|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he will reply to (a) Questions 38885, 38991 and 38992 on the Child Support Agency and the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service tabled on 19 December 2005, (b) Question 41897 on the numbers of people employed at the Child Support Agency, Jobcentre Plus and other agencies tabled on 10 January 2006 and (c) Question 44602 on Child Support Agency assessments tabled on 17 January 2006. 
Margaret Hodge: 18 per cent. of those who started on the choices programme providing support to incapacity benefit claimants have received return to work credit (RTWC) since the inception of the Pathways to Work Pilots. 8 per cent. of those who undertook a mandatory work focused interview have received a return to work credit.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of Pathways to Work recipients who received the return to work credit have received it for (a) up to three months, (b) three to six months, (c) six to nine months, (d) nine to 12 months and (e) the full 12 months. 
|Up to 3 months||12|
|3 to 6 months||49|
|6 to 9 months||3|
|9 to 12 months||4|
|Full 12 months||32|
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of new claimants of incapacity benefit in Pathways to Work pilot areas were returning claimants who had previously found employment through Pathways to Work in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Margaret Hodge: The most recent period for which figures are available is October 2005. In that month, five per cent. of people who contacted Jobcentre Plus to make a claim for incapacity benefit in Pathways to Work pilot areas were returning claimants who had previously found employment through Pathways to Work.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in receipt of incapacity benefit in the Bridgend area were supported to return to work as a result of the Pathways to Work pilot in that area. 
Margaret Hodge: In the Bridgend area; 3,450 people in receipt of incapacity benefits; including 870 volunteers, have gained a job as a result of taking part in the Pathways to Work pilot in that area.
The success of Pathways to Work has demonstrated that, with the right help and support, many people on incapacity benefits can move back into work reinforcing our view that labelling people as incapable of work is normally entirely inappropriate.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what powers (a) the pensions regulator and (b) other authorities have to disqualify or penalise pension fund trustees; and in what circumstances. 
Mr. Timms: The pensions regulator is the statutory body set up to regulate occupational pension schemes. It inherited a range of powers from the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (OPRA) and has additional powers to enable it to deal with trustees of occupational pension schemes who are dishonest, unscrupulous or incompetent.
The powers available to the pensions regulator include issuing prohibition orders to prevent a person from acting as a trustee if the regulator considers that
18 Apr 2006 : Column 142W
the person is not a fit and proper" person to act in this capacity. The regulator is required to keep a register of all people who are prohibited from acting as a trustee.
Section 29(1) of the Pensions Act 1995 provides the grounds for a person being disqualified from being a trustee of any trust scheme. These include conviction of any offence involving dishonesty or deception.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the impact of small county court judgments on the Pension Protection Fund risk-based levy faced by pension providers. 
Mr. Timms: In setting the risk-based levy for eligible pension schemes for 200607, the PPF used Dun and Bradstreet ratings which include county court judgements (CCJs) as one factor in assessing the risk of a business. As companies with CCJ's are more likely to become insolvent, then it is deemed fair that this should be reflected in the levy. Companies had until the 31 March 2006 to provide evidence that any recorded CCJs have been paid. The total pension protection levy which the PPF plans to raise in 200607 is £575 million across the pension schemes eligible for the PPF.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many participants had completed the National Pensions Day debate survey on his Department's website up to and including 18 March. 
In our Welfare Reform Green Paper, A new deal for welfare: Empowering people to work", we set out our proposals to reform the current personal capability assessment. The current assessment focuses solely on a person's incapacity and what they
18 Apr 2006 : Column 143W
cannot do. We intend to transform the assessment so that it also looks at a person's capabilities and the help and support they need to make full use of them.
The current assessment was set up over 12 years ago. Since then there have been many changes to working patterns, illnesses and the types of medical treatment available and we want to ensure that the revised assessment process is fully equipped to deal with today's society and the challenges it faces.
We are currently in the process of setting up a consultative group to advise us on our proposals to reform the personal capability assessment. This group will be made up of representatives from disability stakeholder and lobby groups, covering the full range of illnesses and disabilities.
Meanwhile, as part of our work to ensure that the personal capability assessment reflects today's needs, we are also planning to review both the physical and mental health components of the assessment. We are setting up two working groups of relevant medical experts to carry out these reviews. The first meeting of the Mental Health Medical Working Group is planned to take place shortly, while the composition of the Physical Health Medical Working Group is still being determined. We are also establishing a specific Mental Health Consultative Group, as we recognise the unique problems that those with mental health conditions face. This group, made up of people with real experience of working with those with these conditions, will work alongside the Medical Working Group and ensure that the customer is at the heart of the review.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|