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Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many named day parliamentary written questions were tabled to his Department between 15 October and 5 November; and what proportion of these have received holding answers; 
Substantive replies were subsequently issued to one question within three parliamentary days, 10 questions within seven parliamentary days, three questions within 10 parliamentary day and two questions over 15 parliamentary days. One question was subsequently transferred to another Department and one remains unanswered.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was recovered, in the last year for which information is available, of the benefits paid to those ineligible to receive such benefits by reason of (a) fraud and (b) mistake; and how much is estimated to remain uncollected. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 16 October 2001]: It is not possible to separate the total amount of overpaid benefit recovered into overpayments due to fraud and those due to other reasons. At the end of September 2001, the total amount of overpayments remaining uncollected was estimated to be £1,040 million.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much a person must have in savings to receive interest equal to the value of (a) the average income support entitlement and (b) the average housing benefit entitlement, if interest is paid according to the base rate of the clearing banks. 
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|Benefit||Average amount payable per week (£)||Amount of savings needed to earn the equivalent amount in interest|
|Income Support||70.21||Between £70,000 and £90,000|
|Housing Benefit||51.20||Between £50,000 and £65,000|
1. Calculations are based on a bank base rate of interest of 5.25 per cent.
2. The range given reflects the extent to which interest is gross or net of basic rate income tax.
3. Average benefit rates taken from Housing Benefit Quarterly Summary Statistics May 2001 and the Income Support Quarterly Statistical Enquiry, 5 per cent. sample, May 2001.
4. Interest rate taken from Bank of England information on bank base rate appropriate to end of May 2001. This interest rate is arrived at through information provided by selected clearing banks. It has been assumed for the purposes of the calculations that interest can be obtained on a weekly basis without loss compared to the annual rate.
5. The amounts of savings have been rounded to the nearest five thousand pounds.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many winter fuel payment claims for winter 2000 have been received since the deadline of 31 March; how many of these claims have been allowed; how many have been disallowed; and how many have yet to be processed. 
Mr. McCartney: For the winter of 200001, claims needed to be made before 31 March 2001. To date, there have been 5,379 claims which did not meet this deadline. Some 3,445 of these claims have been allowed. 1,379 have been disallowed, and 573 have still to be processed.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many former participants in the new deal have become (a) personal advisers and (b) senior advisers in the new deal for young people. 
Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many responses to the pension credit consultation document he has received; who they are from; and if he will make them available in the Library. 
Mr. McCartney: Over 400 responses were received to the formal consultation exercise (The Pension Credit: A Consultation Paper, Cm4900, November 2000), many welcoming our proposals. We continue to consider views and work closely with groups representing older people
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Malcolm Wicks: Medical quality standards, including compliance with training and guidelines, are monitored monthly by SchlumbergerSema Medical Services. Doctors in the Department's Corporate Medical Group are regularly involved in validation of Medical Services' medical quality audit system and its application.
The Department takes a keen interest in Medical Services' performance against quality targets. Monitoring outcome reports are analysed by the Department's contract management team (IMPACT) and Corporate Medical Group, and stringent requirements are placed on Medical Services to develop and deliver action plans to improve performance where this fails to reach an acceptable standard. Failure to improve may result in service credits being applied.
Malcolm Wicks: SchlumbergerSema Medical Services' performance against service levels and quality targets is reviewed monthly. Service credits are applied when performance falls below target. The Department aims to apply service credits in a manner which acts as an incentive to improve performance, therefore the decision to apply service credits takes into account any mitigating factors, and the effectiveness of action being taken to improve performance.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the numbers of (a) jobs lost and (b) jobs under threat by the events of 11 September; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in the West Chelmsford constituency have been caught involved in (a) social security benefit fraud and (b) housing benefit fraud in each of the last five years for which figures are available;
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what action was taken against them; and what was the total amount of money calculated to have been lost to the Treasury as a result of the fraud. 
Malcolm Wicks: The impact on Social Security expenditure of either an increase or decrease in unemployment of 50,000 is estimated to be either a saving or additional cost of approximately £250 million, for a full year.
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