To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people in Scotland eligible to claim (a) the winter fuel payment of £200 and (b) the additional payment of £100; and how many claim forms have been received this winter.
We estimate around 60,000 people in Scotland will turn 60 and become newly entitled to receive a winter fuel payment for 2004–05. In 2003–04 around 35,000 people in Scotland aged 60 received an automatic payment. We would expect the number to be similar in 2004–05. Those people who are not in receipt of certain benefits and therefore do not receive an automatic payment, will need to claim. So far this winter we have received 38,872 claim forms from people in Scotland. Some of these may be from people who would have been paid a winter fuel payment automatically.
Almost all people in Scotland who are eligible for the additional £100 payment for those aged 70 or over will be paid automatically. So far this winter three claims for the additional £100 payment have been received and, of these, two are entitled to an automatic payment.