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1 Mar 2005 : Column 1131W—continued

Council Tax Benefit

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will issue notifications of basic entitlement to council tax benefit to relevant claimants of pension credit. [218028]

Mr. Pond: The Pension Service are already doing much to promote council tax benefit take-up, from issuing a housing benefit/council tax benefit claim form
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to everyone who calls the pension credit application line and wishes to claim, to helping people fill in this form when visiting pensioners to take a claim for pension credit.

The Pension Service have also recently provided local authorities with details of those people in their area claiming pension credit but not claiming housing benefit or council tax benefit, for authorities to use to complement their own take-up activities.

Disability Awareness Training

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on disability awareness training in 2003–04; and what information he collects concerning the (a) number and (b) occupation of training recipients. [217359]

Maria Eagle [holding answer 21 February 2005]: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) provides a variety of training for its staff which raises awareness of disability. It is principally aimed at advisers and other people who deal with the public but some is available to all employees. It includes an event called 'Dealing with Vulnerable Groups' which helps staff in dealing with people who are deaf or are visually impaired or who have mental health issues.

In addition to formal training courses, people are increasingly developed by a variety of other means, including mentoring and e-learning in the work place. These include The Diversity Toolkit, which offers a range of training options and which won a British Diversity silver award in the innovation and awareness category in 2004. The disability awareness strand of this has been made compulsory for staff in several DWP businesses.

Although the Department works in partnership with external organisations to develop disability awareness products, training is only delivered to the Department's own staff.

The Department does not collect information about the numbers of its staff who access particular types of training or the cost of delivering different types of training. This information could be collected only at disproportionate cost.

Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many company (a) directors, (b) managers and (c) secretaries have been (i) prosecuted and (ii) convicted for health and safety offences under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 in each year since 1996. [216303]

Jane Kennedy: Information is not available in the format requested. The numbers of company directors or other senior corporate officers (i) prosecuted and (ii) convicted for offences under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 in each year since 1996, in cases following as HSE investigation, are as follows.
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Number of individuals prosecutedNumber of individuals convicted

(25) Year refers to operational year which runs from 1 April to 31 March.
(26) Figures for 2003–04 are provisional

Information specifically about company directors, managers or secretaries is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate costs.

Similar figures for local authority cases are not available from the (voluntary) local authority returns on health and safety enforcement.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he will reply to the question tabled by the right hon. Member for Birkenhead on 19 January, reference 210053. [218695]

Mr. Pond: An answer was given on 21 February 2005, Official Report, columns 405–06W.

Pension Service

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what percentage of calls made to the crisis line from Scotland in each month since July 2004 (a) were answered within 30 seconds, (b) received an engaged tone or recorded message that all agents are busy and (c) were abandoned. [217081]

Mr. Pond: The information is not available.

Public Service Pensions

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost was of the review of the local government, health and other public service pension schemes. [218013]

Mr. Timms: I have been asked to reply.

The cost of the reviews of local government, health and other public service pension schemes is a matter for the individual Departments which are responsible for the schemes and is not available centrally.

Social Fund

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Social Fund (a) community care grants, (b) crisis loans and (c) budgeting loan applications have been (i) made and (ii) received by Jobcentre plus in Scotland in each month since January 2002. [216921]

Mr. Pond: Information is only available on the number of Social Fund claim applications received.
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The available information is in the table.
Numbers of applications for Social Fund Community Care Grants (CCGs), Crisis Loans (CLs) and Budgeting Loans (BLs) received in Scotland since January 2002

January 20026,70029,29017,100
February 20028,06027,81019,730
March 20028,55028,13021,350
April 20028,40027,87022,270
May 20028,84028,24021,960
June 20027,05024,39018,580
July 20028,32027,23020,330
August 20028,15027,00019,100
September 20027,52023,67018,360
October 20029,04027,90025,000
November 20028,79024,03028,390
December 20026,55021,56017,910
January 20037,42028,57017,540
February 20038,19026,20019,370
March 20038,29025,51020,530
April 20038,18025,82020,200
May 20037,85026,66020,150
June 20037,82027,44020,210
July 20038,06028,28018,910
August 20037,21026,53018,020
September 20038,00026,87018,910
October 20038,59028,94023,350
November 20038,27024,61025,950
December 20036,85024,70019,010
January 20046,93028,30015,610
February 20047,62028,12017,030
March 20049,08030,26021,430
April 20047,40024,50018,050
May 20047,59025,41017,850
June 20048,36026,86019,250
July 20047,01022,75015,380
August 20047,84025,14017,530
September 20047,03024,32016,670
October 20047,28023,71018,980
November 20048,26024,35027,420
December 20046,27022,50018,260
January 20056,78027,82012,810

1. Jobcentre Plus was created in April 2002. Data prior to that is for the Benefits Agency.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System.



Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been spent since 2001 on UK military operations (a) solely and (b) mainly relating to (i) Afghanistan and (ii) Iraq. [218320]

Mr. Ingram: Ministry of Defence identifies the costs of operations in terms of the net additional costs it has incurred. Additional costs for larger operations are identified separately and are published in the MOD's annual report and accounts following audit by the NAO.

On this basis, the cost of military operations in Afghanistan from 2001–02 to the end of 2003–04 was £578 million. Similarly, the cost of activities in Iraq under Operation Telic commencing in 2002–03 and to the end of 2003–04 was £2,158 million.
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Figures for costs in 2004–05 will be published in the MOD's annual report and accounts for 2004–05 in the autumn.

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