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We are very aware that this is a worrying time for Rover workers but pensioners are currently receiving their pensions in full and we believe it remains a question of when, not if, a PPF assessment period will start. At the moment, the Rover schemes have not yet entered an assessment period because one of the participating employers is still solvent.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the application of the Pension Protection Fund from early retired Rover workers who worked for Rover while it was run by Phoenix Venture Holdings. 
Mr. Timms: We are very aware that this is a worrying time for Rover workers but pensioners are currently receiving their pensions in full and we believe it remains a question of when, not if, a PPF assessment period will start. At the moment the Rover schemes have not yet entered an assessment period because one of the participating employers is still solvent.
The Pension Protection Fund provides 90 per cent. level of compensation for those members who, immediately before the assessment date, are under the scheme's normal pension age. This includes early retirees. However, those members who took early retirement, but have then reached the scheme's normal pension age before the assessment date, will receive 100 per cent. level of compensation.
The compensation cap applies to all members who receive 90 per cent. level of compensation. The compensation cap is age related and is currently £27,777.78 at age 65 (effectively £25,000 at 90 per cent.
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level). The compensation cap is adjusted, according to age, in accordance with actuarial factors published by the board of the PPF.
There are two groups of individuals who, regardless of age, are not subject to the 90 per cent. compensation level; individuals who, before the assessment date, are already in receipt of a survivors' pension and those in receipt of an early pension on the grounds of ill health.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make it his policy to allow disability living allowance benefits to be used for transport support without automatic link to Motability programmes. 
Mrs. McGuire: People entitled to the disability living allowance higher rate mobility component may, if they so choose, use it to obtain a vehicle through the Motability scheme, but they are not obliged to do so and may use the benefit to help with their mobility or transport needs in any way that they wish.
Mrs. McGuire: The Department played no role in the development of new dealer accreditation standards for the Motability Powered Wheelchair and Scooter Scheme. The scheme is directed and overseen by the charity, Motability, and is operated by a private company, route2mobility Ltd. under contract to Motability. The dealer accreditation and other arrangements under which the scheme operates are matters for Motability and route2mobility within the overall scheme objective of providing consistent value and customer service to disabled people using the scheme.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of wheelchair and scooter suppliers able to provide a UK-wide service under the new dealer accreditation arrangements for the Motability scheme. 
Mrs. McGuire: There are currently some 10 wheelchair and scooter suppliers who are potentially able to provide a UK-wide service under the new dealer accreditation arrangements for the Motability Scheme.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to implement the recommendations in the report Occupation Supports Participation; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. McGuire: The report "Occupation Supports Participation" was produced by a joint Department for Work and Pensions/Department of Health Working Group of expertise from the voluntary, private and public sectors.
The report put forward a number of recommendations to improve employment opportunities for people with a learning disability. It fulfils a commitment in the White Paper "Valuing People" and officials from DWP have
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recently met with the National Director of the Valuing People Support Team to discuss how the recommendations can be implemented.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the number of UK pensioners living in absolute poverty for each year from 198586 to 200506; and if he will make a statement. 
|(Relative) after housing costs||(Absolute) after housing costs|
Further information showing the proportion and number of pensioners living in low income households, including annual levels, can be found in the publication 'Households Below Average Income 1994/952003/04', a copy of which can be found in the House of Commons Library. This also reports changes between 1987 and 199596, using the data source and income definitions previously employed for the 'Households Below Average Income' series.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of migrants who apply for refugee status and for whom it is determined that they do not qualify, have been removed from the UK since May 2004; and what the average time between refusal and removal was over that period. 
Information on the numbers of asylum applications and removals of failed asylum seekers is published in the quarterly asylum statistics on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many accommodation centres for asylum seekers other than that proposed at Bicester he expects to be built over the next five years. 
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what he expects the average cost will be of processing an applicant for refugee status at the proposed accommodation centre for asylum seekers at Bicester. 
Mr. McNulty: The average cost will depend on the throughput time, which will depend on a number of factors including the mix of cases and asylum intake at the time, which cannot yet be established. The accommodation centre near Bicester is a trial of a new approach to support applicants through the asylum process; costs of processing will be one factor considered in the evaluation of that trial.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the average cost of processing applications by migrants claiming refugee status to determine whether they are entitled to refugee status. 
Mr. McNulty: Unit cost data prepared by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate was published in the National Audit Office report, "Improving the Speed and Quality of Asylum Decisions" (HC 535, 23 June 2004). This shows that the estimated average cost of processing an application for asylum (including initial screening) in 200203 was £1,850. These figures do not include the costs of asylum appeals, legal aid, or the cost of supporting asylum seekers awaiting a decision on their application.
Mr. McNulty: We have no plans to end the current arrangements for immigration detainees in Northern Ireland. Male detainees continue to be accommodated at the Northern Ireland Prison Service's Working Out Unit in Belfast. Female immigration detainees are accommodated at the Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre and Prison. There is a presumption in all cases that individuals detained in Northern Ireland will be transferred to a removal centre in Great Britain unless they express a wish to remain in Northern Ireland.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers were detained in prisons in Northern Ireland in each of the past three years; what the average period of detention in each case was; and from which country each asylum seeker orginated. 
Mr. McNulty: At present the Home Office does not hold information on asylum seekers detained over a period. Quarterly snapshots are published showing the number of people detained under Immigration Act powers on the last Saturday of each quarter. The number of asylum seekers detained in Northern Ireland prisons on the last Saturday of each of the last three years, and the length of time they have been in detention, are shown in the following tables. The asylum seekers in these figures were nationals of one of the following countries: Algeria, China, Serbia and Montenegro, Macedonia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Thailand. Information on persons detained solely under Immigration Act powers is published on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate web site at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.
|Number of asylum seekers(13)|
|28 December 2002||5|
|27 December 2003||*|
|25 December 2004||*|
|Number of asylum seekers(18)|
|14 days or less|||
|15 to 29 days|||
|1 month to less than 2 months||*|
|2 months to less than 3 months|||
|3 months to less than 4 months|
|4 months to less than 6 months|||
|6 months to less than 1 year||5|
|1 year or more|||
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