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9 Feb 2005 : Column 1564W—continued

Official Residences

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the official residences for which his Department is responsible; who occupies each one; what the annual cost is of running each property; what contribution the current occupants make towards the running costs of each; what the total capital and refurbishment expenditure has been on
 
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those properties in each of the past five years; how much money was spent in each property on (a) flowers and plants, (b) wine and entertaining, (c) food, (d) telephone bills and (e) electricity and gas in 2003–04; how many (i) domestic and (ii) maintenance staff are employed at each property, broken down by post; and what the total cost of staff employment at each was in 2003–04. [213611]

Maria Eagle: DWP is not responsible for any official residences.

Pathways to Work

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost of the Pathways to Work projects in the year to March; and what the estimated cost will be in each of the subsequent four years. [215286]

Jane Kennedy: The information is in the table.
Pathways to Work projects

Estimated costs (£)
2004–0543,040,935
2005–0684,290,000
2006–07148,790,000
2007–08165,890,000
2008–09165,890,000

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the average amount budgeted per claimant on Condition Management Schemes in the new Pathways to Work pilots is; [215287]

(2) how many claimants have gone on Condition Management Schemes in the new Pathways to Work pilots; and what the average spend per client is. [215288]

Maria Eagle: To November 2004, 2,731 customers had been referred to Condition Management programmes in the Pathways to Work pilots.

The current average amount budgeted for individual incapacity benefit customers who enter the Pathways to Work Condition Management Programme is £1,500. Information concerning the average actual spend per client is not available.

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) voluntary and (b) private sector providers are contracted to provide services which aim to get and keep disabled people into work in (i) the areas in which the Pathways to Work programme is operating and (ii) the next set of areas into which the Pathways to Work programme will be rolled out, broken down by area. [215399]

Maria Eagle: The information is in the table.
Pathways to
Work area
Number of voluntary sector providersNumber of private sector providers
Bridgend and Rhondda Cynon Taff35
Derbyshire34
East Lancashire12
Essex61
Gateshead and South Tyneside42
Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, Argyll and Bute(40)64
Somerset35
Total2623


(40) Includes two voluntary bodies that cover the whole of Scotland.



 
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There are also four Workstep national providers, classed as voluntary and charity run, and 52 New Deal for Disabled People providers whose service across the country includes the Pathways to Work pilot areas.

It is not possible to provide specific information for the 14 additional Pathways to Work districts, as services and contracts are still to be agreed.

Advance Payments (Bank Holidays)

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons pension allowances due to be paid on bank holidays over the Christmas period were not paid before Christmas; and what steps he will take to ensure that payment of allowances is not delayed during the next holiday period. [208305]

Mr. Pond: The vast majority of customers who were due to be paid on bank holidays over the Christmas and new year period received payments in advance as planned. An IT failure resulted in some of the customers who were due payment on 3 January not receiving the advance payment that we had planned for 31 December. These customers were paid on 5 January. We have worked with our IT partners to improve the payment system. We are thoroughly testing the proposed solution to ensure payments are advanced appropriately for forthcoming holiday periods.

Pension Credit

Mr. Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners receive pension credit in the Easington constituency. [214929]

Malcolm Wicks: Information on numbers of households and individuals in receipt of pension credit in each constituency at 31 December 2004 is contained in the most recent quarterly pension credit progress report, which was published on 3 February. A copy of the report is in the Library.

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Warrington, North are receiving pension credit; and what the average award is. [214965]

Malcolm Wicks: Information on numbers of households and individuals in receipt of pension credit in each constituency at 31 December 2004, with the average award, is contained in the most recent quarterly pension credit progress report published on 3 February. A copy of the report is in the Library.

Mr. Ronnie Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in Blyth Valley were receiving (a) pension credit and (b) winter fuel payments on the latest date for which figures are available. [214207]


 
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Malcolm Wicks: Information on numbers of households and individuals in receipt of pension credit in each constituency at 31 December 2004 is contained in the most recent quarterly pension credit progress report, which was published on 3 February. A copy of the report is in the Library. Information on the number of people who received winter fuel payments for winter 2003–04 in Blyth Valley is also available in the Library.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for how long he plans to retain pension credit; and if he will make a statement. [214814]

Malcolm Wicks: The Government want all pensioners to have a decent and secure income in retirement and to share fairly in the rising prosperity of the country. We are always thinking about how financial support to pensioners could be improved.

We need to provide a balance between providing a solid foundation of support, while targeting help to those who need it most—the poorest pensioners. Pension credit is an integral part of that strategy. Our priority now is to work towards at least 3 million households receiving pension credit by 2006.
 
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Pensioner Poverty

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what percentage of pensioners were living below the poverty line in each of the last 30 years. [214028]

Malcolm Wicks: Poverty is about more than low income; it also impacts on the way people live—their 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.

Specific information regarding low income for the United Kingdom is available in Households Below Average Income 1994–95 to 2002–03. These publications are available in the Library.

The following table sets out available information on the percentage and number of pensioners living in households with income less than 60 per cent. of median (before and after housing costs). As the IPS has noted, pensioners


Before housing costs
After housing costs
Number (million)PercentageNumber (million)Percentage
Based on the Family Expenditure Survey (FES)
19792.5282.628
19811.5161.920
19872.4242.727
1988–893.3333.839
1990–913.3323.636
1991–922.9283.332
1992–932.5243.029
1993–942.2222.827
1994–952.1212.727
1995–962.2212.828
Based on the Family Resources Survey (FRS)
1994–952.1212.727
1995–962.2222.525
1996–972.1212.727
1997–982.2222.727
1998–992.3232.727
1999–20002.2222.525
2000–012.1212.424
2001–022.2222.222
2002–032.1212.221

Family Expenditure Survey (FES) figures are for the United Kingdom, Family Resources Survey (FRS) figures are for Great Britain. The reference period for FRS figures is single financial years. FES figures are single calendar years from 1979–87, two combined calendar years from 1998–89 to 1992–93 and two financial years combined from 1993–94 to 1995–96. Because of differences between the two surveys results are not strictly comparable.


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