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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on how many occasions since 1 April 2003 he has complained to the Press Complaints Commission about the coverage in the press of (a) Ministers or officials and (b) his Department; and how many of these complaints were upheld. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions was formed on 8 June 2001 from parts of the former Department of Social Security, the former Department for Education and Employment and the Employment Service. Information prior to 2001 is not held centrally and can only be obtained at disproportionate cost. The information regarding grade is not available and can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
|National press officers(197)||Regional press officers(197)|
|Title||Initial scrutiny start||Outcome|
|2002||The Regulatory Reform (Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979) Order 2002||14 January 2002||Made|
|The Regulatory Reform (Carer's Allowance) Order 2002||17 December 2001||Made|
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much is expected to be saved as a result of meeting the civil service work force reductions targets for his Department set out in the 2004 Spending Review; and whether these savings count towards the agreed efficiency target for his Department set out in the review. 
Mrs. McGuire: On the basis of current average wage costs the efficiency headcount reduction of 30,000 net, the Department forecasts savings of around £698 million per annum at the end of March 2008. The actual savings will be influenced by factors such as the grades of staff remaining in the Department once the headcount reductions have been achieved. The savings achieved by March 2008 will count towards the agreed efficiency target for the Department.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what interim targets he has set for achieving (a) the agreed efficiency target for his Department and (b) the civil service work force reductions targets for (i) gross reductions in posts, (ii) net reductions in posts and (iii) relocations for his Department, as set out in the 2004 Spending Review; what the baseline figures are against which these interim targets are assessed; on what dates they will take effect; and by what dates these interim targets are intended to be met. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department has not set interim targets for achieving the financial or headcount targets for the Department's overall efficiency targets but does monitor progress towards the achievement of its targets against indicative profiles by year and by business area. The baselines for the relocation of posts was zero and the baseline for the gross and net headcount reductions was 132,550 in Full Time Equivalent posts as defined in the current counting methodology. Financial savings were defined by the Department's financial allocations as set out in the Spending Review 2004 White Paper.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment his Department has made of the role of voluntary groups and volunteering in helping move people from benefits into work. 
Volunteering is one of the key ways an individual can build up confidence and gain valuable work-related skills after a period out of work. People on incapacity benefits can already undertake unlimited voluntary work for charities and voluntary organisations and we intend to extend this provision to the new employment and support allowance. The recent Russell Commission report on youth action and engagement recommended that young people on benefits and their families should not suffer a financial barrier when they volunteer. The Department for Work and Pensions and the Home Office are working together to communicate existing rules more effectively to volunteer-involving organisations, local authorities and young people.
18 Apr 2006 : Column 438W
Voluntary groups undertake a very important role in helping people into work. Jobcentre Plus has recently carried out a stock take of its current and planned non-contractual partnerships with voluntary and community sector organisations. The findings show that nationally Jobcentre Plus has a relationship with over 1,900 voluntary organisations. We provide information for them about our services, policies and programmes through local liaison, our customer representative Forum programme, and our magazine for advisers, intermediaries and other advisers, Touchbase. We also consult widely with key national voluntary sector organisations in shaping our policies and services.
Through these partnerships, Jobcentre Plus customers can access confidential advice and support on issues such as housing, redundancy, job matching, health, various forms of rehabilitation, citizenship courses, debt counselling, and child care.
|Winter fuel allowance paid in Great Britain||Winter fuel allowance paid in Walsall|
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