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7 Feb 2006 : Column 1169W—continued

Lyons Inquiry

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department has sent a written submission to the Lyons Inquiry on local government finance. [47893]

Mr. Plaskitt: The Department for Work and Pensions has not sent a written submission to the Lyons Inquiry on local government finance.

Pathways to Work

Mr. McFall: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the full Pathways to Work scheme will commence in April; and whether West Dunbartonshire will be included in this. [46642]


 
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Margaret Hodge: In April 2006 seven more Pathways to Work pilots will start. The locations for these have been chosen to reflect the highest proportion of new claims. The April 2006 pilots will be:

In the Welfare Reform Green paper 'A new deal for welfare: Empowering people to work', the Government committed to rolling out Pathways to Work across the whole of the United Kingdom by 2008.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his latest estimate is of the funding per person on the Pathways to Work programme for each person entitled to access the programme for each year from 2000–01 to 2008–09; and if he will make a statement. [46874]

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

The Pathways to Work programme pilots began in October 2003 and costs per person vary from claimant to claimant, depending on the different components available within the Pathways package taken up. We do not expect the cost of these components to change markedly in future years, in real terms.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average cost per participant was in Pathway to Work pilots since their introduction. [47009]

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.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average cost to his Department has been of a participant in the Pathway to Work pilots since the scheme was introduced. [49366]

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.

Pensions

Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what options other than bank or building society accounts pensioners will be able to choose for receipt of pensions after 2010. [49618]

Mr. Plaskitt: We expect that there will always be a small number of people who we are unable to pay into an account. These customers are paid by DWP cheque which can be cashed at post office branches. In addition, we will continue to monitor wider developments in the banking industry as more efficient and secure ways of paying customers become available. Within this, there will be opportunities for Post Office Ltd. and others to provide payment services.
 
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John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the final version of the Contracting Out Regulations (The Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations) will be published. [48098]

Mr. Timms: Most of the amendments in the draft Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations are connected to, and dependent on, changes in the Finance Act 2004 and will be taken forward in an HM Revenue and Customs Order. The remaining amendments will be included in a miscellaneous set of DWP regulations. It is planned that both statutory instruments will be made by mid-March and will come into force on 6 April 2006.

Pensions Protection Fund

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will make a statement onthe operation of the Pensions Protection Fund to date; [48609]

(2) how many applications to the Pensions Protection Fund have been received to date. [48610]

Mr. Timms: The Pension Protection Fund became operational on the 6 April 2005. It will pay compensation to members of eligible non money purchase pension schemes where an employer becomes insolvent and the scheme is unable to afford to pay benefits at the level of PPF compensation.

The Board will produce an annual report and set of accounts for its activities in respect of each financial year, which the Secretary of State will present to Parliament.

To date, there are 40 schemes in an assessment period for the Fund, accounting for over 21,500 scheme members.

Post Office Card Account

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he last met Ministers from the (a) Treasury and (b) Department of Trade and Industry to discuss (i) financial inclusion and (ii) the future of the Post Office Card Account. [48733]

Mr. Plaskitt: I, my ministerial colleagues and officials have regular discussions with HM Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry about a range of issues, including the Government's wider financial inclusion agenda and the Post Office Card Account.

Workplace Accidents and Health Report

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 9 January 2006, Official Report, column 2060W, on workplace accidents and health report, when he will place in the Library the data for 2003–04. [49698]

Mrs. McGuire: The Commons Library has confirmed that the information requested by the hon. Member was deposited when I gave my written reply to his original question, 24 January 2006, Official Report, column 2060W.
 
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HEALTH

Ambulance Service

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance she has given to the ambulance service on the passing on of information to the police relating to call-outs involving drugs. [43853]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 19 January 2006]: The Government's 2001 response to the advisory council on the misuse of drugs report into drug related deaths said that:

In addition, the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (part funded by the Department) national clinical practice guidelines set out that overdoses from, or use of, illegal drugs would not warrant ambulance crews to provide a lesser level of patient confidentiality than any other health condition. Only when drug use is compounded by situations such as sudden or suspicious death would it be appropriate to override the duty of confidentiality.

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of emergency ambulance coverage in (a) Forest of Dean constituency and (b) Gloucestershire. [48809]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 6 February 2006]: Each ambulance service should plan to provide appropriate resources to meet local demand. This may include resources in addition to traditional ambulance provision, for example in using rapid response vehicles and motorbikes, as well as utilising staff such as community paramedics or emergency care practitioners. The fleet mix will vary across the country depending on operational and geographical requirements. Patients who need a traditional ambulance response will continue to receive one.

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the adequacy of resources available to the Gloucestershire Ambulance Service NHS Trust. [48810]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 6 February 2006]: Revenue allocations are made direct to primary care trusts (PCTs) and not to national health service trusts. The PCTs in Avon, Gloucester and Wiltshire received an average increase of 30.5 per cent. over the last three years, which is sufficient to ensure all parts of the local health services have sufficient resources. Decisions on how the resources are used is for local discretion.

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the financial situation of the Gloucestershire Ambulance Service NHS Trust. [48811]


 
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Caroline Flint [holding answer 6 February 2006]: Gloucestershire Ambulance Service National Health Service Trust is forecasting a breakeven position for 2005–06 at the mid-year point (month six).

The forecast out-turn position for 2005–06 month six, for all NHS organisations (strategic health authorities, primary care trusts and NHS trusts), is available in the Library and is available on the Department's website at:

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many ambulances in (a) Gloucestershire and (b) the Cotswolds (i) there were in 2000, (ii) there were on the latest date for which figures are available and (iii) are projected in the current three year plan. [47519]

Caroline Flint: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Each ambulance service should plan to provide appropriate resources to meet local demand. This may include resources in addition to traditional ambulance provision, for example in using rapid response vehicles and motorbikes, as well as utilising staff such as community paramedics or emergency care practitioners. Patients who need a traditional ambulance response will continue to receive one. The fleet mix will vary across the country depending on operational and geographical requirements.


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