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Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the company pension funds identified in government-funded research as potentially eligible for the financial assistance scheme, broken down by estimated number of relevant scheme members. 
Malcolm Wicks: We are currently analysing information on pension schemes obtained from our recent data collection exercise. Once we have done so we hope, as indicated in the written ministerial statement I gave on 2 December 2004, Official Report, columns 6466WS, to be able to issue an indicative list of schemes likely to be eligible for assistance if they are subsequently shown to comply with the financial assistance scheme rules.
Malcolm Wicks: The Government's announcement of the financial assistance scheme (FAS) on 14 May 2004 made clear that the FAS is intended to deal with the considerable hardship caused by pension schemes winding up underfunded before the introduction of the Pension Protection Fund, which will cover such cases in the future. That objective is reflected in my oral answer on FAS as an emergency package on 24 January 2005, Official Report, column 18.
Malcolm Wicks: On the expected start date for the financial assistance scheme, I refer to the written statement I gave on 2 December 2004, Official Report, column 66WS. As usual when a new policy is introduced, we have held and continue to hold a number of meetings on operational issues both within DWP and with other relevant Government Departments.
Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what framework his Department has put in place to enable a disabled claimant whose income support has been withdrawn under the cohabitation rule to have benefit restored if it can be demonstrated that he is not living with his carer as husband and wife; and if he will examine the case of Mr. Woodward, a constituent. 
Where there is a dispute as to whether unmarried persons who share accommodation can be treated as living as husband and wife for income support purposes, a decision will be made by a decision
31 Jan 2005 : Column 608W
maker. This decision is based on a careful consideration of all the relevant circumstances. No unmarried persons would be assessed as living together as husband and wife merely because they shared accommodation.
The decision maker will refer to a number of key criteria in deciding whether or not two people are treated as a single unit for income support purposes, but the decision is made on the relationship as a whole. When the decision letter is sent to the customer advising that their income support is no longer payable, they are advised what they can do if they disagree with the decision, including details of the appeals process.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what standards are set in Jobcentre Plus offices for (a) response times within which telephone numbers which are advertised to the public are answered and (b) the percentage of time in a working day when lines are not engaged; and what the most recent figures are for performance against these standards. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question concerning the response times on telephone calls. You asked specifically about the response times before telephone numbers which are advertised to the public are answered, the percentage of time in a working day when lines are not engaged and what the most recent figures are for the performance against these standards. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Jobcentre Plus has a Customers' Charter which sets out the level of service that customers can expect when dealing with us, including the standards we aim for when answering telephone calls. The current standard states when you phone us or use a textphone we aim to answer your call within 30 seconds". The Charter is available from our local offices or can be printed from the internet through the Jobcentre Plus website. I have placed a copy of the latest version of the Charter in the Library.
This standard has been in place since the introduction of Jobcentre Plus and applies equally to all areas of the businesswhether delivered through our local offices or through the network of modern contact centres that we are putting in place.
In the Jobcentre Plus National Customer Satisfaction Survey 2003, a copy of which is available in the Library, we asked our customers if this standard still met their expectations. Of those respondents who normally contacted us by telephone 69 per cent. felt that it was reasonable to wait at least 30 seconds and nearly two thirds of those people considered it reasonable to wait over a minute.
You asked for our most recent figures for performance in two separate areas. The performance of the 30 second response time is measured in two ways: through a Mystery Shopping Programme which measures performance against a range of service standards as defined in our Customer Service Target; and by Management Information from our contact centre network. I have provided that information. However, our telephony systems do not
We are moving towards an organisational structure in which many of our services will be delivered by telephonebut at the moment nearly 50 per cent. of the local office network has still to be converted to the integrated Jobcentre Plus service delivery model. Many of those offices do not have centralised switchboard systems, nor dedicated telephony teams. We therefore use the Mystery Shopping programme to undertake telephone calls on a sampled basis at a level that will provide us with robust information for the network as a whole.
The programme is undertaken by an external contractor (NOP Mystery Shopping). It includes three telephone calls to each office per quarter. The information for the first three quarters of this year (AprilDecember) show:
|Time taken to answer||Percentage|
|0 to 30 seconds||79.3|
|31 to50 seconds||5.6|
|51 to 60 seconds||2.5|
|Total calls made||10,105|
Our network of contact centres deliver services by telephone to those customers making new/repeat claims to benefit or those wanting to find jobs. For each type of service the contact centres have a more demanding internal standard of answering 80 per cent. of all calls within 20 seconds from the time that a call is routed to an agent. There is also a target to answer 95 per cent. of calls.
Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research his Department has conducted into the average cost per additional job created (a) under the new deal programmes and (b) in employment zones; whether the research produced figures broken down by region; and whether research investigated (i) the number who would have found employment notwithstanding the new deal and (ii) the effect on (A) tax receipts and (B) unemployment benefits from the jobs created. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 25 January 2005]: Research has been conducted on the macro-economic effect of the new deal for young people (NDYP) and the new deal for lone parents (NDLP). Information is not available on costs per additional job by region. A full cost-benefit analysis, including the effect on tax benefits and unemployment benefits, is not available.
The National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) undertook a detailed macro-economic analysis of NDYP until March 2000 1 . NIESR calculated the net budgetary cost per job was £7,000 per
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annum (excluding the Environmental Task Force and Voluntary Sector options) or £4,000 per annum when these two options are included. The National Audit Office report 2 suggested that the average annual cost per additional person of any age in employment through the new deal for young people is within the range of £5,000-£8,000.
NIESR calculated that by March 2000, NDYP had reduced unemployment among all age groups by 35,000. They also estimated that NDYP raised youth employment by 15,000 (excluding those on the Environmental Task Force and Voluntary Sector options). Adding these two options raised this to 30,000 more young people in work due to NDYP.
Evidence on the cost-effectiveness of the new deal for lone parents (NDLP) comes from the provisional cost-benefit analysis of NDLP carried out by departmental economists. The findings were published in the NDLP Evaluation Synthesis Report in June 2003 3 . The unit costs of NDLP in 200001 were £400 per participant. The gross cost per job was around £860.
A calculation of cost-effectiveness takes into account the additional earnings from movements into work and the costs of running the programme in 200001. NDLP provided a significant net economic gain to society, with a net benefit of over £4,400 from each additional job, and a total net gain of £115 million.
The net impact on public finance was also calculated. This included the cost of in-work credits and benefits such as the working families' tax credit. NDLP in 200102 resulted in a net exchequer saving of £1,600 for each additional job entrya total saving of £41.5 million.
There has been no macro-economic analysis undertaken of the net impact of Employment Zones on the 25 plus client group. Research undertaken by the National Centre for Social Research 4 estimated the comparative outcomes of Employment Zones and new deal 25 plus.
2 New Deal for Young People, National Audit Office, February 2002. 3 Evaluation of the New Deal for Lone Parents: Early lessons from the Phase One PrototypeSynthesis Report. Research Report 108, June 2003. 4 National Centre for Social Research (2003): Evaluation of Employment Zones: Report on a Cohort Survey of Long Term Unemployed People in the Zones and a Matched Set of Comparison Areas.
|Programme||Number of individuals into work|
|New Deal for Young People||740|
|New Deal 25 plus||240|
|New Deal for Lone Parents||690|
|New Deal 50 plus||140|
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) young people, (b) single mothers, (c) disabled people, (d) people aged over 50 years and (e) others have benefited from the new deal in the Nottingham, North constituency since its inception. 
|Individual starts||Individuals into work|
|People aged 50 plus||640||300|
Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have started each of the new deal for employment programmes in (a) North East Lincolnshire and (b) North Lincolnshire; and how many have entered work. 
|New Deal for Young People||New Deal 25 plus||New Deal for Lone Parents||New Deal|
|Individual starts||Individuals into work||Individual starts||Individuals into work||Individual starts||Individuals into work||Individuals into work|
|North East Lincolnshire||4,340||2,920||2,100||870||2,470||1,430||640|
Ross Cranston: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individuals have been on the New Deal in Dudley, North constituency in each year since 1998; and if he will make a statement. 
|New deal for young people||New deal 25 plus||New deal for lone parents||New deal 50|
|Individual starts||Individuals into work||Individual starts||Individuals into work||Individual starts||Individuals into work||plusemployment Credit Starts|
|Pre October 1998||200||70||20||0||0||0||0|
|October 1998 to September 1999||210||150||130||40||100||60||0|
|October 1999 to September 2000||230||220||140||70||120||110||50|
|October 2000 to September 2001||250||190||380||80||110||70||90|
|October 2001 to September 2002||240||160||320||100||150||80||70|
|October 2002 to September 2003||350||180||340||100||190||80||40|
|October 2003 to September 2004||400||150||250||90||260||100|
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