some default text...
Previous Section Index Home Page


WORK AND PENSIONS

Appeal Tribunals

Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he will publish the second annual report of the president of appeal tribunals on the standards of decision-making coming before tribunals. [70046]

Maria Eagle: The second report by the president of appeal tribunals is published today and has been placed in the Library. Of those cases where the appeal tribunal overturned or amended the decision the main reasons given were because new evidence was produced at the hearing, the presence of the appellant at the hearing shed new light on the existing evidence or they took a different view of the same evidence.

11 Jul 2002 : Column 1144W

The president has highlighted some areas where improvements have been made following his first annual report. Some examples of these are; more obvious use of the reconsideration process before cases reach the tribunal, improved standards of decision-making and the use of the medical evidence in disability living allowance cases and a reduction in the number of medical reports under-estimating the severity of disability.

The president has suggested that the agencies should concentrate on engaging appellants fully during the dispute period and encourage them to provide additional evidence earlier. This could lead to problems being resolved without the need to go to an appeal tribunal. I welcome the president's report, which provides an independent view of the standard of Secretary of State decision-making in cases coming to the appeal tribunal.

Industrial Accidents (Compensation)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what measures he has in place to ensure that those who suffer from industrial accidents are fully compensated for their injuries. [55334]

Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 13 May 2002]: With certain prescribed exceptions, the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 (ELCI) requires all employers carrying on business in the United Kingdom to insure their liability to their employees for bodily injury or disease sustained in the course of their employment in Great Britain. There is currently a penalty of up to £2,500 for failure to insure on any day.

Employers are required to display copies of certificates of employers' liability compulsory insurance while the underlying policy is in force. There is currently a penalty of up to £1,000 for failure to display a certificate. The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for enforcing ELCI.

Industrial injuries disablement benefit is payable on a no fault basis to employed earners who have sustained an industrial accident or prescribed disease. It is paid according to the degree of disablement and takes no account of factors other than the physical or mental condition of the injured person. It can be paid whether or not the person continues to work and is not taxable.

In each case, advice on the assessment of disablement and its likely duration is given by doctors specially trained in industrial injuries disablement matters. Benefit is normally paid only in respect of disablement of 14 per cent. or more.

Ministerial Salaries

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the annual cost was of ministerial salaries in his Department in (a) 1997–98 and (b) 2001–02. [60936]

Mr. McCartney: The level of ministerial salaries are recommended by the Senior Salaries Review Body and are already a matter of public record.

The Department for Work and Pensions was created in April 2001. The information given for 1997 relates to the Department of Social Security. From May 1997 there was one Cabinet Minister (Commons), one Minister of State

11 Jul 2002 : Column 1145W

(Commons), two Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State (Commons) and one Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Lords).

From June 2001, there was one Cabinet Minister (Commons), two Ministers of State (Commons), two Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State (Commons) and one Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Lords).

Jobseekers (Interview Costs)

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the financial support available to jobseekers for the cost of travelling to interviews. [64269]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: We recognise that it can sometimes be difficult for unemployed people to meet the cost of travelling to job interviews. The travel to interview scheme, which is available from the first day of unemployment, encourages people to widen their job search by helping with travelling costs to attend interviews outside their usual travel to work area. From June this year we have widened the scope of the scheme to give personal advisers the discretion to make payments for travel to local interviews where the costs exceed £4.

Additional help can also be provided through the Adviser Discretion Fund which gives New Deal personal advisers the opportunity to make available up to £300 for anything that will help a jobseeker obtain a job, or if offered a job, to accept that job. This can include help with the costs of travel to interviews.

Employment Zones are also helping long-term unemployed people in the most deprived areas get and keep work. Employment Zones are about meeting the needs of individuals. They help rebuild the confidence of participants and overcome the barriers to work such as debt, transport and housing problems. Help can be provided through Employment Zones with the cost of travelling to interviews.

Our Action Teams for Jobs, which focus on small areas with particular problems of labour market disadvantage, offer tailored help to enable people overcome barriers to employment. This can include financial assistance to help them secure and retain employment, such as help with the cost of attending job interviews. In addition, we introduced the Transport Projects Fund in April which provides an additional £5 million for Action Teams to address the particular transport difficulties faced by some unemployed people seeking to enter the labour market.

Jobcentre Plus

Phil Sawford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects the roll-out of Jobcentre Plus to be fully implemented; and when this will be implemented in Northamptonshire. [61486]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: Our current plans are to extend the integrated Jobcentre Plus offices progressively to cover the whole of Great Britain over the next four years, starting with a further 225 offices in 2002–03. A firm date for rolling out the new service in Northamptonshire as part of this programme has yet to be determined.

11 Jul 2002 : Column 1146W

Better Government for Older People

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have been employed in Better Government for Older People over the last five years. [64526]

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many older people are involved in Better Government for Older People, broken down by nation and region; [64840]

Mr. McCartney: These are matters for Better Government for Older People (BGOP) which is a non- Government organisation.

Disability Living Allowance

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) pursuant to the answer of 18 March 2002, Official Report, column 157W, on carers, what information is collected on the removal of invalid care allowance from carers when the adult for whom they care has their disability living allowance or attendance allowance removed as a consequence of hospitalisation; [66585]

Maria Eagle: Information is not collected (a) on the number of cases where payments of invalid care allowance to carers cease because the recipient of attendance allowance or disability living allowance for whom they provide care is in hospital, or (b) on the annual number of cases where payments of attendance allowance or disability living allowance are suspended because the recipient is in hospital. Information is collected quarterly on the number of people whose attendance allowance or disability living allowance payments are suspended because they are in hospital. The information as at 30 November in each of the last three years is in the table.

11 Jul 2002 : Column 1147W

Numbers of attendance allowance and disability living allowance cases in payment at 30 November of each year in the period 1999 to 2001, and numbers of cases in which payments are recorded as suspended because the recipient is in hospital

199920002001
Attendance allowance
Cases in payment1,256,8001,291,3001,295,400
Cases with payment suspended because recipient in hospital12,10013,50015,600
Disability living allowance
Cases in payment2,098,3002,197,7002,298,000
Cases with payment suspended because recipient in hospital9,70010,20011,500

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100.

2. Figures for suspensions refer only to cases where the reason is known.

3. All AA recipients are aged 65 or over.

Source:

Analytical Services Division Information Centre: 5 per cent. data



Next Section Index Home Page