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New Deal

Mrs. Irene Adams: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Paisley, North have (a) entered work and (b) are in unsubsidised employment through the New Deal Programme. [43915]

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

Number of people entering jobs in Paisley, North (up to the end of December 2001)
ProgrammeTotalUnsubsidised jobs
New Deal for Young People636585
New Deal 25 plus197163
New Deal for Lone Parents1191191
New Deal 50 plus1129129

1 Subsidised employment is not available through the New Deal for Lone Parents or New Deal 50 plus. All jobs for these programmes are therefore unsubsidised.


Information at constituency level is not available for the New Deal for Disabled People and the New Deal for Partners.


New Deal Evaluation Database

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions since the New Deal for Young People began, how many participants have joined the scheme (a) once, (b) twice, (c) three times and (d) more than three times. [44095]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: At December 2001, 741,000 people had entered the New Deal for Young People programme. Of these 104,550 clients have entered the programme twice (14 per cent. of all entrants), 14,200 (2 per cent.) have entered three times, and 1,880 (0.2 per cent) more than three times.

Source: New Deal Evaluation Database.

Means-tested Benefits

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by what date he estimates the number of pensioners qualifying for means-tested benefits to fall to the level that existed in 1995. [43935]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The number of pensioners currently receiving one or more income related benefits is below the level in 1995, and has been in every year since 1995.

Benefits Agency (Slough)

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on each of the violent incidents that took place at the Benefits Agency Office at Slough during February. [45196]

Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding reply 21 March]: On 1 February at 15.25 a person forced his way through a door between the public counter into the caller staff area. He verbally threatened a member of staff and made physical contact with him (touching him on the nose) although he did not physically harm him. The police had been called immediately and they arrested the person. A review risk assessment was carried out on 4 February.

On 15 February a male member of the public fatally stabbed a female member of the public. Police have arrested a man in connection with the incident. A further risk assessment has been carried out and recommendations sent to local management.

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Winter Fuel Allowance

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in Telford are in receipt of the winter fuel allowance. [41426]

Mr. Nick Brown: Figures for this year are not yet available. Details of last year's payments are in the Library.

Minimum Income Guarantee

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in (a) St. Helens South, (b) St. Helens MBC area, (c) Merseyside, (d) the North West and (e) England are eligible to claim the minimum income guarantee. [44717]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding reply 21 March 2002]: Estimates of the number of people eligible for the Minimum Income Guarantee are not available below National level. Figures for the number of pensioners who may be entitled to but are not receiving the MIG are contained in the publication, XTake Up of Income Related Benefits: Statistics for 1999–2000".

The figures in the report pre-date the MIG take up campaign in May 2000 which, up to the end of January 2002, has resulted in 128,163 additional successful claims—pensioners are on average #20 a week better off as a result.

The table shows the number of MIG recipients as at November 2001, by area:


AreaNumber of MIG claimants
St. Helens South Parliamentary Constituency3,200
St. Helens MBC6,300
North West GOR24,540


Income Support Statistics Quarterly Enquiry November 2001

Benefit Fraud

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were prosecuted for housing benefit or council tax benefit fraud in the last year for which figures are available; how many of those prosecutions were successful; and if he will break down the succesful prosecutions by type of punishment. [44097]

Malcolm Wicks: Information on the number of people successfully prosecuted for housing benefit and council tax benefit fraud in the last year for which figures are available is in the table. Information is not held centrally on successful prosecutions by type of punishment.

Fraud investigations conducted by Local Authorities (LAs) 2000–01

Cases referred to the LA fraud/investigation section for further action460,000
Cases referred to the LA fraud/investigation section for further action that were investigated370,000
Cases where fraud was established and a Weekly Benefit Saving was claimed100,000
Cases referred by LAs for prosecution2,300
Successful prosecutions1,100


Housing Benefit Management Information System Quarterly Administration Returns April 1999 to March 2000.


1. The data refers to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple.

2. The figures have been rounded to 2 significant figures.

3. Data is not available for all 409 Local Authorities. These totals include estimates for Local Authorities that have not responded which are based on historical and regional data. This type of estimate is standard practice in reporting totals where there have been non-respondents.

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New Deal for Young People (NAO Report)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he intends to reply to the National Audit Office report entitled XThe New Deal for Young People". [43100]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The Government's response to the National Audit Office Report XThe New Deal for Young People" and the subsequent Public Accounts Committee Report will be published in the Treasury Minute. The Treasury Officer of Accounts is responsible for publishing the Treasury Minute approximately two months following publication of the Public Accounts Committee Report.


Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment has been made of the likely number of defaulters on grounds of principle; and what steps he is taking to address the issue. [44438]

Malcolm Wicks: No such assessment has been made. We do not accept that any non-resident parent who can afford to support their children has the right to deny children such support.

Despite continued improvement in the rate of compliance over the last few years, at the moment, only around half of non-resident parents pay all the maintenance due or the support of their children. The aim of the Government's reforms is to see a marked increase in those numbers. The new scheme will be rigorously enforced; the simplicity of the new rules will enable the Agency to devote substantially more resources to enforcement. In the meantime, pending the start of the new scheme, I continue to look to the Agency to secure the best possible rate of compliance achievable under the current scheme.

It is important to remember the effect of regular payments of child maintenance. It can transform the lives of lone mothers and their children; where the families are dependent on income support, providing a stable income can help lone parents into work.

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Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer of 4 March 2002, to the hon. Member for Northavon (Mr. Webb), Official Report, column 8, on annuities, if he will set out the calculation on which his estimate of 18 million beneficiaries of the state second pension is based. [43349]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding reply 14 March 2002]: A breakdown of the 18 million people expected to gain from the introduction of the state second pension is in the table:


Low earnersModerate earnersCarersLong-term disabled

Figures for low and moderate earners were calculated by the Government Actuary's Department using an earnings distribution based on the New Earnings Survey. Estimates for carers and long-term disabled people were based on the Family Resources Survey and Department for Social Security administrative data.

These figures are consistent with the projections contained in the report by the Government Actuary on the financial effects on the National Insurance Fund of the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill 1999.

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