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Winter Fuel Payments

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people over the age of (a) 60 and (b) 80 years have claimed the winter fuel allowance in (i) the UK, (ii) the North East, (iii) Tees Valley district and (iv) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency since its introduction. (244898)

Information about the number of payments made to households in those areas is in the following table. 2006-07 is the latest year for which information is available.

Information relating to winter fuel payments for the winters of 1997-98 and 1998-99 is not available. Information regarding Northern Ireland is a matter for the Northern Ireland Office.

Data for Tees Valley District are not available.

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency

North East

Great Britain

Winter fuel payments made to people aged 60 or over

1999-2000

16,030

461,690

10,084,130

2000-01

18,070

511,880

11,105,750

2001-02

18,320

513,460

11,201,900

2002-03

18,750

516,760

11,348,040

2003-04

18,990

519,060

11,468,240

2004-05

18,920

509,230

11,401,170

2005-06

19,260

511,630

11,514,760

2006-07

19,700

518,560

11,702,900

Winter fuel payments made to people aged 80 or over

2003-04

3,400

95,150

2,334,400

2004-05

3,380

94,790

2,313,230

2005-06

3,520

96,000

2,342,010

2006-07

3,570

97,800

2,376,870

Notes:

1. Figures rounded up to the nearest 10.

2. Parliamentary constituencies, local authorities and Government office regions are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.

3. The increased winter fuel payment for people aged 80 or over was introduced in winter 2003-04.

Source:

Information directorate 100 per cent. data.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cold weather payments were made (1) to people living in Glasgow North West constituency in (a) 2007 and (b) 2008; (248547)

(2) in (a) 2006, (b) 2007 and (c) 2008.

Estimates of the number of cold weather payments made are not available by parliamentary constituency or local authority, but only by weather station.

The available information is shown in the following table.

Cold weather payments made in Great Britain

Number

2005-06

988,000

2006-07

402,000

2007-08

472,000

Notes:

1. Figures for 2005-06 and 2007-08 include payments triggered in March but not actually made until April of the following year.

2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 1,000.

Source:

Annual reports by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the Social Fund.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of winter fuel payment applications which have been delayed owing to incomplete application forms in the latest period for which figures are available. (248887)

[holding answer 19 January 2009]: Over 95 per cent. of winter fuel payments are made automatically before Christmas. This is to reassure pensioners that they will have extra money available to pay for heating their homes during the coldest part of the year before the winter heating bills arrive.

To date for this year's exercise over 12 million payments have been made and, of them, 63,000 (0.5 per cent. off all winter fuel payments made) claims for winter fuel payments suffered a delay in processing, which was due to customers not supplying all the information required to progress their claim.