§ Mr. Hancock
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what have been the costs to her Department in each of the last five years in respect of appeals against(a) Benefits Agency benefit determinations, (b) War Pension Agency determinations and (c) Child Support Agency determinations; and what elements are taken into account in those figures. 
§ Mr. Keith Bradley
The information is not available in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Such information as is available is set out in the tables.
Financial allocations made for processing appeals work within the Benefits Agency (BA) for the four financial years from 1994–95 onwards Year £ million 1994–95 3.5 1995–96 9.0 1996–97 13.3 1997–98 9.7
The figures take into account the whole cost of administering appeals including non-staff costs. The rising costs during the first three years are attributable to a large increase in the number of appeals and an increase in salaries. The basis upon which the cost estimates have been provided may not be consistent across the years. The reduction in the figures for 1997–98 is accounted for by increased Information Technology usage, which has reduced the unit cost of appeals, and a forecasted reduction in volumes.
The Independent Tribunal Service (ITS) has provided the following cost data in respect of BA appeals it has cleared:
Year £ million 1994–95 34.2 1995–96 39.8 1996–97 50.6 1997–98 51.8
The figures quoted have been calculated by dividing the total annual cost figures for ITS by the total number of appeals cleared, and then multiplying by the number of BA and Child Support Agency (CSA) appeals. ITS are unable to split the costs accurately between BA and CSA appeals and the figures quoted do not take account of the differing cost of each type of tribunal.
Direct costs in respect of appeals against war pensions agency (WPA) determinations since April 1994 Year £ million 1994–95 3.5 1995–96 2.8 1996–97 3.0 1997–98 2.9
1. The above figures are made up of staff cost and associated non-staff expenditure.
2. WPA appeals are heard by the Pensions Appeal Tribunal which is funded by the Lord Chancellor's Department.207W
Financial allocations made to the CSA's central appeals unit for appeals processing for the three financial years from 1995–96 onwards Year £ million 1995–96 3.1 1996–97 3.6 1997–98 3.4
The above figures are made up of staff cost and associated non-staff expenditure.
The Independent Tribunal Service has provided the following cost data in respect of CSA appeals it has cleared:
Year £ million 1995–96 2.7 1996–97 3.4 1997–98 (forecast) 3.5
The figures quoted have been calculated by dividing the total annual cost figures for ITS by the total number of appeals cleared, and then multiplying by the number of BA and CSA appeals. As stated in above, ITS are unable to split the costs accurately between BA and CSA appeals and, again, the figures quoted do not take account of the differing cost of each type of tribunal.