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Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow) of 19 November 2001, Official Report, columns 6667W, what measures are being considered to encourage those aged 60 years and over to claim the benefits to which they are entitled. 
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the reasons for the difference between the final voted departmental expenditure limit and provisional outturn for financial year 200001, as listed in the Treasury document, "Public Expenditure 200001: Provisional Outturn", for the Welfare to Work category; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: Full details of outturn against 200001 voted provision will be published in the appropriation accounts to be presented to the House of Commons by 31 January and will contain full explanations of any significant differences between final voted provision and actual outturn. Updated estimates of the outturn for departmental expenditure limits in 200001 were published in the 2001 pre-Budget report (Cm 5318), Table B16.
8 Jan 2002 : Column: 704W
Maria Eagle: The Explanatory Document laid before Parliament on 17 December alongside the proposed Regulatory Order Reform (Carer's Allowance) Order 2002 contains a detailed digest of responses and is available in the Library.
The order would also provide for the extension of entitlement to invalid care allowance for up to eight weeks after the death of the person being cared for and a change in the name of the benefit to carer's allowance to reflect more closely the purpose of the benefit.
Mr. McCartney: In October 2001 we introduced simplified claim forms for people aged 60 or over to help ease their transition from working age benefits onto income support and the minimum income guarantee.
The target for clearance of income support claims is 12 days from the date that the customer provides all the necessary information. There are no separate targets for customers who claim on reaching the age of 60.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer of 12 November 2001, Official Report, column 554, if he will make a statement on progress in combating verbal and physical assaults on staff. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 10 December 2001]: We estimate that over a quarter of a million people have passed through the Jobcentre Plus pathfinder offices during the first month of their operation. Risk assessments for each of the new Jobcentre Plus offices have been carried out and, following consultation with local trade union health and safety representatives, a series of extra security measures has been introduced. These include wide coverage by closed circuit television; training for staff in how to handle difficult situations; better management in each office to avoid difficult situations building up; panic alarms; and more visible and effective security guards. Additionally in each pathfinder area there are screened facilities to deal with individuals and parts of the business that pose a greater risk. These will, we believe, lead to fewer incidents of verbal and physical assaults on staff.
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Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the schemes administered by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies where funds are allocated by a competitive bidding process; and what was the amount of money allocated to each scheme. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 3 December 2001]: The Department does not itself administer schemes where funds are allocated by a competitive bidding process. It does submit bids for funds under schemes administered by the Treasury, such as the Invest to Save or Capital Modernisation Fund. The Department also uses the competitive bidding process to secure value for money in procuring goods and services from external suppliers. It is normal departmental policy to obtain competitive bids for all procurements valued at £500 or more. This policy results in thousands of procurement exercises where funds are paid to successful suppliers. Listing these exercises would incur disproportionate cost.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his statement of 28 November, what consultation he has held with (a) employers and (b) others concerning his proposals in respect of the new deal for the long-term unemployed; how many (i) employers and (ii) others have indicated a willingness to employ the long-term unemployed under the proposals; and what estimate he has made of the proportion of long-term unemployed likely to be employed by (A) private sector employers and (B) local authorities. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: We have consulted the National Employment Panel on our proposals to build on the new deal for the long-term unemployed. We are also continuing to consult with local employers and other organisations in each of the pilot locations. Participants will vary from pilot to pilot and it is too early to say what proportion of people are likely to be employed by private sector employers and by local authorities.
Mr. Clelland: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) lower, (b) middle and (c) senior management in Remploy there were in (i) 199798, (ii) 199899, (iii) 19992000 and (iv) 200001; and what was the total expenditure on each of (a), (b) and (c) for those years. 
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Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the (a) frequency of meetings and (b) priorities of the Interministerial Committee on Older People. 
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