§ Mr. Frank Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 13 June,Official Report, columns 293–94, if he will detail further the changes in his forecasting techniques which have lead to a further £1.7 billion saving in social security expenditure up to the year 2000–01. 
§ Mr. Hague
The £1.7 billion saving in social security benefit expenditure in 2000–01 attributed to forecasting changes was due partly to the use of more up-to-date information in the later forecasts and partly to the use of improved forecasting techniques.
The improvements to forecasting techniques include the introduction of new models for forecasting housing benefit and the earnings-related component of retirement pension as well as improvements to the forecasting models for several other benefits including income support.