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Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the (a) turnover rate and (b) average caseload has been for disability employment advisers in each of the last 10 years; 
|Region||Number of disability employment advisers|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||59|
|East of England||45|
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the activity of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training in the UK in the last 12 months; and if he will list the publications and newsletters published by the centre over that period. 
(i) Cedefop study visits for vocational training policy makers and practitioners included six visits to the UK by practitioners and policy makers from other EU member states, during 2004, each lasting around five days. 74 visitors from 23 European countries visited England, Scotland and Wales during the period and 57 people from here studied vocational training systems in 21 countries across the EU.
(ii) Cedefop's Refer" network provides information on developments in vocational education and training across the European Union. It comprises exchange of information between national consortia in each EU country. The network encourages and facilitates mutual exchanges of information; promotes the creation of partnerships; and provides consortium members with an opportunity to broaden their contacts with other international organisations in Europe.
Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if the Financial Assistance Scheme will cover circumstances where an employer was solvent prior to their pension scheme being wound up; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the evidential basis was in terms of absolute figures for spending on (a) benefits, (b) tax credits and (c) gross domestic product in each year since 1997 for the statement on page 14 of the Five Year Plan (Cm 6447) that welfare spending has declined from 12.3 per cent. to 11.6 per cent. of gross domestic product since 1997. 
|Benefits(35)||Tax credits(36)||Gross product(37)|
TV Licensing, who administer free television licences for people aged 75 or over as agents for the BBC, are not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued. However, the number of households with at least one person aged 75 or over claiming the winter fuel payment in the Warrington, North constituency in 200304 was 4,815, according to Department for Work and Pensions records.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 13 December 2004, Official Report, columns 138486W, and of 24 January 2005, on incapacity benefit, when he expects to complete his exploration of ways of allowing people with progressive conditions to be able to continue permitted work beyond the initial 52 weeks without being limited to earnings of £20. 
Maria Eagle: We have completed our consideration of this issue. In deciding to whom this new arrangement should apply, we have adopted exemption from the personal capability assessment (PCA) as the criterion. This is in line with the approach adopted for other purposes, for example, in the Pathways to Work Initiative, where the full mandatory provisions are not applied to clients who are exempt from the PCA. We are planning to bring these changes into effect in 2006.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reason incapacity benefit claimants have to register within one month of moving into a job for the 52 week linking rule to apply. 
The 52 week linking protection applies to people who have started work or training within seven days of leaving benefit. In order that the reasons for leaving benefit are correctly identified people are
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required to provide this information within one month. This is considered a reasonable time for the information to be supplied particularly as such a change of circumstances needs to be reported to local Jobcentre Plus and Social Security offices promptly so that benefit is not overpaid. On receipt of the information the incapacity benefit computer system is noted so that the protection is applied when a further claim is received within 52 weeks.
Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many new incapacity benefit claimants had claimed incapacity benefit in the previous 12 months, broken down by the reason for which they previously left incapacity benefit, with particular reference to those who (a) failed the personal capability assessment, (b) failed to attend a medical and (c) failed to provide information. 
Maria Eagle: National data are available only for benefit leavers returning to work who report this to the Department. Research suggests the numbers actually returning to work is significantly higher. In Pathways areas we are getting double the level of improvement in the number of recorded job entries compared to other areas. Between October 2003 and October 2004, 8,300 people were helped into work in the Pathways areas.
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