§ Mr. Willetts
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer of 15 October 2002,Official Report, column 643W, on winter fuel payments, on what basis he has estimated the one-off cost of paying backdated winter fuel payments for 1997–98 to 2001–02 to British citizens living within the European Economic Area to be less than the future annual cost. 
§ Mr. McCartney
The one-off costs quoted in my written answer on 15 October 2002,Official Report, column 643W were the administrative costs associated with the implementation of the changes.
The annual cost is the estimated on-going cost of the actual winter fuel payments. Our estimate of the first year cost of such winter fuel payments is around £21 million, which takes account of entitlement for past periods.