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6 Feb 2006 : Column 875W—continued

Learning Disability

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he takes to ensure that people with a learning disability are given the right support to find jobs they (a) wish to do and (b) are capable of doing; and if he will make a statement. [47248]

Mrs. McGuire: Jobcentre Plus provides additional help for those people who face particular disadvantage in the labour market and who wish to move into a job. This is provided primarily through personal advisers who provide information, advice and guidance to help people identify and overcome barriers to employment. Alongside this, there is a range of employment and training related opportunities to help overcome specific issues such as language difficulties, and physical and mental health problems, including help for people with a learning disability.

Maintenance Arrears

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects payment for maintenance arrears for (a) 2004–05 and (b) 2005–06 to be made to Miss Jones of Birkenhead. [48441]

Mr. Plaskitt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive, Mr. Stephen Geraghty. He will write to the right hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 6 February 2006:

National Insurance Number Hotline

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will increase the number of staff answering calls on the national insurance number hotline. [45684]

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 Leslie Strathie, dated 6 February 2006:

Pathways to Work

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average cost per participant is in Pathway to Work pilots. [49302]

Margaret Hodge: The latest estimate for the average cost of the funding per person on the Pathways to Work programme is around £400, excluding the return to work credit.

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much has been paid to voluntary sector providers under the Pathways to Work pilots schemes since their establishment. [43283]

Margaret Hodge: The information requested is not available.

Both voluntary and private sector organisations deliver a number of different programmes which support Pathways to Work. Some of these programmes are specific to Pathways to Work (in-work support and condition management programmes), while others are delivered nationally across Jobcentre Plus, for example WORKSTEP and new deal for disabled people.

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list his Department's contracts with (a) private sector and (b) voluntary sector providers of services outsourced by Jobcentre Plus in (i) Pathways to Work areas for each of the last two years and (ii) non-Pathways to Work areas for each of the last five years; and what the value was of each contract. [44427]

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:

Pension Protection Fund Levy

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the likely impact of the pension protection fund levy on small businesses. [48803]

Mr. Timms: The regulatory impact assessment (RIA) that accompanied the Pensions Bill 2004 addressed the effect of the pension protection levy on businesses, and was agreed by Parliament when the Bill was passed.

The RIA specifically considered the impact on businesses with fewer than 50 employees. It identified that impact on small businesses (i.e. those with fewer
 
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than 50 employees) will be limited overall by the fact that few such businesses run defined benefit pension schemes, and so are unlikely to be affected by the pension protection levy. The RIA estimates that less than 2.2 per cent. of the total cost of the Pension Protection Fund would be met by small businesses.

Responsibility for consulting on and setting the level of the pension protection levy rests with the board of the Pension Protection Fund. Following 17 weeks of consultation two consultation documents were produced plus one update. The aim was to strike a balance between affordability and security. Representatives from small business were consulted as part of the process. This all resulted in a report on 16 December 2005, including an estimate of the pension protection levy amount. This is available on the Pension Protection Fund's website.

Pensions

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many occupational pension schemes have fully wound up since 1997; and how many are in the process of winding up. [44502]

Mr. Timms: Information in the following table was provided by the Pensions Regulator and shows the number of schemes that are currently in the process of winding up and the number of schemes that have wound up, for each year since 2 April 1997.
Scheme status winding up
Scheme status wound up
Effective date scheme status was changed on registerNumber of schemesTotal membershipNumber of schemesTotal membership
2 April 1997 to 31 March 1998572,6488,24854,439
1 April 1998 to 31 March 19991284,1187,70871,351
1 April 1999 to 31 March 20002,90952,0518,46264,608
1 April 2000 to 31 March 20011,03529,7606,72065,510
1 April 2001 to 31 March 20021,44343,0155,822128,060
1 April 2002 to 31 March 20031,12954,5286,250145,039
1 April 2003 to 31 March 20041,17151,5496,316127,839
1 April 2004 to 31 March 200556459,7674,32878,878
Total8,436297,43653,854735,724



Notes:
1. A winding up scheme is one which has notified the Pensions Regulator (or its predecessor the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority) that it has commenced winding up procedures.
2. A wound up scheme is one which has notified the Pensions Regulator (or its predecessor the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority) that it has completed winding up procedures.
3. Schemes are required to notify the Pensions Regulator of changes in scheme status as soon as is reasonably practical. This means that the data for the year ended 31 March 2005 is provisional.
4. The figures are based on information held on the register as at 11 January 2006. The effective date for the scheme status is based on the last scheme status change date.
5. Figures for 1997–98 commence on 2 April 1997 because, where a scheme commenced or completed winding up procedures prior to 1 April 1997 but the exact date cannot be ascertained, a default value of 1 April 1997 is used as the date on which the scheme commenced or completed winding up procedures. As a result a very large number of schemes are recorded as having commenced or completed winding up procedures with a scheme status change date of 1 April 1997, even if they had commenced or completed winding up procedures at some earlier date. Including schemes with this default date in the table would significantly overstate the number of schemes that commenced or completed winding up procedures during 1997, so a start date of 2 April has been used for 1997–98.
6. Total membership includes active, deferred and pensioner members. It is not possible to provide a breakdown of these numbers.
7. During 2005–06 the Pensions Regulator will continue with its plans to issue all occupational pension schemes that are registered in the UK a scheme return form. This will provide the Pension Regulator with access to enhanced data in future years.



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