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New Deal

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in the Buckingham constituency are on the new deal programme, broken down by each category of the new deal. [17852]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The available information is in the table.

ProgrammeNumber of people on the programme(16)
New deal for young people4
New deal 25 plus20
New deal for lone parents(17)17
New deal 50 plus (employment credit claims)(18)10

(16) End September 2001

(17) Figure for end of August 2001

(18) Figure for end of October 2001

Note:

The figures are not cumulative

Source:

New Deal Evaluation Database


Information at constituency level is not available for the new deals for disabled people and partners.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Government Departments have signed new deal employer agreements. [18053]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: Twenty-seven Government Departments and agencies have signed national new deal employer agreements. A number of other Departments and agencies have signed employer agreements with their local jobcentres.

Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people on the new deal for young people in the Loughborough constituency have joined (a) subsidised employment, (b) the Environmental

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Task Force, (c) the voluntary sector and (d) full-time education or training in each year since its first year of operation. [18492]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The information is in the table.

Number of young people starting NDYP options in Loughborough

YearSubsidised employmentEnvironment task forceVoluntary sectorFull-time education and training
199853519
19999252250
20006201919
2001(19)681120
Total266657108

(19) To end September

Source:

New Deal Evaluation Database


Debt Reduction

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the expected reduction in debt in 2001–02 from cases of overpayment. [18987]

Malcolm Wicks: The amount of new debt recorded from April to October 2001 was 14 per cent. lower than the same period in 2000–01.

Debt Management System (Cancellation)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the cost in (a) 2000–01 and (b) 2001–02 from the cancellation of the debt management system. [18995]

Malcolm Wicks: The debt accounting and management system (DAMS) procurement contract was discharged in July 1999. The costs of DAMS are commercial in confidence, but the Benefits Agency paid only for what was of value. No costs were incurred after 1999.

Overpaid Benefits (Recovery)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if the target saving in 2000–01 from the recovery of overpaid benefits was achieved. [18997]

Malcolm Wicks: The overpayment recovery target for 2000–01 was exceeded by 1.2 per cent.

Departmental Resources

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the unallocated resource provision referred to on page 96 of the 2001 Departmental report. [19523]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The unallocated resource provision referred to on page 96 of the 2001 Departmental Report contains two separate elements of agreed funding.

The first relates to the Welfare Modernisation Fund; the level of funding was agreed in the last Spending Review. Use of the funding is subject to joint Treasury and Departmental agreement, before it may be allocated to specific projects.

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The second relates to the Departmental Unallocated Provision, which was established in accordance with treasury guidelines; to be a source of funding held by the Department, initially unallocated for specific use, but to be used as the first port of call to meet unexpected funding pressures, rather than a call being made upon the Reserve.

Child Poverty

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children were living in poverty in (a) April 1997 and (b) April 2001. [19805]

Malcolm Wicks: Child poverty and social exclusion are complex multi-dimensional concepts, affecting many aspects of children's lives—including their living standards, health, housing, the quality of the environment, and opportunities to learn. The third "Opportunity for all" report (Cm 5260) sets out the Government's strategy for tackling child poverty and social exclusion and presents the latest information on the indicators used to monitor progress against this strategy.

Housing Benefit

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of (a) council and (b) registered social landlord tenants in each region of England are in receipt of housing benefit; and how many of these are pensioner households in each case. [19819]

Malcolm Wicks: The information is in the table.

Percentage

Housing benefit Pensioner households
Council tenantsHousing association tenantsCouncil tenantsHousing association tenants
England54564642
North-east57603954
North-west56594152
Yorks and Humberside55525431
East midlands51585325
West midlands52494646
East50645651
London54553733
South-east51534743
South-west57655146

Notes:

1. Council housing covers housing rented by local authorities and New Town development corporations. Housing association covers housing associations, charitable trusts and local housing companies.

2. Pensioners are defined as households where the benefit recipient and/or the partner are aged 60 and over.

3. These estimates are based on sample counts that have been adjusted for non-response using multi-purpose grossing factors for region, Council Tax Band and a number of demographic variables.

Source:

Family Resources Survey 1999–2000


Long-term Unemployed

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his statement of 28 November 2001, Official Report, column 972-75, what plans he has for training to be provided for the long-term unemployed under his proposals. [20271]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The primary aim of the StepUP pilots will be to give people experience of work rather than training. We expect employers offering transitional

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jobs to help people gain the skills, the support and the experience of work they need, rather than follow a set training programme. This will act as a stepping stone to jobs in the local labour market.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he will reply to question 12335, from the hon. Member for High Peak, tabled on 31 October, relating to carers. [20283]

Maria Eagle: The question was answered today.

Minimum Income Guarantee

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what strategy there is to ensure that all pensioners who are eligible for the minimum income guarantee know they can apply for the extra income. [19363]

Mr. McCartney [holding answer 3 December 2001]: There are a number of measures already in place to ensure that pensioners know they might be eligible for the Minimum Income Guarantee.

From 15 October 2001, callers to the Retirement Pension Telecentre who are not already receiving MIG are asked a series of questions to identify if they may be entitled and encouraged to claim if they wish to do so. Those pensioners who claim Retirement Pension by post are sent a MIG leaflet.

We are looking at a number of options to extend this service so that a claim to MIG will be invited automatically following certain key life events, for example when the pensioner reaches age 75 or 80, or when another benefit, such as Attendance Allowance, is awarded.

We are also working in partnership with organisations for older people to improve access to benefits and take up of the MIG. This includes projects on a national good practice guide and a survey of local take up initiatives.


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