DLA claimant. It would be possible to use additional information to link the two datasets, but to develop an understanding of the additional data source, develop the methodology and carry out and quality assure the results would incur disproportionate costs.
James Wharton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department plans to reorganise the work of the Child Support Agency to transfer legacy cases to new child support systems. 
Maria Miller: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner as the Child Support Agency is now the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether there are plans to reorganise the work of the Child Support Agency to transfer legacy cases to new child support systems. 
The problems encountered by the Child Support Agency following the launch of the Reforms in 2003 resulted in a decision to defer the bulk transfer of cases from the old (launched in 1993) scheme, to the current (launched in 2003) child support scheme. In the meantime, cases were only migrated from the old computer system to the new computer system where they had a link with a case on the new system that made this necessary.
This decision was kept under review and in February 2006 the previous Government asked Sir David Henshaw to review the entire system of child maintenance. His subsequent report led to the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008, which makes provision for a new system of child maintenance known as the "future scheme".
The Commission continues to develop plans for a future scheme that is intended to replace both the existing schemes. As with all government departments, the Commission is undertaking a review of its plans as part of the current spending review and in line the new government's priorities.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
Chris Grayling: The Department's chief scientific adviser meets regularly Ministers in the Department to discuss various aspects of policy; most notably incapacity benefit reform, health and safety, health conditions and matters related to the wider health, work and wellbeing agenda including mental health and employment.
Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total cost to the public purse was of (a) his Department's stand, (b) its (i) Corporate IT, (ii) Departmental Security, (iii) Occupational and Health Psychology Services, (iv) Change Programme and (v) Shared Services divisions stands, (c) the Office for Disability Issues stand, (d) the Independent Living Fund stand and (e) the Tell Us Once Programme stand at Civil Service Live 2010. 
|Organisation||Cost including VAT (£)|
The purpose of Civil Service Live was to provide a unique opportunity for civil servants across Government to be brought up to speed on important Government thinking, to be made aware of new ideas and initiatives, and to link up and work together more effectively and efficiently.
Chris Grayling: Payments made by the Department for Work and Pensions to Capita Group plc under its contract for record storage in each year of the contract from 1 July 2004 to 31 March 2010 are presented in the following table.
In relation to planned expenditure for 2010-11, all areas of DWP intend to reduce third party costs against the 2009-10 baseline, either through contract renegotiation, demand management or collaboration with other departments to generate economies of scale.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) women and (b) men are in receipt of the (i) middle and (ii) higher rate care component of disability living allowance. 
|DLA in payment by rate of care component, Great Britain: February 2010|
| Notes: 1. Figures show the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and exclude entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital. 2. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest ten; some additional disclosure control has also been applied. 3. Totals may not sum due to rounding. Source: DWP Information Directorate 100% Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.|
|Disability living allowance in payment for children, by type of component, Great Britain: February 2010|
|All children aged under 16 years|
| Notes: 1. Figures show the number of children aged under 16 years in receipt of an allowance, and exclude entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital. 2. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest ten; some additional disclosure control has also been applied. 3. "Nil rate" indicates that this particular component is not in payment but the other component is in payment. 4. Totals may not sum due to rounding. 5. Claimants may receive both the care and mobility components. 6. Data is published at: https://www.nomisweb.co.uk. Source: Department for Work and Pensions, Information Directorate.|
As part of this commitment we will introduce a new programme, Work Choice, from 25 October 2010. Work Choice will replace the existing fragmented specialist
disability provision and will help into work disabled people who face the most complex and long-term barriers to employment.
Access to Work provides financial help towards the extra costs faced by people with a disability, where this goes beyond what would be reasonable for an employer to meet. Access to Work supported 37,210 disable people during 2009-10.
'We will reform Access to Work, so disabled people can apply for jobs with funding already secured for any adaptations and equipment they will need'.
We are working to ensure through Work Choice and the Work Programme, the widest possible range of help to return to work is available to disabled people and those who support and advise them. The introduction of the Work Programme will result in new arrangements for supporting people on out of work benefits. We aim to have the Work Programme in place nationally by the summer of 2011. It will support a wide range of customers, including those who may previously have been receiving incapacity benefits for many years.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average processing time for funeral payments was (a) in Bristol and (b) nationally in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Steve Webb: Funeral payments are processed in Bristol for the whole of the south-west region. For the financial year-to-date (April to August 2010), the average processing time for funeral payments was 17.6 working days for the south-west region and 16.4 working days for Great Britain.
The processing time for an individual funeral payment claim is measured in whole working days from the date the claim is received until the date the decision is made. The minimum processing time recorded for an individual funeral payment claim is one working day, even if the claim is cleared immediately.
Department for Work and Pensions Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System.
Future Jobs Fund expenditure in 2009-10 was £72 million and the estimated spend for
2010-11 is £420 million. Expenditure decisions for 2011-12 are subject to the spending review. Significant savings are expected from the £1 billion the previous Government had committed to the delivery of the Future Jobs Fund. Around 100,000 jobs will be created.
Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which organisations with registered business premises in the West Lothian Council area have been approved to provide employment under the Future Jobs Fund. 
Chris Grayling: The Department does not hold records of all of the organisations that are providing employment through the Future Jobs Fund. Details of lead accountable bodies who have been successful in receiving FJF awards are available here:
Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average housing benefit claim in each local authority by occupants of (a) local authority housing, (b) former local authority housing, (c) registered social landlord housing and (d) private sector tenanted housing was in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what assessment he has made of the effects on rental rates for properties (a) between the 30th and 50th and (b) below the 30th percentile of broad market rental area (BMRA) in (i) Birmingham and (ii) England of proposals to reduce the maximum local housing allowance to the rent of the 30th percentile of BMRA; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the effects on areas with (a) high levels of unemployment and (b) levels of unemployment comparable with the national average of proposals to reduce the maximum local housing allowance to the rent of the 30th percentile of broad rental market areas. 
Steve Webb: The Department published a document on 'Impacts of Housing Benefit proposals: Changes to the Local Housing Allowance to be introduced in 2011-12' on 23 July, which includes breakdowns at the local authority level and an assessment of the impact on availability of accommodation. A copy of the document has been placed in the library.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the monetary value was of the discretionary housing payments allocated to each local authority in each year from 2008-09 to 2010-11; and
what estimate he made of how much of that allocation each local authority spent in each such year. 
A table has been placed in the Library showing each local authority's allocation for 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11, and their reported expenditure for 2008-09 and 2009-10. The table also shows each authority's initial estimated expenditure for 2010-11.
|DWP allocation||DWP allocation spent by the local authorities||Amount of additional expenditure spent by the local authorities|
Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate he has made of the number of people who are employed and in receipt of housing benefit in the area most closely corresponding to East Lothian constituency for which figures are available. 
Steve Webb: Information is only available for those housing benefit recipients who are not on a passported benefit, namely income support, pension credit guarantee credit, income-based job-seeker's allowance, income-related employment and support allowance.
|All HB recipients||Of which, non-passported||Of which, non-passported and in employment|
Single Housing Benefit Extract, May 2010.
Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people are in receipt of housing benefit in Gateshead borough; and how many are (a) not of working age, (b) in work and (c) not in work. 
|Housing benefit recipients by elderly/working age-Gateshead local authority, May 2010|
|Housing benefit recipients by employment status-Gateshead local authority, May 2010|
1. The data refers to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple.
2. The figures have been rounded to the nearest ten.
3. Housing benefit figures exclude any extended payment cases. An extended payment is a payment that may be received for a further four weeks when they start working full-time, work more hours or earn more money.
4. SHBE is a monthly electronic scan of claimant level data direct from local authority computer systems. It replaces quarterly aggregate clerical returns. The data is available monthly from November 2008 and May 2010 is the most recent available.
5. Data from SHBE incorporates the local authority changes from 1 April 2009.
6. Figures are at 13 May 2010.
7. Totals may not sum due to rounding.
8. Passported status does not include recipients with unknown passported status.
9. People claiming housing benefit not in receipt of a passported benefit are recorded as being in employment if their local authority has recorded employment income from either the main claimant, or partner of claimant (if applicable), in calculating the housing benefit award.
10. Age groups are based on the age on the count date (second Thursday in the month), of either:
(a) the recipient if they are single, or
(b) the elder of the recipient or partner if claiming as a couple.
Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE)
Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate he has made of the number of residents in Livingston constituency in receipt of local housing allowance in 2010-11 whose entitlement will be reduced from April 2011; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the change in monetary value of entitlement of local housing allowance among residents of the Livingston constituency in receipt of local housing allowance in 2010-11 and 2011-12. 
The Department published a document on 'Impacts of Housing Benefit proposals: Changes to the Local Housing Allowance to be introduced in 2011-12' on 23 July 2010, which includes analysis at the local authority and regional level. A copy of the document has been placed in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 27 July 2010, Official Report, column 1139W, on housing benefit,
what estimate has been made of the effect of the Government's proposed changes to housing benefit and local housing allowance on the number of people living in poverty. 
Steve Webb: The package of measures announced in the June Budget and being introduced for the Local Housing Allowance in 2011-12, including the removal of the £15 excess planned by the previous administration, will achieve savings of around £1 billion by 2015-16. The other changes to Housing Benefit announced in the June Budget are estimated to save a further £1.1 billion in 2015-16. Overall, this represents a reduction of 9% in the total 2015-16 expenditure on Housing Benefit.
The reduction in Housing Benefit expenditure will reduce the amount customers receive from the Government towards their rent. However, the purpose of reform is to influence rent levels and housing choices, which is likely at least in part to mitigate the impact of these measures on poverty.
The impact of the Housing Benefit measures should also not be considered in isolation of the wider package of measures that have been announced; importantly the extra money distributed to families with children through the tax credit system.
Most Housing Benefit customers will be affected by the changes announced to Housing Benefit in the June Budget so there is no disproportionate impact on any particular working age family type within Housing Benefit. However, the changes have a larger impact on very large families and also on households of all sizes in inner London.
Discretionary Housing Payments are currently £20 million a year, and will increase to £30 million in 2011-12 and then to £60 million a year from 2012-13. In discussion with local authorities, these resources will give extra support to areas where the impacts are greatest. It will give authorities more flexibility to provide additional support where it is most needed.
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he plans to meet the Local Government Association to discuss proposed changes to housing benefit; and if he will make a statement. 
Steve Webb: The Department has consulted formally with the Local Government Association, and the other associations which represent local authorities across England, Scotland and Wales, on the first set of draft regulations to bring in the proposed changes to housing benefit. Additionally, officials meet regularly with the local authority associations to discuss policy changes and the impact on local authority operations.
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will bring forward proposals for a transition period for implementation of the proposed changes to housing benefit in respect of local authority areas with the highest (a) average rents and (b) proportion of housing stock in the private rented sector. 
Steve Webb: We have no plans to introduce transitional protection for households affected by the proposed changes to housing benefit as we have provided a substantial increase in the discretionary housing payments budget which will allow local authorities to give additional support where it is most needed. We have referred the proposed legislation to the Social Security Advisory Committee and will respond to its report in due course.
Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households that receive housing benefit in social rented housing are classed as under-occupied in (a) Scotland, (b) Glasgow and (c) Glasgow East constituency. 
Steve Webb: Figures for under occupation among housing benefit recipients in the social rented sector can be estimated from the DWP's Family Resources Survey. This survey collects detailed information from around 25,000 households each year.
The Family Resources Survey is sufficiently robust to allow figures to be broken down for Scotland, Wales and the English regions. In Scotland it is estimated that there are approximately 100,000 households in the social rented sector, in receipt of housing benefit, where the accommodation is under occupied.
Information about the size of accommodation occupied by housing benefit recipients in the social rented sector is not currently collected for housing benefit purposes at a local level. As a result it is not possible to provide comparable figures for Glasgow or Glasgow East constituency.
1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 100,000.
2. Data for 2008-09 was collected between April 2008 and March 2009.
3. The Family Resources Survey is known to under-record benefit receipt so the estimates presented should be treated with caution.
4. The figures are based on a sample of households which have been adjusted for non-response using multi-purpose grossing factors which align the Family Resources Survey to Government Office Region population by age and sex. Estimates are subject to sampling error and remaining non-response error.
5. Under occupation is measured in accordance with the criteria that apply to housing benefit claimants in receipt of local housing allowance in the private rented sector. There are also alternative measures of under occupation which are widely used, such as the 'bedroom standard'.
James Wharton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of incapacity benefit claimants qualified as a result of spinal or back-related conditions or injuries in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
|The number and proportion of incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claimants with injuries of the back as their main disabling condition-February 2010|
1. Data are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Causes of incapacity are based on the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, published by the World Health Organisation. To qualify for IB/SDA, claimants have to undertake a medical assessment of incapacity for work called the Personal Capability Assessment. Therefore, the medical condition recorded on IB/SDA claim form does not itself confer entitlement to incapacity benefits. So for example, the decision for a customer claiming IB on grounds of injuries of the spine and trunk would be based on their ability to carry out the range of activities in the Personal Capability Assessment.
3. Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.
DWP Information Directorate 100% WPLS
Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 6 September 2010, Official Report, columns 84-85W, on the Independent Living Fund, whether he plans to re-open the Independent Living Fund to new applicants. 
Maria Miller: As set out in my statement to the House on 26 July 2010, Official Report, columns 77-78WS, we will consider the long-term future of the Independent Living Fund as part of the forthcoming spending review, working with the trustees of the fund, disabled people's organisations, and other key stakeholders including local authorities.
Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he plans to take to assist people in areas where the local Jobcentre Plus centre has been closed to use alternative centres. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what steps will be taken to assist people in areas where the local Jobcentre Plus centre has been closed to use alternative centres. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Our approach to closure of a customer-facing Jobcentre takes into account a range of issues, including the impact on customer
service and whether the work and staff can be relocated. When we are considering changes in our service delivery planning of this nature, we consult with our customers, partner organisations, Trade Unions, staff and local Members of Parliament.
The vast majority of our services, in common with most large, modern organisations, are now also delivered through the telephone and internet. For example, to give customers more convenient access to job search, we have around half a million vacancies on-line at any time, and new claims to benefit are predominantly taken by telephone, with some taken on-line.
In addition we aim to make our services more accessible to customers by providing a range of support through outreach, often delivering advisory and other support on partners' premises. Typically, such services can be delivered in partnership with Children's Centres, or on Local Authority premises, or in conjunction with one of our Welfare to Work Providers.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria his Department used to assess the suitability of the consumer price index as a measure of the changes in the cost of living of pensioners. 
Maria Miller: Estimates of the level of disability poverty are published in the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) disability equality indicators sourced from the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series. HBAI uses household income adjusted (or "equivalised") for household size and composition, to provide a proxy for standard of living.
The latest available data covering 2008-09, show that 3.9 million individuals who live in families with at least one disabled member live in relative income poverty (defined as living in a household with incomes below 60 per cent. of the contemporary, equivalised, median household income, before housing costs). This equates to 23 per cent. of all individuals, compared to 16 per cent. of individuals in families with no disabled member.
The data also show that there are 4.4 million individuals who live in families with at least one disabled member who live in relative low income, on an after housing costs basis. This equates to 26 per cent. of all individuals, compared to 21 per cent. of individuals in families with no disabled member.
1. These statistics are based on the households below average income series, sourced from the Family Resources Survey.
2. All estimates are based on survey data and are therefore subject to uncertainty.
3. The reference period for Households Below Average Income figures are single financial years.
4. The income measures used to derive the estimates shown employ the same methodology as the Department for Work and Pensions publication "Households Below Average Income" (HBAI) series, which uses disposable household income, adjusted (or
"equivalised") for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living.
5. For the Households Below Average Income series, incomes have been equivalised using Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) modified equivalisation factors.
6. Numbers of adults and children in low-income households have been rounded to the nearest 100,000, and percentages to the nearest whole percentage point.
7. HBAI presents analyses of disposable income on two bases: before housing costs (BHC) and after housing costs (AHC). This is principally to take into account variations in housing costs that themselves do not correspond to comparable variations in the quality of housing.
8. In HBAI an individual is defined as disabled if they report having any long-standing illness, disability or impairment that leads to a substantial difficulty with one or more areas of their life. Everyone classified as disabled under this definition would also be classified as disabled under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). However, some individuals classified as disabled under the DDA would not be captured by this definition.
Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many first-tier appeals against benefit decisions were not attended by a representative of his Department between April 2009 and March 2010; and of those how many appeals were granted. 
The data that are available refer to claims for state pensions. Between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2010, 1,475 state pension appeals were not attended by a representative of this Department. Of those 201 were found in the appellants' favour.
Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many appeals his Department has made against appeals upheld against its benefits decisions in each of the last five years; and what the cost to the public purse of such appeals was. 
Maria Miller: The Department for Work and Pensions has taken 588 appeals to the upper tribunal (previously social security commissioners) from the first-tier tribunal (previously appeal tribunal) in cases where the first-tier tribunal found for the claimant against the Department in the last five years ending 31 March 2010.
|Appeals to upper tribunal by Secretary of State||Cost to DWP of each appeal (£)||Total cost to DWP for all appeals (£)|
Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Gateshead borough are in receipt of (a) disability living allowance, (b) incapacity benefit and (c) employment and support allowance. 
|Employment support allowance claimants, incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claimants, and disability living allowance claimants: Feb ruary 2010.|
1. Incapacity Benefit was replaced by Employment Support Allowance (ESA) from October 2008.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10, some additional disclosure has been applied.
3. Caseload for DLA shows the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and exclude people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital.
4. IB/SDA 'claimants' include people in receipt of benefit and also those who fail the contributions conditions but receive a National Insurance Credit, i.e. 'credits only cases'.
DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100% data.
Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in (a) Chatham and Aylesford constituency and (b) Medway were in receipt of (i) disability living allowance, (ii) employment and support allowance and (iii) incapacity benefit on the latest date for which figures are available. 
|Employment support allowance, incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance and disability living allowance claimants: February 2010|
1. Incapacity Benefit was replaced by Employment Support Allowance (ESA) from October 2008.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10, some additional disclosure has been applied.
3. Caseload for DLA show the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and exclude people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital.
4. Constituencies used are for the Westminster Parliament of May 2010.
5. IB/SDA 'Claimants' include people in receipt of benefit and also those who fail the contributions conditions but receive a National Insurance Credit, i.e. 'credits only cases'.
DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions
Longitudinal Study 100 per cent data.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to bring forward proposals to involve NHS healthcare professionals in place of external contractors in the benefit eligibility assessment process. 
Capability for work is assessed by independent health care professionals employed by Atos Healthcare, who provide advice to the Department's decision-makers. When making a decision on entitlement to employment and support allowance or incapacity benefit a decision-maker must take account of all the available information, including any evidence from an individual's GP or other professionals.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which organisations his Department contracts to provide mental health assessments to determine benefit claimants' fitness to work; what steps his Department takes to determine the level of expertise of practitioners within such organisations to make such assessments; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Grayling: The work capability assessment, which assesses capability for work in order to determine entitlement to employment and support allowance, and the personal capability assessment, which assesses capability for work in order to determine entitlement to incapacity benefit, are carried out on behalf of the Department by health care professionals employed by Atos Healthcare.
Health care professionals are required to have a minimum of three years post-registration experience and this should include broad based medical practice in roles that have clear relevance to a career in disability assessment medicine. Only in exceptional cases and solely at the discretion of the DWP Chief Medical Adviser, may that requirement for a minimum of three years post registration experience be waived.
The DWP Chief Medical Adviser on behalf of the Secretary of State must approve all health care professionals before they can carry out assessments. Approval is only granted when a health care professional has undergone the required training, successfully achieved the required level of competence and demonstrated that their work meets the required quality standards.
All health care professionals receive training in mental health issues as part of their induction training and are required to follow evidence based protocols relating to mental health conditions. In addition, all health care
professionals are required to engage in a programme of continuing medical education which includes modules on mental health issues. All training material is developed in conjunction with and agreed by the Chief Medical Adviser.
The work of all health care professionals is subject to random quality audit by a system agreed with the DWP and which is conducted by experienced medical auditors within Atos Healthcare. The quality of Atos Healthcare's audit is validated by senior medical auditors from Atos Healthcare and doctors working for the Chief Medical Adviser to the DWP.
The work capability assessment was designed and subsequently reviewed in close consultation with organisation representing people with mental health conditions. We have now commissioned the first of five independent reviews of the WCA and are pleased that Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, is sitting on the review's Scrutiny Group, which will provide advice and challenge to the lead reviewer.
John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment has been made of the effect on the Scottish economy of planned reductions in incapacity benefit and disability living allowance payments to people in Scotland. 
An impact assessment was carried out for the Employment and Support Allowance (Transitional Provisions, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit) (Existing Awards) Regulations 2010. These regulations provide for the reassessment of incapacity benefit customers. A copy of this impact assessment can be found at:
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people aged (a) 60 to 65, (b) 65 to 70 and (c) 70 to 80 years old were paid the winter fuel allowance in (i) England, (ii) Dudley Borough and (iii) Dudley North constituency in each year since 2005. 
|Winter fuel allowance|
|Winter fuel allowance|
|Winter fuel allowance|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 and therefore totals may not sum.
2. Local authorities and parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory
3. Constituencies used are for the Westminster Parliament of May 2005.
4. "Unknown" are mainly cases where the payment is actually paid to the IS/JSA claimant whose partner will be aged 60 and over. In these cases the claimants age will be under 60.
5. Age groups provided are standard groupings.
DWP Information Directorate 100% data.
Steve Webb: Winter Fuel Payments are annual lump-sum payments with the majority paid in November and December each year. European Community law means that some benefits acquired in one member state must be paid to people when they move to another country within the European economic area. Winter Fuel Payments are only paid to former UK residents living in the European economic area if they qualified for payment before leaving the UK. The number of Winter Fuel Payments made to former UK residents living abroad is in the following table.
|Winter fuel payments|
1. 2008-09 is the latest year for which information is available.
2. Since 2007 people moving to Bulgaria and Romania have been eligible to continue receiving Winter Fuel Payments. As the payment system can not yet make automatic payments to this group no relevant statistics are available.
Winter Fuel Payment System
Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has made a recent estimate of the number of people in (a) Chatham and Aylesford constituency and (b) Medway who are in receipt of the winter fuel allowance who are aged (i) between 60 and 65 years, (ii) between 66 and 70 years, (iii) between 71 and 75 years, (iv) between 76 and 80 years and (v) 81 years and older. 
|Age||Chatham and Aylesford parliamentary constituency||Medway local authority|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Numbers are for 2008-09, the latest year for which figures are available.
3. Parliamentary constituencies and local authorities are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.
DWP Information Directorate 100% data