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26 Mar 2003 : Column 291Wcontinued
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the running costs are of the (a) court-based child maintenance assessment system in the year prior to the introduction of the CSA and (b) CSA in the latest year for which he has data in today's price terms as a percentage of the total value of all maintenance assessments. 
The White Paper "Children Come First" (Cm 1264) published in October 1990 indicated that the direct and indirect administration costs of the scheme then in place amounted, for the year 198990 and at 200102 prices, to £193 million.
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The Child Support Agency's administration costs were £285.5 million in 200102. This represented some 37 per cent. of the total value of the maintenance collected and arranged by the Agency in that year.
(14) The figures have been rounded to the nearest £000.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have been employed (a) in total and (b) in administrative roles by the Health and Safety Executive in each year since it was established. 
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Mr. Nicholas Brown: The information requested for the period between 197475 and 198283 is not fully available. The Health and Safety Executive's policy is to retain personnel data for six years. However, we have
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been able to extract the figures from HSE's annual reports apart from those areas marked as not available in the table.
|Staff in post||Staff in post|
|197475||3,500||n/a||1 April 1992||(16)4,321||1,609|
|197582||n/a||n/a||1 April 1993||4,538||1,646|
|1 April 1983||3,593||n/a||1 April 1994||4,545||1,622|
|1 April 1984||3,563||1,860||1 April 1995||4,391||1,595|
|1 April 1985||3,616||1,911||1 April 1996||4,151||1,456|
|1 April 1986||3,568||1,905||1 April 1997||4,077||1,412|
|1 April 1987||3,573||1,846||1 April 1998||3,932||1,262|
|1 April 1988||3,470||1,804||1 April 1999||3,880||1,139|
|1 April 1989||3,525||1,836||1 April 2000||3,937||1,119|
|1 April 1990||3,98||1,902||1 April 2001||3,894||1,027|
|1 April 1991||(16)3,877||1,975||1 April 2002||4,050||964|
(15) This information represents the number of non specialist staff employed by HSC/E, who are largely administrative support staff.
(16) The increase in staff is due to a transfer of responsibilities for safety on the railways and offshore safety from Department of Transport and Department of Energy respectively.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he intends to reply to the letter to him dated 29 February from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mrs. A. Smith. 
Malcolm Wicks: Benefit help with mortgage interest payments is calculated using a Standard Interest Rate which is based on the weighted average of basic rates charged by the top building societies. The figure is calculated by the Financial Services Authority and published monthly in the Office for National Statistics' Financial Statistics table 7.1L. Changes in the rate are triggered by a 0.25 per cent. move in the published figure.
We have no plans to change the current arrangements, which give effect to changes as quickly as is practicable. Once the information is received from the Office for National Statistics of an alteration in the interest rates, the Department immediately sets in motion the procedures to amend the relevant computer systems and legislation. Regulations are laid at least 21 days in advance of their coming into force to allow for proper parliamentary procedures to be followed. The same timetable applies when the standard interest rate increases as when it decreases.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much has been spent so far on the job retention and rehabilitation pilots; if he will list the pilots and their (a) costs and (b) locations; and how many pilots, in which locations, are planned for 200304. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: The Job Retention and Rehabilitation Pilot will run from April 2003 for up to two years. It will test the effectiveness of different intervention strategies in helping people return to work, and will be delivered in six sites: Birmingham, Greater Glasgow, Sheffield, Tyneside, Teesside and west Kent. The total cost of the pilot is anticipated to be £17.75 million of which £1,580,197 has been spent to date.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of lone parents refused to disclose the details of the father of their child (a) in the year prior to the introduction of the CSA and (b) in the latest year for which he has data. 
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Mr. Nicholas Brown: Understanding how employment constraints facing lone parents in London compare to other areas is complex. We have commissioned research into this issue 1 and this research found that lone parents in London reported the same barriers to work as lone parents elsewhere in the country.
The three main barriers to moving into work reported by lone parents are availability and cost of child care, concerns about financial uncertainty on moving into work and the cost of housing and council tax. We have introduced a number of measures to help lone parents to overcome these barriers, including the National Childcare Strategy and Tax Credits, which are helping to make work possible and make work pay.
We are continuing to examine the problems lone parents face when moving from benefit dependency into work and finding ways of helping them to overcome them. The New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP) provides support tailored to the individual circumstances of lone parents, which takes into account any particular problems they face because of the area that they live in. NDLP has already helped over 160,000 lone parents move into work, including over 16,000 in London.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average weekly payment for lone parents (a) not in receipt of income support and (b) in receipt of income support of child maintenance is as determined by the courts and the CSA (i) in the year prior to the introduction of the CSA and (ii) in the latest year for which he has data in current price terms. 
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Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of lone parents not in receipt of income support received regular maintenance payments for their children (a) in the year prior to the introduction of the CSA and (b) in the latest year for which he has data. 
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