§ Mr. Miller
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what action he plans to take to simplify the benefit rules for people in residential care. 
§ Maria Eagle
From 8 April 2002 all new customers (and all former preserved rights customers) in independent residential care, nursing homes and local authorities accommodation are entitled to the standard income support, personal allowance. Customers already in receipt of the residential allowance or part III accommodation rate on 8 April 2002 continue to receive it for as long as they satisfy the conditions for entitlement.
From October 2003 we intend to simplify the rules governing those customers in residential care by removing the residential allowance and part III accommodation rate for all customers. Introducing the same rules for people in care as for those supported in their own homes will simplify the system, making it more transparent and easier for customers to understand.
A consultation document setting out our proposals in detail is published today and a copy has been placed in the Library.