|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he plans to take to reduce disincentives for unemployed people to return to work resulting from higher effective marginal deduction rates; and if he will make a statement. 
Margaret Hodge: The Government's policies in recent years have already gone a long way to ensuring work pays, for example through the introduction of the national minimum wage and working tax credit, as well as the introduction of the 10p starting rate of income tax.
Since 1997, the number of people facing marginal deduction rates of over 70 per cent. has fallen by half a million and the new increased income disregard in tax credits, of £25,000 from April 2006, means that families receiving tax credits where someone moves into work keep the same entitlement for the rest of the tax year, rather than seeing tax credit payments reduced, even if the job is paid at the average wage.
The Government have also piloted the use of additional transitional support for targeted groups making the move off benefit and into work. We have developed an effective strategy for helping more lone parents make the transition from benefits and into work which combines child care assistance, financial support for those entering work and provision of work focused advice and support.
The £40 in work credit for lone parents has been piloted in a number of Jobcentre Plus districts since 2004, providing support for the first year in employment. The child and working tax credits are helping to tackle child poverty and make work pay for all families, including lone parents.
For incapacity benefit claimants, the Pathways to work pilots include a similar £40 per week return to work credit. The Welfare Reform Green Paper announced in January our intention to rollout Pathways to the remaining two-thirds of the country by 200809.
Our analysis shows that many more people are already better off in work than on benefit as a result of tax credits and we believe this and other policies designed to make work pay have contributed to record levels of employmentnow at the highest level since records began.
The Prime Minister:
Since 1999 the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. Copies of these lists are available in the Library of the House. Information on the number of officials accompanying Ministers on overseas visits is
24 Apr 2006 : Column 921W
included in the list. All Ministers' travel arrangements are in accordance with the arrangements for official travel set out in Chapter 10 of the Ministerial Code, and
Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 23 March 2006, Official Report, column539W, on ministerial travel, if he will list the dates since 1 October 2005 when he has deemed it appropriate to travel by train. 
The Prime Minister: My visits cover a range of matters including health, education, criminal justice and the economy. I have undertaken a number of visits relating to drug use and rehabilitation. For example Ivisited Phoenix House Drug Rehabilitation Centre in Glasgow in March 2000, and the Turnaround Project in Glasgow in September 2000.
The Prime Minister:
Records of official visits are not held in this manner and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. My visits cover a range of matters including health, education, criminal justice and the economy and I have visited many schools and hospitals since 1997.
24 Apr 2006 : Column 922W
Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister how many and what percentage of written parliamentary questions in 2006 to date he has answered (a) by referring the questioner to an earlier answer and (b) by using the formula 'I have nothing further to add' to an earlier answer. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister if he will undertake research to compare the amount of information provided by him in response to written parliamentary questions with that provided by his predecessor. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 18 April 2006, Official Report, column400W, if he will provide details of steps he takes to ensure that his answering practices are consistent with the February 2005 Cabinet Office guidance to Departments. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his answer to question 63151, on the political operations section of his office, what the present complement is of staff working there; and what it was in June 1997. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will list the occasions when he has addressed a meeting of the United Nations in each year since 1997; if he will place in the Library the text of the speech made; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) if he will list the occasions when he has chaired a meeting of the United Nations in each year since 1997; what the subject under discussion was; if he will place in the Library the agenda and other papers considered at the meeting; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister:
I have regular discussions with members of the United Nations on a wide range of issues, and have addressed the General Assembly on 14 September 2005, 6 September 2000 and 23 June 1997. Copies of my speeches are available on the No. 10 and United Nations websites.
24 Apr 2006 : Column 923W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|