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Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many applications for alignment payments from the Social Fund have been received each month since January 2001; and what proportion were (a) refused, (b) fully awarded and (c) partially awarded. 
|Month||Number of awards|
1. The Social Fund computer system does not capture separately the number of applications for alignment payments nor the number of such applications that are refused or result in a partial award.
Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will make a statement on his plans to create Pension Service and Job Centre Plus; and what access pensioners will have in person to these offices; 
(2) what access pensioners will have in person to Benefits Agency offices under the new Pension Service arrangements; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to the hon. Member for Daventry (Mr. Boswell) and the hon. Member for Northavon (Mr. Webb) on 25 March 2002, Official Report, columns 65152W.
16 Apr 2002 : Column 890W
|Numbers contributing to a personal pension||4.08|
|Numbers receiving income from a personal pension||0.02|
|Total number of people with a personal pension.||4.10|
1. Information is drawn from the Family Resources Survey (FRS) for the year 200001 and covers Great Britain only.
2. Due to the size of the FRS sample and the fact that the Survey relies on self-reporting of pension income the information may be subject to a margin of error.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reason MOD War Pensions will be subject to compulsory automated credit transfer in advance of state pensions and benefits. 
War pensions will be treated no differently from other state pensions and benefits. At this time there is no compulsion for customers to change from their current method of payment. From October 2002 the Veterans Agency will be inviting existing customers paid by order book or payable order to change to payment through a bank or building society with effect from April 2003. The Department for Work and Pensions will be issuing similar invitations to recipients of child benefit.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners receiving one or more means-tested benefit have a weekly income of (a) up to £100, (b) £101 to £120, (c) £121 to £140, (d) £140 to £160, (e) £160 to £180, (f) £180 to £200, (g) £200 to £220, (h) £220 to £240 per week, (i) £240 to £260, (j) £260 to £280, (k) £280 to £300 and (l) over £300 per week. 
|Weekly income before housing costs||Number of pensioner units|
|Up to and including £100||440,000|
|£101 to £120||510,000|
|£121 to £140||460,000|
|£141 to £160||310,000|
|£161 to £180||250,000|
|£181 to £200||190,000|
|£201 to £220 weekly income||160,000|
|£221 to £260||160,000|
|£261 and over||100,000|
Family Resources Survey 19992000
16 Apr 2002 : Column 891W
whether the PSA target that 25 per cent. of all business transactions should be capable of being carried out electronically by 2002 will be met on time; 
(3) what recent assessment he has made of whether the PSA target that a new assessment of liability to pay child support maintenance shall be completed within seven weeks will be met by the end of 2002; 
(4) what recent assessment he has made of whether the PSA target to reduce benefit losses from fraud and error in income support and jobseeker's allowance by 10 per cent. by March 2002 will be met; 
(5) which public service agreement targets scheduled to be met in 2002 will not be achieved by the due date. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: Progress against PSA targets is set out each year in the departmental report. The 2001 report, Cm 5115, sets out our progress against the PSA targets for the period April 200001. The 2002 report will set out our progress for the period April 200102.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many members of staff of his Department are members of the Territorial forces; and if he has a strategy for his Department to encourage members of staff to become members of the Territorial forces; 
Mr. McCartney: The information is not held centrally and could be assimilated only at disproportionate cost. Section 50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) requires employers to allow their staff reasonable time off for public duties. The Civil Service Code (Para 9.2.5) requires Departments and agencies to allow time off for attending these duties. Responsibility for the decision making, in relation to attendance, for such activities has been delegated to business units within the Department.
16 Apr 2002 : Column 892W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if the vocational engineering GCSE is to become an option for those not undertaking any physics courses at the same level. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department will not prescribe how the new GCSEs in vocational subjects may be combined with other subjects. Those decisions will be taken at local level within the context of the requirements of the statutory curriculum.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if the vocational engineering GCSE is to be presented as an option for students considered less academically capable. 
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what nursery provision has been provided by her Department to each London education authority in inner London boroughs over the last five years. 
In 200203, 11 of the fifteen local education authorities will be able to provide a free early education place to all three-year-olds in their area. The remaining authorities are able to offer a free place to over 65 per cent. of their three-year-olds. All three-year-olds will have access to a free early education place by September 2004.
The following table shows the amount of specific funding received by inner London education authorities to fund free early education places for four-year-olds. From April 2001, all free four-year-old places have been funded by local authorities from their own resources.
|Total NEG funding|
|City of London||25,893||18,407||8,739||9,589|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||1,442,670||328,243||277,154||336,321|
|Kensington and Chelsea||805,775||251,970||208,222||262,080|
The funding figures for four-year-olds in 199798 are significantly higher as all free places in this year were funded centrally. From 199899 only new places created in the maintained sector and all free places in the private, voluntary and independent sector were funded through specific grant. Existing places in the maintained sector were funded by the authority from their own resources.
16 Apr 2002 : Column 893W
|Total NEG funding|
|City of London||0.00||1,160||14,256|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||275,401||618,429||706,860|
|Kensington and Chelsea||0.00||341,506||825,660|
The information contained in the tables have been extracted from LEA Nursery Education Grant returns and is subject to change as a result of external audit.
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