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Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the pre-Budget report, paragraph 4.10, if he will list those organisations that will delivery mandatory short intensive work-focused courses for all jobseeker's allowance claimants aged 25 or over at the six month stage; and if he will list the pilot areas. 
Mr. Browne: The mandatory short intensive work-focused courses for jobseeker's allowance claimants aged 25 and over will be piloted from June 2005. Following detailed planning and development, we will seek skilled providers through normal Jobcentre Plus procurement processes. Pilot areas are yet to be selected.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) pursuant to the pre-Budget report, paragraph 4.62, what independent assessment has been undertaken to learn from the best current New Deal provision; 
Mr. Browne: We have commissioned a large amount of independent research on the New Deals including: "Synthesising the evidence on flexible delivery" (W171: ECOTEC and Insite, October 2003); "New Deal for Young People: Introducing a more 'tailored' approach" (W164: ECOTEC and Insite, September 2003); and "New Deal for people aged 25 and over: A Synthesis Report" (W163: Policy Studies Institute, June 2003), which are available in the Library. Independent research has not been undertaken to look specifically at simplifying current processes.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to amend the 25 per cent. rule to enable those with less than 10 years' full contributions to receive a pension. 
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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the annual cost of sending out reminder letters to pensioners informing them that they are entitled to receive winter fuel payments was in each year since inception of the payments; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: Information is not available in the format requested. In accordance with the requirements of Resource Accounting and Budgeting the Department now accounts for its administration and benefit expenditure by Strategic Objective, as set out in its Public Service Agreements (PSA), and by individual requests for Resources (RfRs) as set out in the Departmental Estimates and Accounts. This means that the Department is unable to identify the administrative costs of individual activities within the delivery of specific benefits.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment he has made of the number of peers who would be interested in relinquishing their right to sit in the House of Lords. 
Mr. Leslie: The Government have not made any formal assessment of the number of peers who would be interested in relinquishing their current right to sit in the Lords, but have sought views on the desirability of introducing provisions to allow for voluntary resignation from the Lords in their Consultation paper, "Constitutional Reform; Next Steps for the House of Lords". The Government are currently analysing all the responses submitted during the consultation exercise, including a number of responses from peers, and will publish their analysis of the consultation responses, along with their plans for reform of the House of Lords in due course.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many members he expects the statutory independent Appointments Commission for the House of Lords will have; how many members of the Commission will be appointed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Leslie: The recent consultation paper, "Next Steps for the House of Lords", consulted on the proposed statutory independent Appointments Commission for the House of Lords. The consultation period ended on 12 December 2003, and the Government are in the process of analysing responses to the consultation. The Government will publish an analysis of the consultation in due course, and intend to introduce legislation this session to establish the new Commission.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many responses he received to the "Constitutional Reform: Next Steps for the House of Lords" consultation document; how many of these responses came from (a) Government Departments and agencies, (b) political parties and hon. Members, (c) peers currently serving in the House of
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Lords, (d) peers removed under the House of Lords Act 1999, (e) main representative groups and interested parties and (f) ecclesiastical representatives and organisations in (i) England, (ii) Scotland, (iii) Wales and (iv) Northern Ireland; and when the Government intend to issue their response to the responses received. 
Mr. Leslie: The consultation period for the consultation paper, "Constitutional Reform: Next Steps for the House of Lords", closed on 12 December 2003. By 18 December, 204 responses had been received from a range of interested parties and responses are still being received. The Government are still considering those responses, including a precise analysis of who responded, and will publish that information and their conclusions in due course.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will make a statement on the implications for an individual of having a parent, sibling or peer designated with enduring power of attorney, with particular reference to the Draft Mental Incapacity Bill. 
Mr. Lammy: Under the Draft Mental Incapacity Bill, an individual will be able to create a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). LPAs will replace the current Enduring Power of Attorneys and will allow donors to appoint attorneys to make either financial decisions or health care and welfare decisions on their behalf, should they lose capacity in the future.
In making an LPA, individuals will have choice on who they appoint as an attorneythere is no limitation to a parent, sibling or peer. The important factor is that the individual chooses someone that they know and trust.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what plans his Department has to support the work of professionals who are required to give evidence to the Court of Protection under the provisions of the Draft Mental Incapacity Bill. 
Mr. Lammy: Under the Draft Mental Incapacity Bill, the Court of Protection will be available to deal with cases of dispute which cannot be resolved in any other way. The intention is that most cases, as now, will not need to be resolved by formal processes. The procedures will make it simple for professionals and others to make representations to the court.
Andrew George: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the range of (a) non-departmental public bodies and (b) other autonomous public bodies operating in the Government regions of the (i) north-east, (ii) north-west and (iii) Yorkshire and the Humber where functions could be brought under the control of the proposed regional assemblies. 
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Mr. Raynsford: Public bodies in the north-east including those that would be brought under elected assemblies were set out in the White Paper, "Your Region, Your Choice: Revitalising the English Regions", published in May 2002. Similar arrangements apply in the north-west and Yorkshire and the Humber. Since then the Government have confirmed that Elected Regional Assemblies will also assume responsibility for the Fire and Rescue Service in their region.
Mr. Raynsford: Material produced for the design of the Your Say information campaign, such as exhibition stands and leaflets will continue to be used throughout the information campaign in the three northern regions.
|Leaflet design, including photography, artwork and printing||31,500|
|Stakeholder and press packs for the launch||4,000|
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