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20 Jan 2004 : Column 1179W—continued

Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions why there is a separate form for declaring an industrial injury from that for claiming industrial injury disablement benefit. [147943]

Mr. Browne: Different information is required for a declaration of an industrial injury than for a claim for Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit (IIDB). For example, in the case of a claim for IIDB, information is required as to whether other benefits are in payment; in the case of a declaration, an injured employee may not wish to claim benefit, and therefore information is required only to establish whether an incident can be accepted as an industrial accident.

Jobcentre Plus

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many full-time workers were employed by Jobcentre Plus in Cambridgeshire in each of the last three years. [146441]

Mr. Browne: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, David Anderson. He will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from David Anderson to Mr. Jonathan Djanogly, dated 20 January 2004:

Jobseeker's Allowance

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the arrangements for ensuring the quality and relevance of mandatory work-focused courses for jobseeker's allowance claimants. [145814]

Mr. Browne: Mandatory work-focused training for jobseeker's allowance claimants is purchased through regionally based Jobcentre Plus contracting teams, in consultation with district partners. Provision is delivered through private and not for profit providers and, during development, consideration is given to the recruitment needs of local employers and the training requirements of JSA claimants.

Providers are subject to thorough contractual and quality audits. Individual contract reviews are conducted by Jobcentre Plus field contracts managers and district programme quality management teams. Reviews assess the administration, delivery, quality and propriety of the provisions being delivered against the requirements set out in providers' contracts.

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In addition, the Adult Learning Inspectorate in England and ESTYN in Wales, play a pivotal role in the quality assurance of provision, under the provisions of the Learning and Skills Act 2000. All inspection under the provisions of the Act is carried out in accordance with the Common Inspection Framework. The framework focuses on the learner, and on evaluating the effectiveness of education and training in meeting all learners' needs.

Minimum Income Guarantee

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average change in income has been for pensioners in Chorley since the introduction of the minimum income guarantee. [148495]

Malcolm Wicks: The information requested is not available.

The average income support award to pensioners in Chorley was £52.45 in August 1998, when 2,500 pensioner households were receiving income support. Under Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG), which was introduced in April 1999, there were 2,700 pensioner households in Chorley receiving an average of £49.47 a week in MIG in August 2003.

In December 2003 there were 3,064 pensioner households receiving an average of £40.08 a week Pension Credit in Chorley.

Following the introduction of Pension Credit in October 2003, some elements of the support previously provided through MIG are now provided through local authority funding for people in care homes, and through tax credits for children. In addition, average Pension Credit awards are expected to be lower than MIG because a savings credit of up to £14.79 (single) or £19.20 (couples) is available for people with modest incomes above the guarantee level who previously received nothing from MIG.

As at 31 December, the average level of weekly gain shared by the 1.44 million households now receiving more money as a result of Pension Credit introduction is £10.80.

Pension Credit

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in Chorley have (a) applied for and (b) received pension credit; and what the average consequent change in income per pensioner is. [148496]

Malcolm Wicks: At 31 December 2003 there were 3,064 pensioner households (3,659 individuals) in the Chorley constituency receiving Pension Credit. Information on the number of Pension Credit applications in individual constituencies is not available. The average weekly rate of Pension Credit awards in Chorley is £40.08. Information on the average amount gained by pensioners in individual constituencies, since

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the introduction of Pension Credit, will become available following publication of the November 2003 Quarterly Statistical Enquiry on 17 March 2004.

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total amount spent on pension credit in Warrington, North constituency has been since its introduction. [148251]

Malcolm Wicks: The latest departmental information suggests that between 1 October 2003 and 30 November 2003 an estimated £1.2 million was spent on pension credit in Warrington, North.

Direct Payment

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on what date pensions were credited to the Post Office card accounts of pensioners who would normally have collected their pensions on 29 December 2003; and if he will make a statement. [149516]

Mr. Pond: The Department arranged that where customers were due payments on 29 December 2003, the customers would have pensions credited to Post Office card accounts on 24 December 2003.

Pensions Bill

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to publish the Pensions Bill announced in the Queen's Speech. [149303]

Malcolm Wicks: The Pensions Bill announced in the Queen's Speech will be published as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Regulations (Consultation)

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of regulations introduced by the Department have been subject to a consultation period of less than 12 weeks since the introduction of the Code of Practice on Consultations. [142485]

Mr. Browne: The Cabinet Office Code of Practice on Written Consultation came into effect on 1 January 2001. The Department for Work and Pensions came into being in June 2001. In the period 1 June 2001 to 31 December 2002, DWP has published 22 consultations under the code, of which three were less than 12 weeks. 11 consultations have led to regulation. Four others have informed the Green Paper "Simplicity, security and choice—working and saving for retirement" from which further regulatory activity is under consideration.

The Health and Safety Executive has been sponsored by DWP since 24 July 2002. Up until 31 December 2003 there have been 13 consultations of which four are still open; all but one meeting the 12-week timescale. The one consultation that did not meet the 12-week minimum did

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not pertain to regulations. Information on which consultations lead to regulation is not held in a separate register but is kept on the consultations page on the HSE website.

Winter Fuel Payments

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in what forums he is advertising the availability of winter fuel payments. [147770]

Malcolm Wicks: In order to promote the availability of winter fuel payments a series of advertisements were placed in national and regional press and consumer magazines, a variety of promotional products were also made available to support the campaign. The following items were produced:

Products were made widely available to Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) staff, the media, advisers and the general public. Mailings were sent to over 30,000 relevant advisory organisations such as welfare rights groups and libraries; Citizens Advice; Age Concern; National Pensioners Convention; and the Local Government Association.

Leaflets and posters were displayed in: post office branches; doctors surgeries; Gala Bingo branches; Co-op/Alldays stores; Lloyds Pharmacy; the Pension Service (pension credit) truck; and Paypoint and Payzone outlets.

Copies of the leaflet were distributed direct to customer groups by: Women's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS), meals on wheels scheme; St. Vincent de Paul Society; Powergen Warm Front and Stay Warm advisers.

Promotional material was sent to the National Energy Action team to support Warm Homes week, which took place in November 2003.

Leaflets and posters were sent as part of a DWP mailing targeted at care and residential homes throughout the UK in October 2003.

Promotional products-were made available at a consumer event organised by Yours magazine.

Leaflets were available to order via the Department of Health's Winter Warmth Advice Line.

The Pension Service website (www.thepensionservice. was heavily utilised throughout the 2003–04 winter fuel payments campaign. Customers were signposted to the dedicated winter fuel payments section of the website through all promotional literature. Winter fuel leaflets were available for customers to download from the Pension Service resource centre.

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