§ Mr. Willetts
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of cases dealt with by the appeals service had not been resolved after six months or more in each year since 1996–97. 
§ Maria Eagle
The information is not available in the format requested.
The appeals service is committed to a twin strategy of reducing waiting times and clearing the backlog of older cases that accrue. It has made a determined effort to tackle older cases based on its policy of "first in, first out". Wherever possible, cases are cleared at first hearing (current waiting times from receipt of the appeal in the appeal service to first hearing are 13.6 weeks).