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29 Oct 2002 : Column 784Wcontinued
Malcolm Wicks: Following advice from the Meteorological Office, the annual review of the Cold Weather Payments scheme has now been completed. Amending regulations were laid on 10 October and will come into force on 1 November, in time for the beginning of the winter period.
In addition to the amendments necessary due to Royal Mail postcode changes, 10 postcode to weather station linkages have been changed on the advice of the Meteorological Office following representations made by hon. Members.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many DLA application refusals there were in each of the last 10 years; and how many of those refusals were later successfully appealed against. 
|Number of DLA applicants rejected on first application|
Initial claim rejected information is available only at national level.
ASD Information Centre 100 per cent. data taken from 100 per cent. extract of monthly management information system and rounded to the nearest five.
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Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people are employed by the Health and Safety Executive; what its annual budget was for each year since 199798; what its projected budget is for next year; and if he will make a statement on its role and terms of reference. 
|Year||HSC/E settlement (#)||Staff in post(30)|
|Resource settlements from 200102 onwards|
(30) As at end of year (31 March)
(31) Plus AME #12,377,000
(32) Plus AME #14,212,000
1. All figures include the Health and Safety Commission (HSC), The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL). HSL is an in house agency of HSE.
2. HSC/E settlement figures represent expenditure net of income. Capital budgets are included.
3. From 200102 Government Departments moved to a resource based supply as part of the move to full resource accounting and budgeting (RAB). There is however a transitional period for 200102 to 200203 during which period certain expenditure (e.g. depreciation, notional capital charges) are to be dealt with as Annually Managed Expenditure (AME) and will not appear in the departmental expenditure limit (DEL).
4. The figures above from 199798 to 200001 are on a cash supply basis; and from 200102 on a resource supply basis. Additional budgets for AME budgets are shown separately.
The Health and Safety Executive is empowered to undertake, on behalf of the Health and Safety Commission, any of the functions of the Commission as it is directed. It is also required to give effect to any directions given to it by the Commission. Section 11 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 details the general functions of the Commission, which must be seen in the context of the general purposes outlined in section 1 of the Act. All of these functions may be undertaken by the Executive.
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Maria Eagle: We introduced reforms in 2000 so that entitlement to Maternity Allowance no longer depends on the payment of national insurance contributions. Qualifying conditions for both Statutory Maternity Pay and Maternity Allowance are based instead on a woman's recent employment and earnings history.
Maternity Allowance is now paid to women earning at least #30 a week, but below the lower earnings limit for national insurance contributions (currently #75 a week). As a result, up to 16,000 more low paid women a year can receive improved financial help during their pregnancy.
Malcolm Wicks: We have already announced our intentions to extend the length of time certain benefit recipients, including pensioners, may stay in hospital before their benefits are reduced. For these people the period will be extended from six weeks to 13 weeks and we hope to introduce this to coincide with the introduction of the State Pension Credit.
Malcolm Wicks: Bereavement Allowance and Widowed Parents Allowance are available to both men and women of working age who are widowed. The predecessor benefits, Widow's Pension and Widowed Mother's Allowance, were available to women only up to a maximum age of 65. Entitlement to these benefits ends if a widow or widower remarries. This is because they are intended to provide financial support in widowhood and are designed to help the widowed spouse maintain him or herself and any dependant children in the absence of the deceased spouse's income.
If a widow or widower remarries they are treated, for benefit purposes, in the same way as members of any other married couple. Other social security benefits or tax credits may be available to help support the new family depending on their circumstances.
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Ms Rosie Winterton: Copies of the Strategic Investment Board's first Annual Report, covering the period from 1 January 2001 to 31 March 2002 have now been published. Copies are now available in the Library of the House and via the Lord Chancellor's
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Department's website at www.lcd.gov.uk. This provides full details of the Board's achievements for that period and its recommendations for future investment strategies for the Public Guardianship Office.