To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households in (a) England and (b) London were affected by council tax benefit restrictions in each year since 1998; and what his estimate is of (i) the savings to the Exchequer in each year consequent upon these restrictions and (ii) the average cost to those households affected. 
Council Tax Benefit restrictions were introduced on 1 April 1998. Anyone receiving Council Tax Benefit on 31 March 1998 was entitled to transitional protection and was not subject to restrictions. Information on those cases where restrictions apply was not collected before 1999.The available information is in the following tables.
|Households where Council Tax Benefit is restricted to Band E in England and London at May 2000 and 2001|
1. Figures are based on a 1 per cent. sample and are subject to a degree of sampling variation.
2. The data refer to households claiming Council Tax Benefit which may be a single person, a couple or a family. More than one household can live in one property, for example two or more adults in a flat or house share arrangement.
3. The totals include estimates for local authorities that have not responded. These estimates are based on historical and regional data. This type of estimate is standard practice in reporting totals where there have been non-respondents.
4. The figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand.
5. Totals exclude any Second Adult Rebate cases.
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System, Annual 1 per cent. sample, taken in May 1999, 2000 and 2001.
Estimated annual savings from Council Tax Benefit restrictions,
1. The Average costs refer to households claiming Council Tax
Benefit which may be a single person, a couple or a family. More
than one household can live in one property, for example two or
more adults in a flat or house share arrangement.
2. Savings figures are rounded to the nearest £500,000.
3. Average restriction figures are rounded to nearest 25p.