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Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assistance is available to lone parents who wish to return to work in Hendon; how many people have taken up this assistance; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: Work focused interviews provide lone parents with the opportunity to discuss work options and find out about the help available to them through the New Deal for Lone Parents. The New Deal offers lone parents access to support, advice and training which will improve their employment prospects. Other measures to tackle barriers to lone parents entering work include improving the availability of affordable child care and making work pay through the introduction of child tax credit and working tax credit.
1,030 lone parents have started New Deal for Lone Parents in Hendon since the beginning of the programme in October 1998, and 440 have gained a job. Figures for lone parents who have participated in and gained work through other New Deal programmes are not available.
Malcolm Wicks: The Department has a Public Service Agreement to have 3 million households in receipt of pension credit in Great Britain by the end of February 2006. As part of last year's Spending Review, we gave a commitment to increase that to £3.2 million households by the end of March 2008. There are no separate targets for Scotland.
Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to alter the regulations covering entitlement to pension credit to take account of the aspects of the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 regarding the equal treatment of homosexual couples. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Government hope that the provisions of the Civil Partnership Act can be commenced about a year after the granting of Royal Assent. Consequential changes will be made to the pension credit regulations to the same time scale.
Malcolm Wicks: Pension credit reporting arrangements were originally designed for a new policy bedding in during its first year. A decision was taken at the beginning of November 2004 that, starting in 2005, information on numbers of pension credit recipients would be reported on a quarterly basis, as stated in the pension credit progress report published on 8 November 2004, a copy of which is in the Library.
On 18 November 2004, I met Graham Honeyman, Managing Director of Sheffield Forgemasters, my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Helen Jackson) and my right hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Central (Mr. Caborn) to discuss their concerns about the pension scheme. Subsequently, officials met Graham Honeyman on 20 January 2005 to discuss general points around current and future pensions legislation.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much has been spent by his Department on (a) indoor bought plants, (b) indoor hired plants, (c) outdoor bought plants and (d) outdoor hired plants in each year since 1997. 
The Scotland Office was established on 1 July 1999. No expenditure was incurred on bought
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or hired outdoor plants; the amount spent on indoor plants was is set out in the following table:
|Indoor bought plants||Indoor hired plants|
Mrs. McGuire: The Scotland Office was established on 1 July 1999. The Office occasionally hires furniture for meetings and events, but details are not held centrally. The amount spent on new furniture in each year since 1 July 1999 was as follows.
Details of expenditure on first class travel is not recorded centrally. Information relating to overseas travel by Ministers is published on an annual basis. Information for the period 2 May 1997 to 31 March 2004 is available in the Library of the House. Information for the financial year 200405 will be published as soon as possible at the end of the current financial year.
The Department for Work and Pensions has spent £766,857,750 on winter fuel payments in Scotland in the years 19992000 to 200304 and £14,795,457 on cold weather payments in Scotland in the years 199798 to 200304. Figures are not available for the years 199798 and 199899 for winter
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fuel payments. Cold weather payments costs are based on estimated qualifiers. The figures for each of the relevant years are as follows:
|Winter fuel payments||Cold weather payments|
Mrs. McGuire: The Scotland Office was established on 1 July 1999. Since that date, the Office had one television subscription in 1999 and two television subscriptions each year thereafter. The costs are shown as follows:
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