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8 Dec 2003 : Column 322Wcontinued
Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to change enforcement arrangements for employers liability compulsory insurance; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Browne: The Department has set out its proposals for changing enforcement arrangements for employers' liability compulsory insurance (ELCI) in the second stage report of the review of ELCI published on 4 December. This also makes reference to the latest research on compliance which has been commissioned by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). A copy of the report is available in the Library.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent representations he has received from the Health and Safety Commission concerning the Health and Safety Executive's priorities. 
Mr. Browne: On 8 October 2003, we launched a consultation on the Health and Safety Commission's draft "Strategy for Workplace Health and Safety in Great Britain to 2010 and beyond". The strategy sets out what the Commission and Health and Safety Executive see as priorities to ensure that the health and safety system remains relevant and effective in the changing economy. It deals with the active management of risk in the workplace, and the need to place greater emphasis on rehabilitation and access to occupational health provision.
The Commission will shortly finalise and submit the strategy to Ministers. The Commission will then determine programmes of activity to deliver its objectives and targets for improvements in health and safety at work.
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Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations he has received from the Health and Safety Commission concerning the setting of measurable targets for the work of the Health and Safety Executive. 
Mr. Browne: The Government and Health and Safety Commission first set targets for health and safety at work in the Revitalising Health and Safety Strategy Statement in June 2000. The Commission set out how they will deliver their contribution to the targets in their Strategic Plan 200104 and annual Business Plans. Priority programmes are in place with the aim of addressing those hazards and industries where significant improvements in health and safety are needed to achieve the targets.
The Commission is introducing high level targets for the Executive's work in major hazard industries intended to achieve a sustained reduction in the occurrence of precursor incidents in these industries between 2004 and 2006. The Commission is also keen to promote improved heath and safety in the public sector and to set measurable targets to secure these improvements.
Mr. Pond: Responsibility for payment of the Housing Benefit subsidy element, previously distributed by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, The National Assembly for Wales and the Scottish Executive through the Revenue Support Grant, has been transferred to the Department for Work and Pensions. This element represented the 5.5 per cent. residual subsidy paid to authorities for Rent Allowance, Council Tax Benefit and non Housing Revenue Account Rent Rebates, which supplemented the 95 per cent. direct subsidy we already pay.
Our agreement that all funding relating to Rent Allowance, Rent Rebate and Council Tax Benefit would transfer to the Department for Work and Pensions from April 2004 provided the opportunity to review all subsidy rates and rules, in order to produce a more transparent and simplified system.
From April 2004 we will pay all subsidy as a direct grant, payable at 100 per cent. for correct claims. Authorities will not therefore receive any indirect subsidy through the Revenue Support Grant relating to Housing Benefit. Although the overall levels of funding have not changed, we recognise that individual authorities may gain or lose under the new regime; a transitional protection scheme has been put in place, which ensures that no authority will lose more than 1 per cent. in the first year over that which they would have received had the rates not changed.
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Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the impact of the New Deal for Communities since 1998 in (a) West Derbyshire and (b) the East Midlands on (i) reducing crime, (ii) creating jobs and (iii) raising standards in education. 
the NDC National Evaluation, providing external assessment at partnership, programme and theme level, lead by Sheffield Hallam University.
The evidence provided in these reviews by the NDC Partnerships show that Partnerships in the East Midlands are beginning to make an impact in reducing crime, creating jobs and raising standards in education. For example:
In the Derby NDC area, GCSE results are up 30 per cent. in the first two years of the programme;
In Braunstone, Leicester, unemployment has fallen from 12.6 per cent. to 8.5 per cent.;
Nottingham NDC's achievements on reducing crime include target hardening, street lighting, extra policing and Neighbourhood Wardens;
In the Braunstone area of Leicester, Burglary has fallen by 20 per cent. and vehicle crime by 16 per cent.
Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proposals he has to (a) continue and (b) develop New Deal for Communities schemes in (i) West Derbyshire and (ii) the East Midlands. 
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In the East Midlands, there are three NDC schemes, in Leicester (Braunstone), Derby (Derwent) and Nottingham (Radford and Hyson Green). The Leicester programme is scheduled to complete in seven years (in 200607), the Nottingham programme is scheduled to run over 10 years and will continue until 2009/10 and the Derby Partnership, also over 10 years, until 201011. There are no plans to develop any further rounds of NDC.
Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the (a) schemes and (b) funding made available to West Derbyshire since 1998 under the New Deal for Communities. 
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the finding of the National Audit Office report on the New Deal for Young People of 28 February 2002 on the average annual cost per additional person of any age in employment. 
Mr. Browne: The National Audit Office (NAO) estimates of the average annual cost per additional job were similar to those found in earlier research. Cost per job figures such as those produced by NAO count all the expenditure on the programme up to a point in time, but not all the benefits that will ultimately result from that expendituresuch as social benefits. They are, therefore, likely to over-estimate the long-run cost of the programme to the economy.
A study by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research found that for every £5 spent on the New Deal for Young People, the Government gets £3 back in higher tax returns and lower social security spending.
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