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Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many crisis loan applications have been received (a) in each of the last five years and (b) in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
|Calendar year||Number received|
The Agency collection service deals with significant sums passing through its bank account (in excess of £600 million in each of the last two years). As a consequence the Agency bank balance is continually turning over with receipts from Non Resident Parents and employers which need to be assigned and be paid out to Parents with Care or the Secretary of State (where the Parent with Care is in receipt of benefit). At 30 November 2005 an amount of £4.2 million had been received, cleared, and was in the process of being passed on to the Parent with Care via their preferred Method of Payment, which is in the main directly into their bank account. At this date there was also an amount of £9.5 million in the bank account awaiting fund clearance and assignment between the Parent with Care and the Secretary of State.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost was of pension contributions incurred by (a) his Department and (b) each (i) non-departmental public body, (ii) executive agency and (iii) other public body for which he is responsible in (A) Scotland, (B) Wales, (C) each of the English regions and (D) Northern Ireland in each of the last three financial years; and what the planned expenditure is for 200506. 
Mr. Timms: Such information that is available is in the table. Planned expenditure for 200506 is based on actual costs to November 2005, extrapolated for the full year. Contribution rates were consistent between 200203 and 200405 but have increased substantially with effect from 1 April 2005, accounting for the acute rise in costs.
|Department for Work and Pensions||291.6||303.7||312.2||427.9|
|Child Support Agency||20.5||21.6||22.1||32.8|
|Disability and Carers Service (established 1/11/04)||n/a||n/a||6.0||20.0|
|The Pension Service||25.3||37.2||35.1||43.9|
|The Appeals Service||1.8||3.5||3.6||4.2|
|The Rent Service||1.8||2.2||2.5||2.9|
|Health & Safety Executive||17.0||17.0||17.1||24.0|
|Non-departmental public bodies:|
|Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (The Pensions Regulator|
|Disability Rights Commission||0.5||0.6||0.7||0.9|
|Pensions Compensation Board||0||0||0||0|
For 200506, employers' contributions are payable to the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) at one of four rates in the ranges 16.2 to 24.6 per cent. of pensionable pay, based on salary bands. The Scheme Actuary reviews employer contributions every four years following a full scheme valuation; last carried out as at 31 March 2003. The contribution rates reflect the cost of benefits as they accrue (net of employee contributions), not the costs as they are actually incurred, and reflect past experience of the scheme.
Mrs. McGuire: In the Using Information to communicate with the public about services and entitlements" report the NAO acknowledges the recent work the Department has already undertaken in this area. The Department has already made progress against a number of the NAO's recommendations and will carefully monitor implementation of the remainder.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what strategy he proposes to adopt to address the conclusion of the departmental working paper number 21, Review of Existing Research on the Extra Costs of Disability, that disability living allowance and attendance allowance are not sufficient to meet costs associated with disability; and if he will make a statement. 
Working paper no. 21 reviewed the existing research evidence about the extra costs of disabled people. It concluded that although most studies estimate that disability living allowance and attendance allowance are not sufficient to meet all the extra costs of disability, they have produced no clear and robust evidence on the actual size of those costs in relation to benefit levels. All of the different approaches so far adopted by researchers are methodologically and conceptually difficult and have produced widely differing results. Some have also tended not to take account of the full range of statutory services and benefits available to help meet the needs and costs associated with disability, amongst which disability
6 Feb 2006 : Column 869W
living allowance and attendance allowance make a non-income-related and tax-free contribution of around £12.5 billion a year towards the disability related extra costs of over 4 million disabled people.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many disabled people are seeking employment, as measured by the number of people consulting a disability employment adviser; and how many of these have been seeking employment for (a) six months or more, (b) one year or more and (c) 18 months or more. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what assessment he has made of the costs and benefits of replacing the industrial injuries scheme with a no-fault compensation scheme fully funded by employers; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the (a) cost and (b) other effects of abolishing the Industrial Injuries
6 Feb 2006 : Column 870W
Disablement Pension and transferring responsibility to employers; and if he will make a statement. 
Margaret Hodge: I have asked officials to carry out a review of our Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Scheme. As the scheme was introduced in 1948, we need to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of our modern society. While I expect officials to look at all aspects of the scheme, we have not yet looked in any detail at any particular component and have not made any assessment of the costs and benefits of transferring responsibility for industrial injury compensation to employers. We will, however, be looking at all options for the future.
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