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19 Jan 2004 : Column 1078W—continued

New Deal

Dr. Jack Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his latest estimate is of the number of young people in (a) West Cumbria and (b) Copeland who have benefited from the New Deal; and if he will make a statement. [148010]

Mr. Browne: The New Deal for Young People has been successful in helping over 460,000 young people into work, including 1,160 people in the Copeland constituency. Figures for West Cumbria are not available; however, 4,910 young people in the Jobcentre Plus Cumbria district have been helped into work by New Deal for Young People.

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have entered the employer option under the New Deal for Young People in each year since 1997, broken down by ethnicity; how many people have entered the full-time education and training option under the New Deal for Young People in each year since 1997, broken down by ethnicity; and if he will make a statement. [147815]

Mr. Browne: The information is in the tables.

New Deal for Young People: Starts to employment option, broken down by ethnicity

199819992000200120022003(39)
White12,58016,65013,95010,65010,1305,190
Black-Caribbean22033025016018070
Black-African90110100808050
Black-Other100140100906030
Indian13023017015012060
Pakistani260390300240210100
Bangladeshi80120901008030
Chinese102020101010
Other170230200170180120
Prefer not to say330630520360290190
Missing(40)5703007020100

19 Jan 2004 : Column 1079W

New Deal for Young People: Starts to full-time education and training option broken down by ethnicity

199819992000200120022003(43)
White24,30032,48024,60014,32016,80014,600
Black-Caribbean8401,4401,000750880740
Black-African6901,0706807101,040930
Black-Other420610430330360290
Indian410590360250300220
Pakistani8901,2001,000800880720
Bangladeshi260380230190240210
Chinese709080506050
Other7001,2301,1101,0901,8402,190
Prefer not to say8101,7301,250820750730
Missing(44)9060201000

(43) To September.

(44) It has only been compulsory to record ethnicity on the Jobcentre Plus Labour Market System (LMS) since the spring of 2002, and some ethnicity codes were not recorded before then.


Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many participants on New Deal for Young People in the Chesterfield constituency have been placed on training courses for (a) up to one year and (b) over one year in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [147819]

Mr. Browne: In the 12 months to September 2003, 70 people started on the New Deal for Young People (NDYP) Full-Time Education and Training Option in Chesterfield.

It is the policy of New Deal for Young People that nobody should be placed on an NDYP Full-Time Education and Training course for longer than a year.

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many participants have joined the New Deal for Young People (a) once, (b) twice, (c) three times and (d) more than three times, broken down by ethnicity; and if he will make a statement. [147820]

Mr. Browne: The information is in the following table:

New Deal for Young People: Number of times people have joined the programme broken down by ethnicity

Ethnic groupOnceTwiceThree timesMore than three
White485,660119,62028,4005,000
Black-Caribbean13,3805,0601,470260
Black-African12,2702,980690130
Black-Other6,3401,99049070
Indian11,9702,19045060
Pakistani20,6705,0801,180190
Bangladeshi7,4401,61033050
Chinese1,4202304010
Other25,1204,440990170
Prefer not to say27,7305,3901,050190
Missing6,59070100
Total618,620148,64035,0806,110

Note:

Figures are to the end of September 2003.

Source:

DWP Information and Analysis Directorate.


Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Purchase: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he will reply to the question tabled by the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, North East on 16 December 2003, reference 145191, which was transferred to his Department by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. [148472]

19 Jan 2004 : Column 1080W

Mr. Pond: I replied to the hon. Member's question on 13 January.

Pension Credit

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of expenditure on the (a) guarantee credit and (b) savings credit in (i) 2003–04, (ii) 2004–05 and (iii) 2005–06. [145981]

Malcolm Wicks: The information is in the table.

£ million

2003–042004–052005–06
Guarantee credit4,7304,7105,160
Savings credit3501,0201,000
Total5,0805,7206,160

Notes:

1. Figures are based on latest published forecasts, published in the pre-Budget report on 10 December 2003.

2. Figures for 2003–04 include expenditure on the minimum income guarantee, prior to the introduction of pension credit. Minimum income guarantee expenditure is treated as guarantee credit. The 2003–04 guarantee credit figure also includes child elements of the minimum income guarantee totalling £50 million. These payments were replaced by child tax credits at the same time as the introduction of pension credit.

3. Note that until October 2004, new claimants will be able to claim payment for entitlement dating back to October 2003.

4. Figures are rounded to nearest £10 million.

5. Due to rounding, figures may not sum exactly to totals.


Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many telephone inquiries on pension credit have been received in each of the last 12 months. [147692]

Malcolm Wicks: The table shows numbers of telephone calls received by the pension credit application line in each month since it became operational in April 2003. The application line primarily handles calls from customers about applying for pension credit, but also deals with other inquiry calls.

Calls to pension credit application line—April to December 2003

2003Calls received
April20,810
May32,750
June60,240
July118,220
August181,860
September427,900
October482,780
November318,280
December193,900
Total1,836,740

Note:

Figures are rounded to the nearest ten.


Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the advertising budget is for the pension credit. [147693]

Malcolm Wicks: The marketing campaign for pension credit has been designed to be flexible and the level of expenditure may change according to need. However, it is currently estimated that media costs, including direct mailing, television and press advertising, will be in the region of £12 to £17 million, excluding VAT, to October 2004.

19 Jan 2004 : Column 1081W

Dr. Jack Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in (a) Cumbria and (b) Copeland are receiving pension credit; what percentage this represents of those entitled to pension credit in each case; and if he will make a statement. [148009]

Malcolm Wicks: At 31 December 2003 there were (a) 15,950 pensioner households (18,710 individuals) in Cumbria and (b) 2,300 pensioner households (2,739 individuals) in the Copeland constituency receiving pension credit. Information on numbers of households eligible for pension credit is not available at county or constituency level. However, the number of eligible households in the North West region is estimated to be 500,000. At 31 December 2003 there were 289,000 pensioner households (344,000 individuals) in the North West region receiving pension credit.

Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how often his Department revises the standard interest rate used to calculate the mortgage element included in the pension credit. [148863]

Malcolm Wicks: The standard interest rate is based on the weighted average of the basic rates charged by the top building societies. A change is triggered whenever the average rate which is published monthly by the Office for National Statistics increases/decreases by 0.25 per cent. or more.

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many whole-time equivalent staff were employed by the pension credit helpline in the most recent month for which figures are available. [148969]

Malcolm Wicks: The Pension Credit application line is resourced in line with forecast levels of activity. At 5 January the application line had approximately 1,300 whole-time equivalent staff handling customer contacts. This is expected to rise to approximately 1,400 whole-time equivalent staff by late March.


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