|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
|Programme||Number of people starting the programme||Number of people gaining a job|
|New Deal for Lone Parents||990||500|
|New Deal for Young People||1,340||850|
|New Deal 25 plus||620||230|
|New Deal 50 plus(8)||||220|
Malcolm Wicks: Poverty is about more than low income; is also about other important factors in their livestheir health, housing and the quality of their environment. The sixth annual "Opportunity for all" report (Cm 6239), published in September 2004, sets out the Government's strategy for tackling poverty and social exclusion and presents information on the indicators used to measure progress against this strategy.
|Before housing costs below 60 per cent. median||After housing costs below 60 per cent. median|
|(a) Single female pensioner||22||21|
|(b) Single male pensioner||17||17|
|(c) Pensioner couple||21||23|
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the percentage of (a) single female pensioners, (b) single
24 Jan 2005 : Column 61W
male pensioners and (c) pensioner couples who would be in poverty if the basic state pension was paid at its current level to all pensioners. 
Estimates of the number of pensioners with low income under a different policy, such as that described in the question, are subject to a high degree of uncertainty. However, using the Department's Policy Simulation Model for 200405 it has been estimated that the effect of paying the maximum rate of basic state pension to all pensioners is a reduction in the order of five percentage points of the proportion of pensioner couples with incomes below 60 per cent. of median income, on both the "before housing costs" and on the "after housing costs" measures. The proportion of single female pensioners and single male pensioners on low income is estimated to remain broadly unchanged as a result of paying the full amount of basic state pension to all pensioners.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what investigations he has made into the reliability and efficiency of the Post Office Card Account's computer system; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Pond: A contract exists between Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Post Office Ltd. (POL) for the provision of the Post Office card account service to agreed service standards. Since April 2003 DWP has successfully made over 67 million payments to Post Office card accounts and as at December 2004 over 4 million card accounts have been opened. Throughout the period DWP has been liaising with POL, monitoring the performance of the service against service standards on an on-going basis.
Since April 2003 there have been a small number of service incidents that have briefly affected payment to DWP customers. On these occasions there has been close contact with POL to understand the problem, to ensure action was being taken in line with comprehensive continuity arrangements included in the contract to restore the service quickly, and to ensure that remedial action has been taken and any lessons learned acted upon.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have been unable to collect their pensions due to breakdowns of the Post Office card account computer system since its introduction; and if he will make a statement. 
The Information is not available in the form requested. Since April 2003, when the Post Office card account system was introduced, there have been a small number of incidents that have briefly affected payments to the Department's customers. These incidents have caused some inconvenience to customers and delay in withdrawing benefit from accounts. It is not possible to say how many customers were temporarily unable to collect their pensions at the Post Office as a result.
24 Jan 2005 : Column 62W
|Key management indicators|
|Social Fund Accuracy||75 per cent.|
|Community Care Grant AACT||9 days|
|Budgeting loans AACT||8 days|
|Crisis loans AACT||2 days|
|Funeral payments AACT||16 days|
|Sure Start maternity Grants AACT||5 days|
|Internal Reviews AACT||10 days|
|Aged 1524 unemployment rate||Aged 1524 employment rate||Aged 1524 economically active|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|