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WORK AND PENSIONS

European Union Directives

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the European Union directives and regulations relating to his Department that have been implemented in each of the last four years, specifying (a) the title and purpose of each, (b) the cost to public funds of each and (c) the cost to businesses of each. [39114]

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Malcolm Wicks: The following EU legislation has been implemented:


Information on costs to public funds and to businesses is not held in the format requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. It is limited to direct administration expenditure. Departments are required to produce regulatory impact assessments for proposals likely to impose significant costs on business. None was required for the above legislation.

Community Service Orders

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have lost benefit as a result of breaching their community service orders; and what the average loss of benefit has been, broken down into claimants of (a) income support, (b) jobseeker's allowance and (c) training allowances. [40453]

Malcolm Wicks: The community sentence and benefits measures aim to encourage greater compliance with community orders. Therefore sanctions apply only when people receiving the relevant benefit do not comply with their orders. The number of people who have lost benefit as a result of breaching their community orders is shown in the table.

BenefitNumber of individualsAverage weekly loss of benefit (£)
Income support1616.31
Jobseeker's allowance2340.72
Training allowance00
Total39

Notes:

1. All figures are unrounded.

2. Data are based on clerical returns received at the DWP Information Centre between 15 October 2001 and 4 April 2002, relating to 15 October 2001 and 15 March 2002.

3. Average weekly loss of benefit has been calculated on an individual recipient basis using the jobseeker's allowance payment system (JSAPS) and the income support computer system (ISCS).

4. There are four probation service pilot areas, Derbyshire, Hertfordshire, Teesside and West Midlands.

Source:

CS Stats forms 1 and 2 (Withdrawal of Benefits Pilot) Information Centre, ASD


Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much has been spent on the pilot scheme to reduce the benefits of people who breach their community service orders. [40454]

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Malcolm Wicks: As of 5 April 2002, the cost to the Department of implementing the community sentences and benefits pilots running in four probation service areas was £314,350, approximately £262,000 being one-off initial set up costs, including changes to the national computer systems. At present, excluding the set-up costs of £262,000, the cost per sanction is approximately £1,340.

Benefits Offices (Security)

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) deaths, (b) serious injuries and (c) recorded incidence of verbal abuse there were in Benefits Agency offices in each of the last 10 years. [42531]

Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 12 March 2002]: The available information on the number of incidents of verbal abuse occurring in Benefits Agency offices is in the table.

Incidents of verbal abuse in Benefits Agency offices

Number of incidents
19991,624
20002,414
20012,379

During this period there have been no deaths reported. For information on the number of assaults in Benefits Agency offices I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock) on 13 March 2002, Official Report, column 1118W. Information is not available on the seriousness of any injuries received and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


Child Poverty

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many families with at least one child below the age of five years were living in poverty in (a) 1997, (b) 1999 and (c) 2001, defined as those living in households with below 60 per cent. of median income. [45287]

Malcolm Wicks: Such information as is available is presented in the table.

Number of families with one or more children under five years of age, living in households with below 60 per cent. of contemporary median household income
million

Before housing costsAfter housing costs
1996–970.71.0
1997–980.60.9
1998–990.60.9
1999–20000.60.9

Notes:

1. All figures are estimates and are taken from the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) data set which is derived from the Family Resources Survey (FRS), which does not include Northern Ireland. The latest period for which data are available is the financial year 1999–2000.

2. The estimates are sample counts, which have been adjusted for non-response using multipurpose grossing factors that control for tenure, council tax band and a number of other variables. Estimates are subject to both sampling error and to variability in non-response. The income measure used is weekly net (disposable) equivalised household income (that is to say income that is adjusted to reflect the composition of the household).

3. The estimates are presented on both a Before Housing Costs (BHC) and an After Housing Costs (AHC) basis in line with HBAI conventions.

Source:

FRS


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Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children in (a) 1997, (b) 1999 and (c) 2001 were living in households with an income below 60 per cent. of median. [45292]

Malcolm Wicks: Such information as is available can be found in the Households Below Average Income 1994–95 to 1999–2000 National Statistics Press Release, a copy of which is available in the Library.

Family Credit

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total cost was of administering family credit in its last full year. [46466]

Malcolm Wicks: The estimated cost of administering family credit in 1998–99 can be found in the "Social Security Departmental Report: The Government's Expenditure Plans 2000–01 to 2001–02", a copy of which is in the Library.

Child Support Agency

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in what order existing CSA cases will be moved over to the new system once it is implemented. [47817]

Malcolm Wicks: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 20 March 2002, Official Report, columns 315–16.

Benefit Statistics

Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many families in (a) Alyn and Deeside and (b) Delyn are claiming (i) child benefit and (ii) income support. [48919]

Malcolm Wicks: The information is in the table.

Families in the parliamentary constituencies of Alyn and Deeside and Delyn receiving child benefit or income support—November 2001

Alyn and DeesideDelyn
Families receiving child benefit9,9008,600
Families receiving income support1,5001,300

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.

2. Figures for income support are based on a 5 per cent. sample and are subject to a degree of sampling variation.

3. Families are defined as benefit recipients with one or more dependants.

4. Families in receipt of income support will also be in receipt of child benefit.

5. Cases are allocated to each parliamentary constituency by matching the postcode against the Office for National Statistics Postcode Directory. Constituency boundaries are represented as at May 1997.

Source:

Child benefit computer system 100 per cent. six monthly statistical enquiry, November 2001; Income Support 5 per cent. quarterly statistical enquiry, November 2001


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