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8 Nov 2004 : Column 471W—continued

Agency Staff

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 1 November 2004, Official Report, column 113W, on agency staff, how many agency temporary staff were working for his Department in its central headquarters buildings in as many of the last five years as may be calculated without incurring disproportionate cost. [196617]

Maria Eagle: None of the information requested could be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.

Construction Industry

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) deaths and (b) notified injuries there have been in the construction industry in each year since 1996. [195407]

Jane Kennedy: The table shows fatal and total injuries in construction reported to HSE under the RIDDOR Regulations during the period 1996–97 to 2003–4 1 .
Injuries to workers in the construction industry— reported to all enforcing authorities 1996–97 to 2003–04 1

StatusYearFatal injuriesTotal injuries

8 Nov 2004 : Column 472W

Injuries to members of the public in the construction industry— reported to all enforcing authorities 1996–97 to 2002–03

StatusYearFatal injuriesTotal injuries
Members of the public1996–973408

(4) Provisional
(5) Provisional non-fatal injury figures for 2003–04 will be available on 18 November 2004 following the publication of Health and Safety Statistics Highlights.
The construction industry is identified using Standard Industrial Classification 1992 Section F.
Injuries are reported and defined under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995. These include injuries to employees, self-employed people and members of the public.

Council Tax Benefit

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people are not claiming the council tax benefit to which they are entitled; and if he will make a statement. [196318]

Mr. Pond: Our most recent estimate, 2001–02, is that between 1.7 million and 2.3 million people who are entitled to council tax benefit are not receiving it.

Since then we have been working hard with local authorities to ensure that those people who are entitled to council tax benefit, get it.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) households and (b) pensioner households claimed council tax benefit in England in (i) 1997 and (ii) the latest year for which figures are available. [194687]

Mr. Pond: The available information is in the table.
Council tax benefit recipients in England

All casesAged 60 and over
May 19974,627,0002,223,000
May 20033,851,0001,953,000
May 20043,993,600(6)

(6) Not available.
1. Data refers to benefit units which may be a single person, couple or family.
2. Figures at 1997 and 2003 are rounded to the nearest thousand. The figure for May 2004 is rounded the nearest hundred.
3. 1997 and 2003 figures are based on a 1 per cent. sample and are therefore subject to a degree of sampling variation.
4. Council tax benefit totals exclude any Second Adult Rebate cases.
5. "Aged 60 and over" refers to cases where the claimant and/or partner is aged 60 or over.
6. May 2004 data includes estimates for any non-responding local authorities.
7. The latest figures available for recipients aged 60 or over are May 2003.
9. No figures on the number of recipients of council tax benefit have been produced since the introduction of pension credit.
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System, Annual 1 per cent. sample, taken in May 1997 and 2003. Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System Quarterly 100 per cent. caseload stock-count taken in May 2004.

8 Nov 2004 : Column 473W

Disability Rights Legislation

Mrs. Betty Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) areas, (b) groups and (c) services have been affected by the extension of rights under disability rights legislation since 1997. [196332]

Maria Eagle: Since 1997, this Government has significantly extended and improved rights for disabled people in employment, access to goods and services, education and transport. The Disability Discrimination Act now provides substantial protection against disability discrimination for around 10 million disabled adults and 700,000 disabled children.

Miss Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what impact the extension of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 on 1 October has had on disabled people's rights. [196338]

Maria Eagle: The improvements we made to the Disability Discrimination Act on 1 October this year extend the employment duties to a further 1 million employers and cover an additional 7 million jobs, including 600,000 in which disabled people already work. By requiring service providers to tackle physical barriers to disabled people accessing their services, they will also open up access to goods and services for the 10 million disabled adults and 700,000 disabled children covered by the Act.

EU Commissions

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many times during the Greek presidency of the EU the Audit Board of the Administrative Commission on Social Security for Migrant Workers met; when and where these meetings took place; which UK Government expert was present at each meeting; what (i) technical and (ii) financial issues were raised by the UK Government expert at each meeting; what recommendations the Committee produced during that period; what actions were (A) proposed and (B) taken by (1) the EU and (2) the UK Government as a result of the Committee's recommendations; and if he will make a statement. [196102]

Mr. Hutton: I have been asked to reply.

The audit board of the administrative commission on social security for migrant workers met once during the Greek presidency, on 7–8 May 2003 in Brussels. Officials from the Department attended. The first day was a plenary session and the second devoted to a series of bilateral discussions.

The United Kingdom presented a paper setting out the average costs of treatment given by the national health service in the UK for the year 2000. A number of other member states also presented average cost papers. After analysis and discussion all were accepted by the audit board apart from that for France which was remitted to the next meeting for further explanations and study.
8 Nov 2004 : Column 474W

During the Greek presidency, the audit board considered matters concerning; improvement of the administration of, and the then current position on, the payment of old claims between member states; questions concerning the revision of Regulation (EEC) no. 574/72 in the light of work then in progress to simplify and update Regulation (EEC) no 1408/71. The audit board also discussed several other more minor matters which required further deliberation at subsequent meetings or at the administrative commission.

UK officials had bilateral talks on 8 May 2003 with Austria, Belgium and Italy concerning reimbursements of mutual claims.

Jobcentre Plus

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many additional Jobcentre Plus employees have been employed in the last two years; and what the projected increase over the next three years is for each existing or planned Jobcentre Plus office in North Wales. [190876]

Jane Kennedy: 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. Chris Ruane, dated 8 November 2004:

Year endingHeadcount targetStaff in post
31 March 2003885.2876.73
31 March 2004882.3875.69

The figures are expressed as whole time equivalent (WTE) posts.

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