Previous Section Index Home Page

19 Dec 2005 : Column 2439W—continued

Asbestos

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the terms of reference were for the research carried out by the Health and Safety Executive
 
19 Dec 2005 : Column 2440W
 
in relation to the risks of exposure to asbestos when removing textured coatings; and if he will make a statement. [34767]

Mrs. McGuire: The aim of study HSL/2005/32 An investigation into the airborne fibre releases during the removal of textured coatings from domestic premises", commissioned by the Health and Safety Executive from the Health and Safety Laboratory, was to measure the airborne fibre and asbestos concentrations released during the removal and repair of damaged chrysotile containing textured coatings, at some 40 sites.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will ask the Health and Safety Executive to carry out further tests on the proposed new methods of work when undertaking the removal of textured coatings to assess the risk of exposure to asbestos before taking a decision on whether to remove textured coatings from the list that only licensed contractors are able to remove. [34768]

Mrs. McGuire: HSE has commissioned new research from the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) on the exposure levels arising from work to remove textured coatings containing asbestos that is carried out in line with the methods and control measures set out in the Health and Safety Commission's (HSC's) draft Approved Code of Practice. The results will be taken into account as part of the HSC's consultation process and consideration of the revised asbestos regulations.

Benefits

Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Workand Pensions how many and what percentage of people aged over 60 years are receiving housing benefit and/or council tax benefit (a) with pension credit and (b) without pension credit. [37435]

Mr. Timms: The information is not available in the format requested.

The available information is in the following tables.
Housing benefit (HB) and council tax benefit (CTB) recipients aged 60 and over and pension credit (PC) recipients: May 2005

HB
CTB
PC
CaseloadPercentage populationCaseloadPercentage populationCaseloadPercentage population
Great Britain1,518,10012.42,444,50019.92,680,20021.8

Housing benefit (HB) and council tax benefit (CTB) recipients aged 60 and over also in receipt of pension credit (PC):May 2005

HB(33) and PC
CTB(33) and PC
CaseloadPercentage populationCaseloadPercentage population
Great Britain1,237,50010.11,972,10016.1


(33)Figures may include a small number of men aged 60 to 64 in receipt of income-based jobseekers allowance.
Notes:
1.The data refers to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple.
2.Caseloads have been rounded to the nearest hundred and percentages have been given to one decimal place.
3.For HB/CTB, figures for any non-responding authorities have been estimated.
4.Housing benefit figures exclude any extended payment cases.
5.Council tax benefit totals exclude any second adult rebate cases.
6.Pension credit replaced MIG on 6 October 2003 and extended IS entitlement to customers aged 60 plus.
7.Countries are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.
8.Population percentages have been calculated using 2004 ONS mid-year population estimates.
9.'Aged 60 and over' is defined as benefit units where the claimant and/or partner are aged 60 and over. Therefore figures will contain some claimants aged under 60 where there is a partner aged over 60 years.
10.Percentages of the population are based on the population aged 60 plus.
Sources:
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System Quarterly 100 per cent. caseload stock-count taken in May 2005.
DWP Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS).
Office for National Statistics (ONS) mid-2004 population estimates.




 
19 Dec 2005 : Column 2441W
 

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what indicators will be used to assess progress towards his Department's aims to simplify the benefits system. [38572]

Mr. Timms: In its recent report on complexity in the benefits system, the National Audit Office acknowledged that the Department has taken a number of steps to tackle complexity. We are setting up a dedicated benefit simplification team which will seek to build on these steps. It will also investigate whether it is possible to produce a reliable set of indicators to measure progress.

British Muslims

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what arrangements are in place to monitor the work of organisations in receipt of public money whose programmes are designed to increase the ability of British Muslims to enter the labour market; [37926]

(2) how many organisations in receipt of public money whose work involves promoting the participation in the labour market of British Muslims (a) do not publish an annual report, (b) had their accounts queried by auditors and (c) did not submit their accounts on time in each of the last 10 years. [37931]

Margaret Hodge: We have an ethnic minority employment strategy in place to help people from ethnic minority groups improve their access to the labour market; this includes Muslims, three quarters of whom come from Asian backgrounds, and people from other faith communities. The high level strategy is monitored through our public service agreement (PSA) target and by the Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force.

Contracts let by Jobcentre Plus are subject to formal contract management processes involving provider self-assessment and quarterly Jobcentre Plus reviews. The Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI), responsible for all post-19 learning provision in England, operates a four-year inspection cycle; each Jobcentre Plus provider is inspected once within the cycle and graded on a four-point scale. All ALI reports are published. The Scottish Inspectorate and ESTYN perform similar functions in Scotland and Wales.

DWP sponsors three Invest to Save Budget (ISB) Ethnic Minority Employment pilots, run by Voluntary and Community Sector organisations. ISB funding comes from HM Treasury; before they agree to part-fund bids, the Home Office takes up references and ensures that the lead organisation meets standard financial requirements. The pilots are then monitored by HM Treasury and DWP through six-monthly reports.

Buncefield Oil Depot

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of the Health and Safety Executive reports relating to the improvement notice, and subsequent compliance, served against British Pipeline Agency Ltd. at the Buncefield Terminal. [38330]


 
19 Dec 2005 : Column 2442W
 

Mrs. McGuire: Yes, copies of the relevant extracts of documents will be placed in the House of Commons Library.

Details of the improvement notice in question are already available on HSE's website.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of the Health and Safety Executive guidance relating to safety and security in fuel depots. [38331]

Mrs. McGuire: Copies of the written relevant guidance document are already publicly available, but I will place a copy in the Library.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance the Government have given to emergency planning authorities with regard to safety and security in and near fuel depots. [38332]

Mrs. McGuire: Sites which store or use large quantities of flammable substances such as fuels are subject to the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 (COMAH).

Guidance on emergency planning for sites subject to the COMAH Regulations (Emergency Planning for Major Accidents, HSG191) has been issued by the Health and Safety Executive in its role as joint Competent Authority. More general guidance on the COMAH regulations, which includes further advice on emergency planning, has also been published by HSE (AGuide to the Control of Major Accident Hazards regulations 1999, L111). The Cabinet Office has also prepared guidance on dealing with major emergencies (Dealing With Disaster, ISBN 185 893 9208).


Next Section Index Home Page