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21 Jan 2004 : Column 1340W—continued

New Deal

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people have gained sustained, unsubsidised employment on (a) their first time, (b) their second time and (c) their third or more

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time on the New Deal for Young People programme; what these figures represent as a proportion of the total number gaining sustained unsubsidised employment on the programme; and if he will make a statement; [148243]

Mr. Browne: The information is in the table.

Number of times on the People into sustained(49), unsubsidisedemployment
programmeNumberPercentage
New Deal for Young People
Once298,55080.5
Twice60,45016.3
Three or more times12,0903.3
New Deal 25 plus
Once87,11081.6
Twice15,37014.4
Three or more times4,3404.1

Note:

1. Employment is classed as sustained if no claim for Jobseeker's Allowance is made within 13 weeks.

2. Figures are to the end of September 2003.

3. Percentages do not sum to exactly 100 per cent due to rounding.

Source:

DWP Information and Analysis Directorate


The New Deals have been successful in helping nearly one million people into work including more than 460,000 people thorough New Deal for Young People and nearly 165,000 people through New Deal 25 Plus.

In a dynamic labour market, it is inevitable that some people will re-experience unemployment after leaving New Deal, however, the skills and experience they acquire after finding work through the programme will make it easier for them to find employment in the future.

We have also introduced other measures to help people facing additional barriers to work, for example the StepUP pilots, which build on the New Deal for Young People and New Deal 25 plus by providing transitional jobs for those who have not secured sustained employment through New Deal.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have benefited from the New Deal in Chorley since 1998. [149167]

Mr. Browne: The New Deals have been successful in helping nearly 1 million people into work, including 1,410 people in the Chorley constituency. Information on numbers helped into work by each New Deal programme is in the table.

Programme(49)People gaining a job
New Deal for Young People540
New Deal 25 plus180
New Deal for Lone Parents480
New Deal 50 plus(50)210

Note:

1. All figures are up to the end of September 2003 apart from New Deal 50 plus which is up to the end of March 2003.

2. People in receipt of the New Deal 50 plus Employment Credit.

3. Information on the other New Deals is not available broken down by constituency.

Source:

DWP Information and Analysis Directorate


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Occupational Pension Schemes

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the implications of recent and proposed EU Directives on funding levels in occupational pension schemes for pension provision in the United Kingdom. [149172]

Malcolm Wicks: The impact of all Directives relevant to occupational pensions are assessed with regard to the impact on business including any costs they may impose, although additional costs may not directly impact on the funding of a scheme. Such assessments are set out in the Regulatory Impact Assessments that are published with the legislative measures which implement the requirements of these Directives.

The Directive on the Activities and Supervision of Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provisions contains Articles which directly relate to funding and we have recently consulted on its implementation in the UK. We are currently considering those consultation responses but believe our proposed reforms of funding arrangements, as set out in 'Action on occupational pensions' (Cm5835) are broadly compatible with the requirements of the Directive.

Direct Payment

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in the Angus constituency have changed their method of receiving payment of their retirement pension from pension book to direct payment into bank account in each of the last six months. [147462]

Mr. Pond: The information is not available in the format requested. However, information available is supplied in the table. The table shows the breakdown of pensioners (women aged 60 and over, men aged 65 and over) in the Angus constituency that have changed their state pension method of payment from pension book to direct payment into a bank account in the last six months broken down into periods available.

More pensioners in the Angus constituency are now paid directly into an account than by Order Book.

Number of pensioners changing their state pension method of payment from pension book to direct payment into an account

Number
14 June-26 July 200373
26 July-6 September 2003151
6 September-25 October 2003177
25 October-29 November 2003250
Total651

Note:

An account includes bank, building society or Post Office card account

Source:

DWP Information Centre, Information & Analysis Directorate (100 per cent. sample).


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Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in the Angus constituency received their retirement pension by means of (a) pension book and (b) direct payment into a bank account as at 1 January. [147463]

Mr. Pond: The information is not available for the date requested.

However, the table shows the breakdown of pensioners (women aged 60 and over, men aged 65 and over) in the Angus constituency that received their state pension by means of pension book and direct payment into a bank account, at 29 November 2003, which is most recent data available:

More pensioners in the Angus constituency are now paid directly into an account than by order book.

Method of paymentNumber of pensioners
Pension book5,751
Direct payment into an account8,315
Total14,066

Note:

An account includes bank, building society or Post Office card account

Source:

DWP Information Centre, Information & Analysis Directorate (100 per cent. sample).


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Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to how many pension and benefit claimants his Department will write to invite them to move to direct payment. [149181]

Mr. Pond: We are in the process of issuing approximately 14.25 million invitations for pension and benefit customers to move to direct payment. We are making good progress and have so far issued almost 60 per cent. of these invitations.

Key figures on the progress of conversion to direct payment are available in the Library updated every four weeks.

Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) working age benefits, (b) disability and carers' benefit, (c) retirement pension, (d) child benefit and (e) war pensions claimants are paid by (i) direct payment into a bank or building society account, (ii) direct payment into a post office card account, (iii) order book and (iv) other methods. [145975]

Mr. Pond [holding answer 6 January 2004]: The figures in the table have been compiled from data available on 29 November 2003.

BenefitAccounts paid by Direct Payment into a bank or building society accountAccounts paid by Direct Payment into a Card Account at the Post OfficeAccounts paid by order bookAccounts paid by other methods
Working age benefits
Jobseeker's allowance (JSA)373,93117,8910377,609
Income support (IS)648,89539,5151,454,41637,222
Incapacity benefit (IB)583,74215,931674,82111,743
Severe disablement allowance (SDA)43,0451,03570,2965,432
Industrial injuries (II)152,8379,073277,0350
Widow's benefit (WB)86,5491,13777,591270
Bereavement benefit (BB)32,8079111,11613
Working age benefits total1,921,80684,6732,565,276432,289
Disability and Carer Benefits Directorate
Disability living allowance (DLA)1,052,31814,9921,029,43487
Attendance allowance (AA)356,0141,780169,633107
Carer's allowance (CA)111,001405298,0860
Disability and carer benefits directorate total1,519,33317,1771,497,153194
Pensioners
State pension5,048,64968,6654,025,02745,527
Pension credit562,2494,7541,478,76610,242
Pensioners total5,610,89873,4195,503,79355,769
Grand total9,052,037175,2699,566,221488,252

Notes:

1. Figures refer to a snapshot of live accounts in payment on the following dates:

Income support—28 November 2003

Jobseeker's allowance—28 November 2003

Industrial injuries—21 November 2003

Pensions (state pension, incapacity benefit, severe disablement allowance, widow's benefit, bereavement benefit)—29 November 2003

Attendance allowance—15 November 2003

Disability living allowance—15 November 2003

Carer's allowance—30 June 2003

Pension credit—14 November 2003 (rated to end November)

Carer's allowance—30 June 2003

Pension credit—14 November 2003 (rated to end November)

2. Please note this is payload and not caseload therefore if a claimant is receiving more than one benefit e.g. pension credit (PC) and state pension (SP) but only receives one combined payment through the PC system they will only be shown as having a pension credit account and not a SP account.

3. Figures quoted are for GB only.

4. The Post Office Card Account has only been available since 1 April 2003. The numbers of customers being paid into a Post Office card account are expected to increase in the coming months as 20 week order books begin to expire and customers begin to receive payment direct into their card accounts.

5. Many bank and Building Society accounts allow access to cash at Post Offices, for benefits and pension customers who wish to collect their payment this way.

Source:

DWP Information Centre, Information & Analysis Directorate (100 per cent. sample).


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War pensions and child benefit accounts are not included in the reply because they are now the responsibility of Ministry of Defence and Inland Revenue respectively.

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pension and benefit claimants who were sent letters inviting them to move to direct payment have indicated that they cannot open or operate a bank account or Post Office card account; and what assessment his Department has made of the number of people who will use the exceptions service method of payment. [146746]

Mr. Pond: Research has shown that 87 per cent. of all our customers and 90 per cent. of pensioners already have an account suitable for Direct Payment.

Almost three and a half million customers have provided their bank account details, and around two million have requested a Post Office card account. However information on the number of customers replying that they could not specifically open or operate a bank or Post Office card account is not available in this format.

We will be further contacting all customers who continue to be paid by order book. Any customers, who cannot open or operate a bank account before order books are no longer available in 2005, will be paid by another method. In the meantime they will continue to receive their payments by order book.

We have always recognised that there will be a small number of people who we cannot pay directly into an account. Our plan is to design an exceptions method of payment to properly meet the needs of these customers. Detailed arrangements for this method of payment are not finalised yet, but it is likely that it will be a cheque-based solution. Payment outlets will include Post Office branches.

The move to Direct Payment is progressing well. Key figures on the progress of conversion to Direct Payment are available in the Library updated every four weeks.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what advice he is offering to local authority social services departments on direct payments with a view to encouraging each authority to adopt a clear strategy on take-up. [148272]

Mr. Pond: We have discussed the move to direct payment widely with customer representative groups including Local Government Association representatives.

The Department's primary objective continues to be to pay benefit and pensions direct into the chosen account of every customer who is able to manage their own affairs, or into a third party account nominated by the customer.

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Customers are supplied directly with information that clearly sets out their account options and enables them to decide which account is right for them.


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