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Mr. Plaskitt: We estimate that the number of people in employment (including the self-employed) in the UK currently not accruing a basic state pension is 1.08 million (full-time employment 370,000, part-time employment 710,000).
We estimate that the number of people in employment (including the self-employed) in the UK currently not contributing to a private pension scheme (occupational, personal or stakeholder) is 11.2 million (full-time employment 7.9 million, part-time employment 3.3 million)
We estimate that the number of people in employment (including the self-employed) in the UK currently not accruing a basic state pension and currently not contributing to a private pension scheme (occupational, personal or stakeholder) is 900,000 (full-time employment 270,000, part-time employment 640,000).
2. Our estimates from the data are of the numbers who are not accruing a pension at a given point in time. Some of those will be people who have made provision previously, and many will build up pensions subsequently.
3. With regards to the basic state pension, the data shows whether individuals would gain state pension entitlement if they remained in the same position all year. In practice some shown as not accruing will go on to gain a year's entitlement, and others who appear to be accruing will not.
4. All full-time employees should be earning enough to accrue a basic state pension. However some self employed may work full-time but not reach the lower profits level, and some employees may report they work full-time for less than the national minimum wage. Of the 370,000 people in full-time employment currently not accruing a state pension, 250,000 are self employed.
Mr. Plaskitt: Information is not available in the format requested. Stakeholder pensions are designed to be flexible, with holders able to take breaks in contributions without incurring penalty charges. This means that those stakeholder pensions that did not receive contributions in a particular year are not necessarily permanently dormant.
Out of the 1,060,000 stakeholder pensions receiving contributions in the 200203 tax year, 40 per cent. (420,000) had an employer contribution. Not all stakeholder pensions receiving a contribution in that year will have been eligible for an employer contribution: stakeholder pensions are available to everyone including the self employed, carers and those in training or education.
This information is derived from a sample of annual returns of information submitted to the Inland Revenue (now HM Revenue and Customs) by stakeholder pension providers. The figures are rounded to the nearest 10,000.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the net public expenditure cost, after allowing for pension credit and tax income, of the basic state pension in 2026 if the basic state pension is increased annually from 2006 by the increase in average earnings plus £2 per week. 
3. Costs are net of income related benefits (savings credit, guarantee credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit) and income tax, and are calculated using the Department's policy simulation model for 200506.
4. The category A rate of basic state pension has been uprated by earnings plus £2 and category B pensions have been uprated by earnings plus £1.20 (i.e. approximately 60 per cent. of the category A rate).
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what value for money procurement savings were identified and what reduction in civil service posts occurred in his Department in 200405. 
In pre-Budget report 2004 the Chancellor reported OGC value for money gains in central civil government procurement for 200304 of £2billion. OGC value for money procurement gains for 200405 are being calculated and will be published in the 2005 Treasury Autumn Performance Report.
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In Budget 2005 the Chancellor announced a headcount reduction of 12,500 posts by the end of 200405, towards the Government's target of a gross reduction of 84,000 civil service and administrative posts by 2008. The number of posts in the Department for Work and Pensions reduced by 9,970 during 200405.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) sign language interpreters and (b) lip-speakers were (i) in training, (ii)employed and (iii) unemployed in the UK in each year since 1997. 
Mrs. McGuire: Information on the number of sign language interpreters who were employed and unemployed in each year since 1997 is not available. Employment statistics are drawn from the Labour Force Survey. However, there is no question in the survey that relates to whether or not respondents can lip read, or are sign language interpreters.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to implement the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly's recommendation on the protection of sign languages. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Government recognised British Sign Language (BSL) as a language in its own right and committed additional funding for initiatives to increase training opportunities for BSL tutors and raise awareness of the language in 2003 before the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly's recommendation was made. These steps are consistent with action that recommendation 1598 (2003) encourages member states to take.
The Council's Committee of Ministers has responsibility on behalf of member states for steering action in response to Parliamentary Assembly recommendation 1598(2003) on the protection of sign languages. The Committee's reply to the Parliamentary Assembly of 5 July 2004 said that a study of the needs of sign language users should inform the decision on any future instrument on the rights of sign language users and that it would update the Assembly on further developments including a possible international conference on sign languages.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how much time elapsed between agreement by the Child Support Agency of the payments to Simone Hampshire, a constituent of the hon. Member for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, and her receipt of such payments; 
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Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 8 June 2005]: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive, Mr. Stephen Geraghty. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions; how much time elapsed between agreement by the Child Support Agency of the payments to Simone Hampshire and her receipt of such payments; if his Department will investigate the Child Support Agency's handling of the case of Simone Hampshire; and if he will make representations to the Child Support Agency to resolve the case of Simone Hampshire.
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