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The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr. John Hutton): The approval of the Department for Work and Pensions spring supplementary estimate via the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) (No 2) Bill will not occur until the end of the month. Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £1,252,950,000 has been sought in the Department's spring supplementary estimate. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £750,000,000 will be met by a repayable cash advance from the contingencies fund.
We have greatly simplified the rules for determining the size of the maximum budgeting loan amount that can be offered to eligible applicants. There are now only three rates that can be offered: one for single people; one for couples without children; one for families with children.
The complex "double debt" rule is abolished so that those applicants with existing budgeting loan debt have more help available to them. This, and the simpler rules for determining size of the maximum budgeting loan, means that applicants will understand better the help that is available and when they can access it.
We have increased the overall limit on loan amounts that any applicant can borrow from the social fund. At the same time we are reducing the highest loan repayment rates and giving applicants longer to repay their loan debt.
Also from 3 April 2006, budgeting loan applicants will benefit from being able to have more savings before any budgeting loan award is affected. The capital limit is doubled to £1,000 (under pension age) and £2,000 (pension age).
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr. John Hutton): I am today able to announce the annual performance targets in 200607 for each of the executive agencies of the Department for Work and Pensions. The targets I have agreed are set out below.
Further information on the plans of the Pension Service, Child Support Agency, Disability and Carers Service and the Rent Service in 200607 is contained in their individual business plans which have been published today. Copies have been placed in the Library. Copies of the Jobcentre Plus business plan will be made available in due course.
|Job Outcomes Target (JOT)|
|To achieve a total points score of 13,500,000 based on the job outcomes Jobcentre Plus achieves|
|* As JOT is a new measure the JOT points level is not comparable to the level set under the Job Entry Target for 200506.|
|Business Delivery Target|
|To ensure that specified key Jobcentre Plus business processes are delivered efficiently, accurately and to specified standards in 94 per cent. of cases checked.|
|income support accuracy||90 per cent.|
|jobseeker's allowance accuracy||94 per cent.|
|labour market interventions||96 per cent.|
|incapacity benefit accuracy||95 per cent.|
|lone parent review work focused interviews||95 per cent.|
|Monetary Value of Fraud and Error Target|
|By March 2007 to continue to ensure that losses from fraud and error in working age income support and jobseeker's allowance amount to no more than current (March 2006) levels of loss or no more than 5.2 per cent. of the monetary value of these benefits paid during the year, whichever represents the lower figure (as measured against the 1998 baseline).|
|Customer Service Target|
|To achieve an 84 per cent. customer service level in the delivery of the standards set out in the Customers and Employers Charters.|
|Employer Outcome Target|
|At least 86 per cent. of employers placing their vacancies with Jobcentre Plus will have a positive outcome.|
|Average Actual Clearance Times Target|
|To process claims, within specified average actual clearance times for incapacity benefit, income support and jobseeker's allowance18 days, 11 days, and 12 days respectively.|
By 2008, be paying pension credit to at least 3.2 million pensioner households while maintaining a focus on the most disadvantaged by ensuring that at least 2.2 million households are in receipt of the guarantee credit.
Improve working age individuals' awareness of their retirement provision such that by 200708 some 15.4 million individuals are regularly issued a pension forecast and 60,000 successful pension traces are undertaken a year.
Ensure that 95 per cent. of telephone calls received by the Pension Service centres are answered by customer advisors and less than 1 per cent. of attempted telephone calls receive the engaged tone or message.
By 31 March 2007, where maintenance is paid through the collection service the Agency will collect, on average across both the new and old schemes, 90 per cent. of the amount due.
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By 31 March 2007, in 65 per cent. of cases across both the new and old schemes in which a liability to pay maintenance exists, the non resident parent has either made a payment via the collection service, or a maintenance direct arrangement is in place. In addition, further ensuring that at least this level of performance is achieved for those new scheme cases in which the parent with care is on income support or income-based jobseeker's allowance.
By 31 March, 2007, accuracy on the last decision made for all new or old scheme maintenance calculations carried out and checked in previous 12 months to be correct to the nearest penny in at least 87 per cent. of cases.
Ensure that for the period 1 April 2006 to 30 September 2006 at least 90 per cent. of calls to the DLA/AA helpline, our national telephone service, are answered first time and from 1 October 2006 ensure that at least 92 per cent. of calls are answered first time.
Clear new claims for disability living allowance within an average of 39 working days, new claims for attendance allowance within an average of 19 days and carer's allowance within an average of 15 working days.
|Type of Determination||Timescale for the Year||200607 Target Outturn|
|With an inspection||within 15 working days||94 per cent.|
|Without an inspection||within 3 working days||94 per cent.|
|Pre-Tenancy||within 4 working days||94 per cent.|
|Redetermination||within 15 working days||94 per cent.|
|Fair Rents||within 40 working days||94 per cent.|
Our target is to ensure that at least 95 per cent. of our fair rent customers, and those housing benefit claimants whose properties we inspect, rate our service as satisfactory or better during the year.
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