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Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria were used to decide that the winter fuel payment (a) would not be means-tested and (b) would be paid to British pensioners overseas; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: The winter fuel payment is not means-tested because we want a simple and cost effective payment that ensures all pensioners can turn up their heating in the winter months without worrying about the cost.
The payment was introduced to help pensioners in Great Britain with their fuel bills. We are obliged under European law to continue paying the winter fuel payment to people who qualify for a payment in Great Britain and then move to another European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what percentage of economically inactive (a) men and (b) women are (i)aged 18 to 34, (ii) aged 35 to50 and (iii) aged 51 to 64 years; and how many of each sex in each age range have expressed an interest in working. 
|Working age inactive|
|Proportion of all working|
age inactive people
|All working age||3,029,582||4,657,563|||||
|Age||Seeking work, unavailable to start||Percentage of working age inactive people||Would like work, not seeking||Percentage of working age inactive people||Seeking work, unavailable to start||Percentage of working age inactive people||Would like work, not seeking||Percentage of working age inactive people|
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much has been allocated to work-based learning for unemployed adults in (a) 200506, (b) 200607 and (c) 200708 at (i) Level 1, (ii) Level 2 and (iii) Level 3. 
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many telephone calls to the Wrexham Benefit Processing Centre concerning (a) income support, (b) jobseeker's allowance and (c) incapacity benefit were (i) unanswered and (ii) answered outside the length of time recommended by the Department since closure of the Rhyl Benefits Office. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question concerning how many telephone calls to the Wrexham Benefit Processing Centre concerning (a) Income Support (b) Jobseeker's Allowance and (c) Incapacity Benefit have gone (i) unanswered and (ii) answered outside the length of time recommended by the department since closure of the Rhyl Benefits Office. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
As you know, the processing of Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support and Incapacity Benefit, previously undertaken at Rhyl Social Security Office, transferred to the Wrexham Processing Centre at the beginning of August.
The Processing Centre has a customer service target to answer telephone calls within 30 seconds and to answer 90% of all calls made. The tables below detail the average performance in the period from August to November.
|Total number of:||Percentage of calls|
|Benefit type||Inbound calls||Calls answered||Calls abandoned||offered which are answered|
|Average number of calls not answered within 30 seconds (percentage)|
Incoming telephone calls to the Processing Centre are monitored on a daily basis and extra staff have recently been allocated to both the Income Support and Jobseeker's Allowance Teams, to process benefits and answer telephone calls. Additionally, we are currently training a number of extra Incapacity Benefit Processors, who are scheduled to take up post in early January. We are confident these steps will help us to significantly reduce the number of calls that are answered outside the customer service target of 30 seconds.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the rates of child benefit were for (a) the first child and (b) subsequent children in each year since 198081; and if he will make a statement. 
|Date||First child||Other children||One parent benefit|
|24 November l980||4.75||4.75||3.00|
|23 November l981||5.25||5.25||3.30|
|22 November 1982||5.85||5.85||3.65|
|21 November 1983||6.50||6.50||4.05|
|26 November l984||6.85||6.85||4.25|
|25 November l985||7.00||7.00||4.55|
|28 July 1986||7.10||7.10||4.60|
|6 April 1987||7.25||7.25||4.70|
|11 April 1988||7.25||7.25||4.90|
|10 April 1989||7.25||7.25||5.20|
|9 Apr 1990||7.25||7.25||5.60|
|8 April 1991||(42)8.25||7.25||5.60|
|7 October 1991||9.25||7.50||5.60|
|6 April 1992||9.65||7.80||5.85|
|12 April 1993||10.00||8.10||6.05|
|11 April 1994||10.20||8.25||6.15|
|10 April 1995||10.40||8.45||6.30|
|8 April 1996||10.80||8.80||6.30|
|7 April 1997||11.05||9.00||(43)17.10|
|6 April 1998||11.45||9.30||(44)17.10|
|12 April 1999||14.40||9.60||17.10|
|10 April 2000||15.00||10.00||17.55|
|6 April 2001||15.50||10.35||17.55|
|10 April 2002||15.75||10.55||17.55|
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