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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the cost of abolishing the overlapping benefits rule for those over pension age in the case of invalid care allowance. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the cost, net of savings on means-tested benefits, of increasing the rate of invalid care allowance to the level of the basic state pension. 
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Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list for (a) sure start and (b) employment zones (i) the amount budgeted and (ii) the total expended in each financial year for the planned lifetime of each initiative. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: The information on budgets and expenditure on sure start and employment zones was published in the Department for Education and Employment departmental report 200102 to 200304. A copy of this is in the Library. Sure start is now the responsibility of the Department for Education and Skills.
Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on (a) the number of participants in the new deal for young people from the Wycombe constituency in the last 12 months, (b) the destinations of people leaving the scheme and (c) the cost involved. 
Figures are for the end of each month and are the latest available
New Deal Evaluation Database
|Number of clients|
|Other known destinations||88|
Figures are cumulative to the end of August 2001
New Deal Evaluation Database
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have entered the new deal gateway (a) once, (b) twice and (c) three times or more in east Devon in respect of the (i) new deal for young people, (ii) new deal for 25-plus, (iii) new deal for 50-plus and (iv) new deal for lone parents. 
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Mr. Nicholas Brown: For new deal for young People, there have been 368 starts on the programme in the East Devon constituency to the end of August 2001. Of these, 20 young people have entered twice and three young people have entered three or more times.
For new deal for 25-plus, there have been 85 starts on the programme in the East Devon constituency to the end of August 2001. Of these, four people have entered twice and one person has entered three or more times.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people on the new deal for young people in east Devon joined (a) the subsidised employment option, (b) the environmental task force option, (c) the voluntary sector option and (d) the full-time education or training option in each year since its inception. 
|Year||Subsidised employment||Environment task force||Voluntary sector||Full-time education and training|
(9) To end August
New Deal Evaluation Database
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent assessment he has made of the case to extend winter fuel allowance to those under pensionable age in receipt of (a) the medium or higher rate care component and (b) the higher rate mobility component of disability living allowance. 
Mr. McCartney: Disability benefits are already available to people with disabilities in recognition of their extra costs. The care and mobility components in disability living allowance are used as broad indicators of all the extra costs a disabled person has. These could include heating, laundry or special diets. There are no plans to extend the winter fuel payment scheme to people under 60 years of age.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) deaf and (b) hard of hearing people who have received funding for digital hearing aids under the access to work scheme; and what is the average cost of each digital hearing aid that has been purchased; 
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Maria Eagle [holding answer 16 November 2001]: The access to work programme provides practical advice and support to overcome work-related obstacles resulting from disability. Through access to work a grant can be provided towards any additional employment costs resulting from disability.
Access to work provides funding towards the purchase of digital hearing aids where there is a work-related need for them. The number of applications or expenditure in relation to any specific aid or piece of equipment is not monitored. It is therefore not possible to provide estimates of the numbers helped by, or the average cost to access to work of digital hearing aids.
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers were in south Tyneside on 1 May (a) 1999, (b) 2000 and (c) 2001; and what the projected figures are for 1 May (i) 2002, and (i) 2003. 
|Year||Actual officers in post|
|1 May 1999||246|
|1 May 2000||244|
|1 May 2001||257|
On 31 August this year, Northumbria police as a whole had 3,908 officers (full-time equivalent), 51 more than in March. The force has a budgeted work force target of 4,000 officers for 31 March 2002. Northumbria police also had 1,416 civilian staff in March 2001, 51 more than in March 1997.
Mr. Denham [holding answer 8 November 2001]: I refer to the reply given in the other place by the Chairman of Committees, Lord Boston of Faversham, on 9 October 2000, Official Report, House of Lords, column WA1, and the Lord Chancellor's reply on 3 May 2001, Official Report, House of Lords, column WA296. The position remains unchanged.
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It is vital that a high standard of security is maintained at Government premises. Protective security arrangements are of course the responsibility of the Secretary of State in each respective Government Department. They will, with the support of the police and security service, ensure that this is done.
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