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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the equipment leasing arrangements entered into by his Department in each of the last two years; and what the cost is to public funds in each case. 
Most equipment used by the Department is not leased but obtained via service contracts. Most office equipment is provided under serviced accommodation arrangements under the 20-year PRIME PFI partnership for estates management services or under other facilities management contracts. IS/IT and telephony equipment is not leased but provided or sourced under long-term service contracts. The Department does enter into leasing agreements for some other equipment, principally photocopiers, but
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these arrangements are made at local level. The information on these arrangements required to answer the questions is not collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost of refurbishments in his Department was in each year since 1997; and what the planned expenditure is for 200506. 
Maria Eagle: DWP was formed in June 2001 from the former Department of Social Security (DSS) and parts of the former Department for Education and Employment, including the Employment Service (ES). Information for the period prior to June 2001 refers to the former DSS and ES.
|Total (£ million)|
|Total (£ million)|
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate how many disabled people will receive the personal budget for disabled people in the constituency of Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East. 
Maria Eagle: Prime Minister's Strategy Unit Report Improving the life chances of disabled people" sets out the Government's commitment to introducing, over time, new arrangements for individualised budgets for all disabled people. More work is needed to develop the detail of these arrangements and the Department of Health, supported by this Department and the office of the Deputy Prime Minister, will be developing early pilots to start testing the feasibility of this new approach.
Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people who were disabled before their 65th birthdays were unable to claim disability living allowance because they were incapable of doing so because of illness or other reasons in the last period for which figures are available; and what the main reasons for inability to claim were. 
|Number of devices|
|Communications room equipment||6,495|
|Large and specialist monitors||4,187|
|Order book printers||349|
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how much has been spent on entertainment by his Department in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) food, (b) alcohol, (c) staff and (d) accommodation; 
Maria Eagle: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was formed in June 2001 from the Department of Social Security (DSS) and parts of the former Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) including the Employment Service (ES).
Expenditure on official hospitality, entertainment of non-civil servants, is not collected at the level of detail requested. The available information on official hospitality expenditure, including working lunches, is in the table.
All expenditure on official hospitality and on working lunches is made in accordance with published departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on principles set out in Government Accounting.
|Official hospitality(76)||Working lunches(77)|
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will make a statement on the circumstances in which, under the plans published in his Department's five year strategy, existing incapacity benefit claimants would be able to move from incapacity benefit to (a) rehabilitation support allowance and (b) disability and sickness allowance; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the number of existing claimants who would seek to move from incapacity benefit to (a) the rehabilitation support allowance and (b) the disability and sickness allowance under the plans set out in the Department's five year strategy. 
No estimate has been made of the numbers who would seek to move from incapacity benefit to rehabilitation support allowance or disability and sickness allowance. We will explore and discuss with stakeholders how best to incentivise existing
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claimants to access the support on offer to help them return to work. As part of this we will make any necessary changes to the linking rules to support the new arrangements.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether people who would be entitled to statutory sick pay under the present system would receive (a) SSP and (b) the new holding benefit under the plans set out in his Department's Five Year Strategy. 
Maria Eagle: People who would be entitled to statutory sick pay under the present system would remain entitled to statutory sick pay under the reforms to the incapacity benefits as set out in our Five Year Strategy. We intend to ensure that statutory sick pay provides the right incentives to employers to rehabilitate people and get them back to work quickly.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what exceptions he plans to the requirement for claimants of his proposed disability and sickness allowance to attend work-focussed interviews; and what sanctions he expects will be applied where there is non-compliance. 
Maria Eagle: We would expect to continue with the current arrangements for waiving and deferring mandatory work-focused interviews that currently apply within the Pathways to Work pilots and Jobcentre Plus generally. We would also expect that the current sanctions regime applicable to any failure to take part in a work-focused interview without good cause would equally apply.
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