§ Mr. Weir
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have been in receipt of housing benefit in(a) Angus and (b) Scotland in each of the last five years. 
§ Malcolm Wicks
The available information is in the table.
Housing benefit case load at February of each year from 1998 to 2002 Angus Government office region of Scotland 1998 8,300 530,000 1999 8,000 518,000 2000 7,600 487,000 2001 7,600 467,000 2002 7,300 453,000
1. Data for Angus relate to the Angus council area.
2. The data refer to households claiming housing benefit which may be a single person, a couple or a family. More than one benefit household can live in one property, for example two or more adults in a flat or house share arrangement.
3. Figures for Angus council are rounded to the nearest 100; figures for Scotland are rounded to the nearest 1,000.
4. Figures for any non-responding authorities have been estimated.
Housing Benefit Management Information System quarterly 100 per cent. counts taken in February of each year.