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20 Dec 2005 : Column 2872W—continued

Pension Credit

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what percentage of pensioners in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) Wales and (d) Scotland have levels of income which are above the level of entitlement to pension credit by (i) £5, (ii) £10 and (iii) £20; and if he will make a statement. [34739]

Mr. Timms: No such estimate has been made.

Entitlement estimates for pensions credit will not be available until National Statistics take-up estimates for the first six months of pension credit are published early in 2006. Following publication of these estimates, we will be able to provide estimates of the proportion of pensioners who are in various bands of entitlement, Great Britain.

Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the level of take-up of pension credit has been in each quarter since its launch. [38528]

Mr. Timms: The information requested is not available.

Latest estimates of the number of pensioners entitled to but not receiving the main income related benefits relate to financial year 2002–03 and predate the introduction of pension credit. Estimates for minimum income guarantee—the predecessor to pension credit—can be found in the DWP report entitled Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up in 2002–03". Copies of the publication are available in the Library.

Estimates of pension credit will be published in early 2006; this publication will include the first six months of pension credit. Estimates for the full year 2004–05 are expected to be published in May 2006.

Rent Service

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the basis was for the allocation of funding attributable to Scotland for administration of the rent service in the public sector statistical analysis; and which functions of the rent service relate to Scotland. [36017]

Mr. Timms: The allocation of DEL related expenditure over country and region, which includes the rent service, is based on DWP staff numbers in those areas.

The rent service is an executive agency of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It operates across England only, but there are separate organisations for rent officer functions linked into both the Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly.

Revised Jobseekers Agreement (Staffordshire)

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what evaluation has been carried out of the revised jobseeker's agreement piloted in North Staffordshire. [37723]

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Mr. Timms: The jobseeker's allowance (JSA) pilots were trialled in 13 districts covering 138 offices. The pilots were primarily designed to test different ways of delivering the JSA regime.

The research report The Qualitative Evaluation of the JSA Intervention Regime Pilots" was published on 8 December this year, and contains an assessment of the revised jobseeker's agreement. The results were anonymised to avoid identification of information sources from individual offices. The report, therefore, does not single out North Staffordshire. The report is available in the Library.

Social Fund Loans

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Leeds applied for a social fund loan in each year since 2001. [37990]

Mr. Plaskitt: The information requested is in the table.
Loan applications in Leeds Social Fund District/Leeds Jobcentre Plus District

Budgeting loansCrisis loans
2005–06 (to end of November)16,33512,187

Leeds Jobcentre Plus District was previously known as Leeds Social Fund District.
DWP Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System.


Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many volunteering positions his Department has offered in each of the last five years. [17886]

Mrs. McGuire: The information requested is not heldcentrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Winter Fuel Payment

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to ensure that single pensioners living in a property that shares a postcode with a care home receives the correct amount of winter fuel payment. [36627]

Mr. Timms: In these cases the decision is based on whether the accommodation the customer lives in constitutes a separate household. It takes into account factors such as whether the accommodation has its own postal address. If the lower amount is issued and further inquiries reveal that a £200 payment was due, a top up payment is issued.

If the hon. Member is aware of any instances in which a pensioner has received a smaller winter fuel payment than he or she was entitled to because of an error of this nature, the chief executive of the Pension Service would be grateful to be informed.
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Women's Pensions

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has had with the Minister for Women on the future of women's pensions. [34635]

Mr. Timms: My right hon. Friend the Minister for Women spoke at the launch of the Department's report 'Women and Pensions: the Evidence' in Manchester on 7 November. Women's ability to build up pension entitlement is influenced by multiple factors such as education, employment, earnings and caring responsibilities that impact during their lifetime. We are continuing to work closely with the Minister for Women, the Deputy Minister for Women and Equality and colleagues in the Department of Trade and Industry on the issues surrounding women's working lives including labour market participation and the gender pay gap and their subsequent impact on pension accruals and entitlements.


Alcohol-related Crime

Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research he has commissioned into the role of alcohol in rising levels of violent crime. [34159]

Paul Goggins: The British Crime Survey is considered the most reliable source of data on violent crime and the data published in July 2005 in a report called Crime in England and Wales 2004/05 indicates that the number of violent incidents fell by 11 per cent. based on comparison between 2003–04 and 2004–05 interview. Violent crime has fallen by 43 per cent. since a peak in 1995, an estimated 1.8 million fewer incidents. Although the Home Office has not commissioned any specific research into the role of alcohol and its impact on levels of violent crime it does monitor, via social surveys, levels of alcohol-related crime including violent crime. Data from the British crime survey on the percentage of violent incidents in England and Wales in which the victim believed one or more offenders was 'under the influence of drink' are published on a regular basis. The Offending crime and justice survey also contain information on the role of alcohol and violent offences and this information is also published on a regular basis.

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many violent attacks were committed under the influence of alcohol and in connection with licensed premises in each of the last three years in (a) Croydon, (b) Sutton and (c) Bromley boroughs. [32277]

Paul Goggins: The requested information is not available.

Banned Drivers

Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many drivers have been banned from driving for drink or drug related offences in the last 12 months; [38662]
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(2) what percentage of drivers randomly tested were found to be over the legal alcohol limit in the last year for which figures are available. [38668]

Paul Goggins: 2005 data on drivers disqualified for drink or drug related offences will not be available until early 2007. 2004 data will be issued in March 2006.

Breath tests can be conducted only in accordance with the provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and may not be carried out at random.
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