Results 17961–17980 of 90000 for speaker:Stephen Timms OR speaker:Stephen Timms OR speaker:Stephen Timms OR speaker:Stephen Timms OR speaker:Stephen Timms

Oral Answers to Questions — Fraud (19 Apr 1999)

Stephen Timms: By working in partnership, councils and the Benefits Agency can fight fraud more effectively, as well as give a better service to the public. That is why we have earmarked funding in each Benefits Agency area to develop stronger links with local councils. Detailed agreements are in place which give each party a clear statement of how co-operation should work in practice. We are installing...

Oral Answers to Questions — Fraud (19 Apr 1999)

Stephen Timms: Yes. We certainly will monitor the success of the scheme. I do not have the information in front of me to enable me to tell the House how many local authorities so far have taken up the power to which my hon. Friend has referred. The power was introduced in sections 20 and 21 of the Social Security Administration (Fraud) Act 1997, to prevent fraudulent claimants using the Royal Mail's postal...

Oral Answers to Questions — Pensions (19 Apr 1999)

Stephen Timms: About 170 of the 550 responses to the pensions Green Paper consultation exercise comment on the level of the state retirement pension.

Oral Answers to Questions — Pensions (19 Apr 1999)

Stephen Timms: On the hon. Gentleman's final point, the Green Paper sets out fully how the Government will fund our pension proposals. They are affordable, they are durable and they have been widely welcomed. I hope that when he receives representations from his constituents he draws their attention to the minimum income guarantee, which took effect last week. That has already led to several hundred people...

Oral Answers to Questions — Pensions (19 Apr 1999)

Stephen Timms: It is an inaccurate figure, because it does not allow for the income that people will receive anyway in retirement, but we are still waiting for an explanation from Conservative Members about why they want the minimum income guarantee to be uprated only in line with prices. What do they have against people on income support? That is what their constituents will want to know.

Orders of the Day — Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill [Money] (14 Apr 1999)

Stephen Timms: With the leave of the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I have listened to Opposition Members' cynical outrage. I have already provided the assurance that the hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs. May) seeks. As I said, the regulations will be introduced to change the position from 1 June. The £15 million is benefit that was paid to disabled people prior to their benefit integrity project reassessments...

Orders of the Day — Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill [Money] (14 Apr 1999)

Stephen Timms: Disabled people received that benefit in good faith and had no reason to believe that they should have reported to the Benefits Agency a change in their circumstances. Are Opposition Members insisting that the Benefits Agency should demand large sums of money—£5,000 per head on average and substantially more in several cases—from people who depend on benefit for their existence? We...

Orders of the Day — Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill [Money] (14 Apr 1999)

Stephen Timms: This is a straightforward matter that puts right a serious flaw in the legislation that we inherited from the previous Government. As the hon. Member for Grantham and Stamford (Mr. Davies) said, the money resolution relates to a proposed new clause in the Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill. It provides that overpayments of benefit will not be recoverable from certain claimants where otherwise...

Orders of the Day — Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill [Money] (14 Apr 1999)

Stephen Timms: What the House will want the hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends to say is whether they wish to vote against the money resolution and continue to recover large sums from some of the most disadvantaged people in our society. People outside the House will watch with great interest how Opposition Members vote at the end of the debate. Angela and Brian, and many more like them, will benefit...

Orders of the Day — Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill [Money] (14 Apr 1999)

Stephen Timms: If the hon. Lady will be patient, I shall come to those points. As a result of the problems, on 25 February, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State issued an accounting officer direction to the chief executive of the Benefits Agency to ensure that no action to recover overpayments would be taken in cases involving a disability-related review of benefit entitlement. The new clause will...

Orders of the Day — Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill [Money] (14 Apr 1999)

Stephen Timms: The House has a simple choice tonight. Does it wish to recover unfairly very large sums of money from some of the most disabled people in our society? The figure involved is £15 million. The choice is clear. I urge the House to support the money resolution.

Oral Answers to Questions — Bereavement Benefits (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: The reforms in the Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill will provide specific help for the first time to widowers as well as widows. The new lump sum bereavement payment at £2,000 will be double the value of the existing widow's payment. Our aim is to concentrate help where and when it is most needed at the time immediately following bereavement and on those with children.

Oral Answers to Questions — Bereavement Benefits (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: This is another measure inherited from the previous Government. Many people knew about the change and made plans accordingly, but it is the case that Department of Social Security leaflets were not updated until 1996. We are investigating why that was so. I can tell the House that we shall consider a claim for compensation from anyone who can establish that he or she received advice that did...

Oral Answers to Questions — Bereavement Benefits (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: The coverage is being extended to widowers. It will be a new contributory benefit for widowers. Those with children will continue to receive non-means-tested help until the youngest child for whom they are responsible ceases full-time education. The income support safety net will be in place for those who are older than 55 when the measures are introduced and who are widowed in the following...

Oral Answers to Questions — Bereavement Benefits (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: I have made the point that there is a new contributory benefit for widowers. There has been no such measure before; we are introducing one. It is time-limited, but not means-tested. All widows will receive non-means-tested benefit for six months to help during the transition, and those with children will continue to receive non-means-tested help until the youngest child ceases full-time...

Oral Answers to Questions — Bereavement Benefits (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: My hon. Friend makes an interesting point. I looked carefully through the documents issued this morning by the Liberal Democrats to see whether the matter was dealt with there. My hon. Friend is right—it is not. He is also right about the extra help that we are making available through the single work-focused gateway. That is an extremely important change, which will help many thousands of...

Oral Answers to Questions — Older Pensioners (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: The hon. Gentleman raises an important point. The minimum income guarantee is being set at a higher level for older pensioners. It will be £75 a week for a single pensioner just above retirement age, but £77.30 a week for a single pensioner aged 75 to 79 and £82.25 a week for a pensioner aged 80 or over.

Oral Answers to Questions — Older Pensioners (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: I am aware of the proposals in the document produced this morning by the Liberal Democrats for higher rates of state pension for older pensioners. That would be an expensive measure that would provide no help to older pensioners already on income support, which cannot be right. We acknowledged in our election manifesto that there was a problem with the number of people who claim the minimum...

Oral Answers to Questions — Older Pensioners (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: I agree with my hon. Friend. Even the least well-off pensioners should share in rising national prosperity. That is why it is right to aim to link the level of the minimum income guarantee with average earnings. I welcome the fact that the Liberal Democrats have endorsed that policy today.


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