§ Dr. Strang
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many households in east Edinburgh have qualified, or do qualify, for payments under the cold weather payments scheme since its inception in 1991.
§ Mr. Scott
The administration of the social fund is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available and a copy will be placed in the Library.
Letter from Michael Bichard to Dr. Gavin Strang, dated 4 November 1992:
As Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency it is my responsibility to answer questions about relevant operational matters. I am therefore replying to the points raised in your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security asking how many households in East Edinburgh have qualified, or do qualify, for payments under the cold weather payments scheme since its inception in 1991.
Edinburgh East constituency is covered by the Agency's East Lowlands and Lothian Central Districts. During 1991, only customers of the Galashiels office, which forms part of the East Lowlands District, qualified for Cold Weather Payments. Details are available in the Library. It is not possible to give an exact figure of how many customers may 338W have future entitlement except at disproportionate cost. However, based on figures for those claiming Income Support in November 1991, it is estimated that approximately 25,100 customers claiming from those Districts may qualify for a Cold Weather Payment should the area be triggered. Parliamentary constituencies and District boundaries do not correspond however and a proportion of these will live outside the constituency.
I hope you find this reply helpful. A copy of this reply will appear in the Official Report. Copies are also being placed in the Library.