§ Mr. Carmichael
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much money has been allocated to promote Pension Credit; what proportion of these funds will be spent on regional and local media sources; and how much money has been spent advertising the new payment in(a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland. 
§ Malcolm Wicks
The marketing campaign for Pension Credit has been designed to be flexible, and the level of expenditure may change according to need. However, in England, Scotland and Wales, it is currently estimated that media costs, including direct mailing, television and press advertising, will be in the region of £12–£17 million, excluding VAT, to October 2004.853W
In Northern Ireland the Department for Social Development is responsible for the promotion and take-up of Pension Credit.
A direct mail pack to pensioner households remains at the heart of our marketing campaign for Pension Credit. From September 2003 to March 2004 this is being supported by commissioning largely national press and television advertising to introduce Pension Credit in England, Scotland and Wales.
The proportion of advertising spend in regional and local media is approximately 25 per cent., although this is likely to increase with the identification of key areas for targeting during 2004.
Actual spend from September 2003 to date is given as follows. Figures exclude VAT.