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4 Apr 2005 : Column 1262W—continued

Disabled People

Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to implement the recommendations made in the report Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People. [224411]

Maria Eagle: This is an important report requiring action by a number of Departments. My Department is co-ordinating the overall implementation process. In particular we will be ensuring the involvement of disabled people and other relevant groups in this work, including the setting up of a national forum for disabled people. We have also set up the new Ministers Group—the first meeting is later today—and we will be working closely with other Departments to establish early pilots to test out aspects of the recommendations.

Guarantee and Savings Credits

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) individuals and (b) households are in receipt of (i) guarantee credit only, (ii) savings credit only and (iii) both guarantee and savings credit. [221517]

Malcolm Wicks: The information is given in the table:
Recipients of pension credit by type, Great Britain, 31 December 2004

Guarantee element only767,985948,070
Guarantee element and savings
element combined
Savings element only572,245761,580

1.Figures are based on 100 per cent. Generalised Matching Service (GMS) data. Data taken as at 10 December 2004 have been rated up to give month end figures.
2.Figures are rounded to the nearest 5.
3.Individual recipients may include a small number of partners under the age of 60.
Information Directorate, Department for Work and Pensions, 100 per cent. sample.

Incapacity Benefit

Barbara Follett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment his Department has made of the merits of extending mortgage assistance to those on incapacity benefit. [224432]

Maria Eagle: The Government believe that homeowners should take responsibility for ensuring that mortgage payments are made when they are unable to work.
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Help with mortgage interest is already available to those on incapacity benefit, who are also entitled to income related benefits. We believe that this is the best way of ensuring assistance is targeted at those who need it most.

We have no plans to extend this assistance to non income-related benefits.


Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many job centres there are in the UK; and how many are to be closed as part of the Jobcentre roll-out programme and centralisation of benefit processing. [219299]

Jane Kennedy: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, David Anderson. He will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from David Anderson to Mr. David Willetts dated 4 April 2005:

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New Deal

16. Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the effect of the New Deal has been in Nottingham, North. [224424]

Jane Kennedy: The New Deal has had a major impact in my hon. Friend's constituency helping more than 3,400 people into work and helping to reduce the number of those long-term unemployed by 81 per cent. and long-term youth unemployment by 70 per cent.

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) over 25s, (b) lone parents, (c) over 50s and (d) young people have participated in the New Deal in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) the UK in each year since its inception. [223872]

Jane Kennedy: The information is in the table.
EC starts
(from April 2003)
South Tyneside
North East
Great Britain

1.The new deal for young people started in January 1998; new deal 25 plus started in July 1998; new deal for lone parents started in October 1998; new deal 50 plus started in April 2000.
2.New deal 50 plus EC starts information gives the number of starts to employment credit up to March 2003.
3.New deal 50 plus data are the number of people finding jobs from new deal 50 plus from April 2003. No starts information is available for new deal 50 plus from April 2003.
4.All data are to December 2004.
5.All figures have been rounded to the nearest 10 and for this reason, components may not necessarily sum to totals.
6.South Tyneside information is given for the Jobcentre Plus district of Gateshead and South Tyneside.
7.Information is for Great Britain rather than the UK as the Department's new deals do not operate in Northern Ireland.

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Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in York have been assisted into work through the new deal. [224427]

Maria Eagle: The new deal has been a huge success, so far helping over 1.2 million people into work, including more than 2,000 people in York.

Since 1997, in my hon. Friend's constituency, the new deal has helped to reduce long term adult unemployment by 88 per cent. and long term youth unemployment by 90 per cent.

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