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9 Jan 2006 : Column 102W—continued

Single Women Pensioners

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many single women pensioners are receiving assistance to bring them up to the minimum pension level, broken down by constituency; and if he will make a statement. [36466]

Mr. Timms: I have placed the requested information in the Library.
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Tax Credits

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria were used to select pilot areas for the pilot work search premium scheme for working tax credit partners; what the take-up to date has been; what the duration of the scheme is expected to be; what the cost of the scheme is; and if he will make a statement. [35067]

Margaret Hodge: The work search premium for working tax credit partners (WSP/WTCP) was introduced on the 31 October 2005. It will be piloted for two years in 31 wards in eight Jobcentre Plus districts: Birmingham, Blackburn, Bradford, Leicester, London City and East, London North East, London South and Luton.

The purpose of the pilot is to test whether paying a £20 weekly payment for up to 26 weeks will increase job entries for partners of people claiming WTC who would otherwise have remained unemployed.

The pilot areas were chosen carefully with the aim of finding a high proportion of people of working age who are not in employment and not claiming benefits.

The exact criteria were that pilot locations should have an unemployment rate of one and a half times the International Labour Organisation rate of unemployment, and one and a half times the national average of people not claiming benefit or working. In addition, in each ward, the number of people not in employment and not claiming benefit should be greater than 2,500 people.

The total estimated costs for this pilot are in the table:
£ million

Estimated cost for pilot

It is anticipated that around 6,000 people will benefit from the WSP/WTCP over the two years that the pilot is in operation. However, as it was only introduced at the end of October, statistical data will not be available until the end of December.

Winter Fuel Payments

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people received winter fuel payments in each ward in the Vale of Clwyd in 2004–05. [39330]

Mr. Timms: The information is in the following table.
WardWinter fuel payment recipients
Denbigh Central345
Denbigh Lower965
Denbigh Upper/ Henllan590
Prestatyn Central940
Prestatyn East985
Prestatyn Meliden490
Prestatyn North1,820
Prestatyn South West1,025
Rhyl East1,555
Rhyl South1,160
Rhyl South East1,455
Rhyl South West855
Rhyl West665
St. Asaph East460
St. Asaph West385

1.All wards based on census wards—those current as at April 2003.
2.All wards nest within Vale of Clwyd parliamentary constituency except Llandyrnog ward which is also partly within Clwyd West parliamentary constituency.
3.All benefit counts at ward level are rounded to a multiple of five.
Information Directorate

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Young People (Support)

Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what financial support is available for young people living independently and participating in further education (a) for the first six months and (b) after six months. [36439]

Mr. Plaskitt: It is a matter of record that the policy of both this and previous Governments has been to exclude most, but not all, full-time students from entitlement to housing benefit; since 1990 financial support for those students opting to study full-time has been seen as the responsibility of the education system, rather than the benefit system.

Those in full-time education are not supported through the benefits system once they reach the age of 19; the age at which child benefit ceases to be payable. Students in vulnerable groups, mainly those with a disability and those with dependent children retain eligibility for income related benefits.

People in full-time education are not entitled to receive jobseeker's allowance. Successive Governments have taken the view that full-time education is incompatible with the 'work first' nature of the jobseeker's allowance regime. It would be very difficult for someone in full-time education to fully meet the conditions for receipt of jobseeker's allowance.

Young people who are eligible to claim jobseekers allowance receive, like everyone else, help and support to find work. As unemployment lengthens and getting into work becomes more difficult the help provided becomes more intensive. As part of this, young people become eligible for the new deal after six months unemployment. The new deal provides intensive support through a personal adviser and includes, for those people who do not find work quickly, a number of options, including full-time education and training, to help improve their prospects of finding work. Young
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people participating in full time education and training as part of the new deal receive an allowance, which is equivalent to their jobseeker's allowance plus a top up of £15.38 per week to cover additional costs incurred through participation. Individuals receiving housing benefit can currently study for qualifications below degree level, as long as it is for less than 16 guided learning hours a week. This is not always a significant barrier as many full time Learning and Skills Council courses are just over 12 guided learning hours a week.

Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what training and guidance is available for Jobcentre Plus advisers for their work with young people living independently. [36440]

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.
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Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 9 January 2006:

9 Jan 2006 : Column 107W


Your Health, Your Care, Your Say"

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she will respond to the consultation Your Health, Your Care, Your Say". [35055]

Mr. Byrne: Early in 2006.

Accident and Emergency Departments

Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines she has issued on the minimum acceptable distance patients should be expected to travel to reach a hospital with an accident and emergency department. [38640]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 20 December 2005]: There is no recommended minimum or maximum patient travelling time to acute hospitals with accident and emergency departments in England.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many abortions for overseas residents took place after 18 weeks' gestation in 2004–05; and whether her Department requires an anaesthetic or pain killer to be administered to the unborn child before a late abortion takes place. [34687]

Caroline Flint: In 2004, 417 terminations were carried out at over 18 weeks' gestation on non-residents of England and Wales.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) issue guidance on clinical matters relating to abortion. For all terminations at gestational age of more than 21 weeks and six days, the RCOG recommends the method chosen should ensure that the foetus is born dead and that consideration is given to use of foetal analgesia and sedation.

Mr. Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many abortions were performed in (a) Great Britain and (b) the Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Strategic Health Authority under the Abortion Act, as amended by section 37 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 in each of the last five years; and what percentage were performed to save the life of the mother. [36415]

Caroline Flint: The available information is shown in the table.

Statistics for abortions performed in Scotland are a matter for the Scottish Executive.
Number of abortions and percentage performed to save the life of the pregnant woman(27) for residents of England and Wales and residents of Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Strategic Health Authority, 2000–04(28)

England and Wales
Northamptonshire and
Rutland SHA
TotalSections 1(1)(c) and 1(4) of the Abortion Act(27)(percentage)TotalSections 1(1)(c) and 1(4) of the Abortion Act(27)(percentage)

(27)Section 1(1)(c) that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated. Section 1(4) that the termination is immediately necessary to save the life or to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman.
(28)Prior to 2002 information was published by health authority and not directly comparable with SHAs
(29)Suppressed values. Percentages are based on fewer than 10 cases (between 0–9) and for confidentiality reasons are not available for release

9 Jan 2006 : Column 108W

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to review compliance with section 4 of the Abortion Act 1967. [34785]

Caroline Flint: We have no plans to review compliance with Section 4 of the Abortion Act and I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 28 October 2005, Official Report, column 564W.

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