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Denzil Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her estimate is of the percentage change in the hours worked per capita in the UK in (a) 1970 to 1980, (b) 1981 to 1997 and (c) 1998 to the latest available year. 
(a) Unfortunately no data for this time period is available on the Labour Force Survey.
(b) The Labour Force Survey reweighted data starts from 1992. The change in hours worked (that is total hours worked and excluding overtime) from spring 1992 to spring 1997 is 0.08 per cent.
(c) The change in hours (that is total hours worked and excluding overtime) worked from spring 1998 to spring 2004 is 0.59 per cent.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate the Government have
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made of (a) how many and (b) what percentage of children lived in poverty in (i) St. Helens and (ii) the UK, broken down by region, in each year since 1997; 
(2) what estimate the Government have made of (a) how many and (b) what percentage of children lived in low-income households in (i) St. Helens and (ii) the UK, broken down by region, in each year since 1997; 
(3) what the Government's performance has been against each of its child poverty reduction targets in (a) St. Helens and (b) the UK, broken down by region, since 1997. 
Mr. Pond: Poverty and social exclusion are complex and multi-dimensional issues, affecting many aspects of peoples' livesincluding their living standards, health, housing, the quality of their environmentand not just low income. The sixth annual "Opportunity For All" report (Cm 6329) sets out the Governments strategy for tackling poverty and social exclusion and presents information on the indicators used to measure progress against this strategy.
Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people in Faversham are claiming (a) jobseeker's allowance and (b) incapacity benefit or their equivalents; and how many were doing so in 1997; 
(2) how many people in the Faversham and Mid-Kent constituency are claiming (a) jobseeker's allowance and (b) incapacity benefit or their equivalents; and how many were doing so in 1997. 
|Swale local authority||4.3|
|Faversham and Mid-Kent parliamentary constituency||2.5|
|Swale local authority||5.1|
|Faversham and Mid-Kent parliamentary constituency||3.1|
|Swale local authority||Faversham and Mid-Kent parliamentary constituency|
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have (a) nominated agents to collect state benefits on their behalf and (b) made formal appointments for third parties to receive and handle the administration of benefits on their behalf on account of their lack of mental capacity. 
Mr. Pond: Bereavement benefits were introduced on 9 April 2001, and for the first time extended support to both widows and widowers following the death of a spouse. These new benefits concentrate the help available where it is most needed; on immediate needs and on families with children.
Widowed parent's allowance is a weekly benefit payable to widowed parents who satisfy the qualifying conditions. The bereavement payment is a lump sum payment of £2,000 payable immediately to help with costs arising on bereavement. In addition, bereavement allowance is a weekly benefit payable, for 52 weeks following widowhood, to widows and widowers aged 45 and over without dependant children.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will provide a Written Ministerial Statement outlining the key points on the agenda for each of the Council of Ministers' meetings at which his Department is represented in advance of each meeting; 
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(2) if he will provide a Written Ministerial Statement outlining for each meeting of the Council of Ministers at which his Department is represented as soon as is practicable following that meeting (a) the key items of discussion, (b) the positions of the Government on those items, (c) the key positions taken by other member states that Ministers consider should be noted by hon. Members and (d) any preliminary discussion on the timing and the agenda of the following meeting. 
Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what training is provided to staff of his Department to enable them to give sufficient advice to those who are bereaved on what benefits are available to them. 
Maria Eagle: Staff who deal with bereavement benefits claims have extensive technical training on those benefits before commencing their job. The training includes both classroom lessons and computer based material. Although primarily aimed at staff who process benefit claims, the training can also assist Personal Advisors and Financial Assessors in gaining a comprehensive understanding of these benefits.
Additionally, further computer-based learning on the availability of bereavement benefits can be accessed by all staff who are likely to come into contact with, and give advice to, recently bereaved customers.
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