§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what is(a) take-up of winter fuel payments by males over 60 years not in receipt of a retirement pension and (b) the average delay between claims and payment for such persons. 
§ Mr. McCartney
[holding answer 6 December 2001]: For winter 2000–01, we estimate about three in every four men aged 60 and over but not in receipt of retirement pension received a winter fuel payment. This figure includes men paid automatically because they receive a social security benefit other than retirement pension and those who needed to claim.
It is not possible to provide a meaningful figure for the average time between a person claiming and receiving a payment.