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6 Dec 2005 : Column 1198W—continued

Incapacity Benefit

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much has been claimed in incapacity benefit in Milton Keynes since 2000. [20827]

Mrs. McGuire: The available information is in the table.
 
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Incapacity benefit paid in Milton Keynes

£ million
Nominal termsReal terms (2005–06 prices)
2000–011518
2001–021618
2002–031718
2003–041718
2004–051718




Notes:
1. The Milton Keynes expenditure is the sum of the expenditure in Milton Keynes South West and North East Milton Keynes constituencies.
2. Expenditure is rounded to the nearest £ million.
3. Benefit expenditure and case load information is published on the internet at: www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd4/expenditure.asp.
Source:
Department for Work and Pensions, Information Directorate 5 per cent. sample Department for Work and Pensions, Benefit expenditure tables.




Edward Miliband: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many incapacity benefit claimants there are in Doncaster, North; how many claimants there were in each year since 1984; and what proportion of the working age population this represented in each year. [29336]

Mrs. McGuire: The information is not available in the format requested. A breakdown of figures by parliamentary constituency is not available prior to 1997. Working-age population estimates are not available by parliamentary constituency. Figures broken down by local authorities are available from 1995 together with working-age population estimates.

The available information is in the tables.
Incapacity benefit and severe disability allowance claimants in the Doncaster, North parliamentary constituency

Number of claimants
May 19977,600
May 19987,100
May 19996,600
May 20006,100
May 20016,300
May 20026,200
May 20036,100
May 20046,000
May 20055,600




Source:
DWP Information Directorate, five per cent. samples from 1995 to 1999 and Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent. data thereafter.





Incapacity benefit and severe disability allowance claimants in the Doncaster metropolitan borough council area and as a percentage of the working-age population of the borough

Number of claimantsPercentage
May 199524,10013.8
May 199624,50014.1
May 199723,50013.5
May 199821,80012.6
May 199920,30011.8
May 200019,50011.3
May 200119,90011.6
May 200219,60011.3
May 200319,30011.1
May 200419,10010.9
May 200518,30010.4




Notes:
1. The figures for 1995 to 1997 have been produced using the 5 per cent. sample data and have been rated up proportionally using the Great Britain WPLS 100 per cent. IB/SDA totals.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.
3. 'Claimant' figures include all incapacity benefit (IB) and severe disability allowance (including IB credits only cases).
4. The population estimates used for the local authority are relevant to the dates shown above.
Source:
DWP Information Directorate, five per cent. samples from 1997 to 1999 and Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS) 100 per cent. data thereafter. ONS population estimates.





 
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Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Workand Pensions (1) how many claimants of incapacity benefit were medically examined in each year since 1997 [29337]

(2) how many applicants for incapacity benefit (a) were medically examined as part of their claim and (b) received benefit in each year since 1997. [29338]

Mrs. McGuire: The total number of claimants of incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance who were medically examined is shown in the following table.
Exams
September 1999 to August 2000397,284
September 2000 to August 2001402,302
September 2001 to August 2002509,831
September 2002 to August 2003524,894
September 2003 to August 2004467,256
September 2004 to August 2005483,084




Notes:
1. Figures for the number of medical examinations performed are only available for complete years from September 1999.
2. Volumes include severe disablement allowance cases which cannot be identified separately.




Initial awards of benefit are normally made on the basis of medical evidence from a GP rather than a medical examination. Medical examinations take place at a later date, according to the person's condition and likely duration of incapacity, to decide whether or not they remain incapable of work and whether or not benefit can continue. Income support may continue for other reasons after a person has been found to be no longer incapable of work.

Information about how many of the people examined were receiving benefits is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Independent Living Taskforce

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the Independent Living Task Force will be established; whether it will include expertise on the provision of housing for disabled people in its membership; what its terms of reference will be; and if he will make a statement. [29027]

Mrs. McGuire: The Prime Minister's strategy unit report Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People", a copy of which is in the Library, recommended a Task Force should be established by December 2005. We are now planning to establish a Task Force for independent living by spring 2006. This has enabled us to focus immediate activity on setting up
 
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an office for disability issues and selecting an advisory group to inform the development of a national forum for organisations of disabled people. The membership and terms of reference of the Task Force will be announced when it is established.

Jobcentre Plus

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what provision is made for (a) notification and (b) consultation before the closure of a Jobcentre Plus office. [28694]

Margaret Hodge: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 6 December 2005:

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many jobcentres including Jobcentre Plus offices, have (a) opened, (b) closed and (c) been relocated in each of the past three years. [28703]

Margaret Hodge: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 6 December 2005:


Operational year (April to March)

2002–032003–042004–052005(18)
Offices opened157223115112
Offices closed2,3105
13059


(18) From 1 April 2005 to 4 November 2005.
(19) A combined closure figure is given for 2002–03 and 2003–04 as it is not possible to accurately separate figures for these years.
(20) From 1 April 2002 to 31 March 2004.



 
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Mr. Anthony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what consultation with customers was undertaken prior to implementation of Jobcentre Plus's Customer Management System. [30355]

Margaret Hodge: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. She will write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 6 December 2005:

Mr. Anthony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the total cost has been of staff re-training associated with the implementation of Jobcentre Plus's Customer Management System to date; [30356]
 
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(2) what the total cost has been of consultancy fees associated with the implementation of Jobcentre Plus's Customer Management System to date; [30357]

(3) what the cost has been of the Information Technology element of Jobcentre Plus's Customer Management System to date; and what the predicted final cost is; [30451]

(4) what the overall cost has been of implementing Jobcentre Plus's Customer Management System to date. [30452]

Margaret Hodge: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 6 December 2005:

Mr. Anthony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost is of an (a) in-bound and (b) out-bound call to contact centres using Jobcentre Plus's Customer Management System; and what the cost of each was prior to the implementation of that system. [30358]

Margaret Hodge: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. She will write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Leslie Strathie, dated 6 December 2005:


 
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