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Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff have been employed in the Ministerial Correspondence Unit of the Department in each of the last two years. [115886]

In the correspondence section, which forms part of the Private Office, 20 staff deal with the registration, tracking and commissioning of replies to letters addressed to Ministers. This figure has not changed since the Department was formed in 2001. Throughout the Department a large number of staff are involved in drafting letters for Ministers or replying to letters on Ministers behalf as part of their duties. This includes the 44.5 staff in the Ministerial Correspondence Unit who are involved in the drafting of replies to correspondence across a wide range of issues.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he intends to reply to the letter of 5 February 2003 from the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Banff and Buchan regarding the topic of job seekers allowance and offshore workers. [118549]

A reply was sent on 5 March. I am arranging for a further copy to be sent.

Annual expenditure on Disability Living Allowance in Great Britain in each year from 1996–1997 to 2002–2003
(£ million cash)
1996–1997 outrun1997–1998 outrun1998–1999 outrun1999–2000 outrun2000–2001 outrun2001–2002 outrun2002–2003 estimated outrun


Expenditure for 2002–03 reflects the latest benefit-by-benefit estimate of outturn, and not the amounts voted by Parliament.


Information and Analysis Directorate Benefit Forecasting and Modelling Division Benefit Expenditure tables, in nominal [cash] terms— published on 15 May 2003.