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Friday, October 15, 1999 Published at 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK

UK Politics

Department of Social Security

The department is responsible for pensions

Secretary of State for Social Security: Alistair Darling

Mr Darling has overall responsibility for all social security matters as well as public expenditure issues.

[ image: Alistair Darling: Appointed in July 1998]
Alistair Darling: Appointed in July 1998
This includes overseeing the government's welfare reforms including measures on benefits and pensions.

In May 1999 he provoked the largest Labour revolt of the Parliament by pressing forward with reforms to Incapacity Benefit in his Welfare Reform Bill.

More than 60 Labour MPs voted against it and several more abstained.

Mr Darling was appointed to the department in July 1998, replacing Harriet Harman.

Minister of State: Jeff Rooker

Jeff Rooker is the deputy to the secretary of state on all issues.

His responsibilities include operational matters and the management of social security legislation in the Commons.

Mr Rooker's remit also covers the pensions review, state pensions, occupational and personal pensions.

He is also responsible for national insurance contributions, the Contributions Agency, long term care policy developments, fraud, methods of payment and devolution issues.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State: Baroness Hollis

Baroness Hollis is responsible for family policy, child benefit and one parent benefit and lone parents.

Her position also covers child support, Child Support Agency, industrial injuries, compensation recovery, war pensions, the War pensions Agency and the Citizen's Charter.

She is also responsible for the management of legislation in the Lords.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State: Angela Eagle

Ms Eagle has responsibility for the Jobseekers' Allowance/Welfare to Work, Income Support, Family Credit, Working Families Tax Credit.

Her position covers lone parent and family issues in the Commons.

She is also responsible for housing benefit, council tax benefit, poverty/low income, social exclusion, Benefits Agency and appeals.

The position also covers the social fund, widows benefit, international and European issues and green issues.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State: Hugh Bayley

Mr Bayley has responsibility for incapacity benefit, disability living allowance, disability working allowance, disabled persons tax credit.

His position also covers motability, carers, invalid care allowance, independent living fund, deregulation, statutory sick and maternity pay and vaccine damage.

He has been the deputy on the Welfare Reform Bill in the Commons.

The department

The Department of Social Security is at the heart of the welfare state.

The Labour government has made its priority the reform and modernise of the social security system.

At the centre of this philosophy is "providing work for those who can work and security for those who cannot".

As well as providing benefits and supporting the agencies which distribute them, the DSS is also responsible for preventing fraud in the system.

As part of the social security safety net, the department is also responsible for promoting financial security in retirement through pensions and encouraging individual responsibility.

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