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Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people no longer receive income support as a result of the fall in interest rates affecting mortgages over the past six months. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the (a) conferences, (b) seminars, (c) workshops, (d) exhibitions and (e) press conferences which have been sponsored by his Department and which took place on non-departmental premises in each of the last four years, giving the title, purpose, date and cost of each. 
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many contracts were let by his Department and agencies for which he is responsible to (a) PWC Consulting or PricewaterhouseCoopers, (b) Ernst & Young, (c) Deloitte & Touche, (d) KPMG and (e) Andersen for consultancy services for the financial years (i) 199798, (ii) 199899, (iii) 19992000, (iv) 200001 and (v) 2001 to the latest date for which figures are available, indicating the remuneration in each case. 
Mr. McCartney: The information requested on the number of contracts let is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The information requested on remuneration is provided in the table.
|Ernst & Young||1.9||2.7||3.8||0.98||0.97|
|Deloitte & Touche||2.4||2.4||2.8||10.7||3.6|
1. Figures to 200001 relate to contracts awarded by the ex-Department of Social Security.
2. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC)was formed on 1 July 1998 as the result of a merger of the Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand organisations. PWC spend for the 199798 was split with Price Waterhouse accounting for just over £1 million and Coopers & Lybrand, £685,000. Figures from 1 September 2000 may not show the full value of DSS/DWP business to PWC as payment for any work it has done, via its membership of the EDS-led Affinity consortium under the ACCORD contract, is made direct to EDS. Of the total shown so far for 200102, £54,000 is in respect of work done for the Employment Service part of DWP and £268,000 for the former DSS part.
3. Ernst & Young/CGEYThe consulting arm of Ernst & Young was purchased by Cap Gemini in 2000 to form Cap Gemini Ernst & Young (CGEY). The figure for 200001 is made up of £620,000 paid to Ernst & Young and £357,000 to CGEY. All of the 200102 spend is with CGEY, £63,000 of this being in respect of work for the former ES part of DWP and £911,000 with the ex-DSS part.
4. Andersen ConsultingThe figures in the table relate to Andersen Consultingrather than its former sister organisation within Andersen Worldwide, Arthur Andersen (AA). Andersen Consulting split from the Andersen Worldwide organisation in 1999 and has been known as Accenture since January 2000. The figures shown for 19978 to 19992000 largely reflect business which moved to Inland Revenue with the transfer of the Contributions Agency in April 2000.
11 Feb 2002 : Column 107W
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many benefit recipients he estimates would be worse off obtaining a job paying (a) 50 per cent., (b) 60 per cent. and (c) 70 per cent. of the national average wage, assuming no travel to work costs were incurred. 
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was paid in housing benefit by each local authority in the last year for which information is available; what the average weekly claim was, and what the administration costs per claim falling on the local authority were. 
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the changes in housing benefit regulations since 1997; and what the estimated administrative cost of implementing each change was. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when his Department or its predecessor last reviewed its policy towards paying travelling expenses to potential employees coming for interview. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 14 November 2001]: Neither DWP, nor its predecessors, have ever paid travelling expenses to candidates applying for employment with the Department. There has been no evident need to review this position and there are no plans to do so. However, as an organisation, we do several things to help unemployed people with the costs of
11 Feb 2002 : Column 108W
attending interviews which, subject to the normal eligibility criteria, could be useful for someone attending an interview with this Department. These include the Travel to Interview Scheme which aims to assist jobseekers in their search for work outside the normal area by refunding associated costs. Also the recently introduced adviser discretion fund allows new deal personal advisers the flexibility to make discretionary monetary awards to help people quickly into jobs.
|New deal for young people||8|
|New deal 25plus||17|
|New deal for lone parents||57|
|New deal 50plus (employment credit claims)||(23)14|
(23) End December 2001
Constituency level information is not available for the new deals for disabled people or partners.
New Deal Evaluation Database
Mr. Nicholas Brown: The private sector companies that are in receipt of funds from the new deal in Leicester are Fern Training and Development (new deal for young people) and Pelcome Training Ltd. (new deal 25plus).
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John Cryer: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to improve standards of decision making at the Benefits Agency in response to the President of the Appeals Service report on Standards of Decision Making by the Secretary of State 200001. 
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