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Local Authority Software

Volume 403: debated on Tuesday 8 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the cost of alterations to local authority software as a result of (a) the new tax credits, (b) housing benefit reform and (c) the pension credit. [106647]

Information is not available on the specific costs of alterations to local authority software. However, during 2002–03, we distributed £6 million to local authorities to help them meet set up costs relating to new tax credits.We also distributed an extra £15 million for set up costs relating to the pension credit. As we recognise that some of the development for pension credit will continue beyond 2002–03, we have allocated a further £2 million for 2003–04.We are not yet in a position to estimate the cost of software changes in the Standard Local Housing Allowance pathfinder authorities, but are discussing the details of the scheme with the authorities and their software providers.