(a) 76 were from mobile phone companies;
(b) 26 were from companies related to other electrical equipment;
(c) 68 were from companies related to other activities.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what guidance HM Revenue and Customs gives to the Voluntary Arrangements Service with regard to rules for the acceptance of Independent Voluntary Arrangements; and what changes have been made to these rules in the last two years. 
Dawn Primarolo: The criteria for acceptance of a voluntary arrangement are contained in leaflet CWL5 entitled The Voluntary Arrangements Service - Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise Working together for you first published in 2001.
There is full and honest disclosure
A fair and optimum offer is made to creditors
Provision is made for payment of all future statutory liabilities on time
There are no overriding reasons for rejection.
A revised version of the leaflet is being produced to reflect the creation of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs which will be issued to Insolvency Practitioners in the summer. The acceptance criteria remain the same but a requirement has been added that all creditors who participate in the arrangement do so receiving equal treatment within their creditor groups.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average time taken to rate a claim for (a) jobseekers' allowance and (b) income support was in Ribble Valley in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 23 May 2006]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the average time taken to rate a claim for Jobseeker's Allowance and Income Support in the Ribble Valley in each of the last ten years.
The information is not available in the format you have requested. The information that is available provides details of the average time taken to process claims to Jobseeker's Allowance and Income Support. This is known as the Actual Average Clearance Time.
Claims from Ribble Valley residents are handled by the processing team at our Blackburn site and it is not possible to separate the Ribble Valley claims. The information about claims handled in Blackburn is set out below.
1. The figures quoted include claims to Jobseeker's Allowance and Income Support made by customers in Accrington, Blackburn, Clitheroe and Darwen. Figures for individual offices/areas are not obtainable.
2. Information is only available from 2002 as clearance times were not measured in this way before then.
I hope this is helpful.
Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of his Department's building programme in the 2005-06 financial year included (a) energy self-generation and (b) water recycling measures. 
Mr. Plaskitt: None of the Departments building programme in the 2005-06 financial year included (a) energy self-generation or (b) water recycling measures. However, all buildings newly built or acquired for DWP must meet the BREEAM excellent standard, which will ensure that opportunities continue to be considered in future programmes. DWP is working under a PFI partnership deal with Land Securities Trillium to deliver energy and water saving projects across its existing estate of approximately 1,500 buildings.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what action is being taken through departmental programmes to encourage into work (a) those aged over 50 years and (b) those above state pension age. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: Like all other customers, people aged 50 and over, including those above state pension age, can benefit from the range of services provided by Jobcentre Plus, including access to jobs and help and support to find work.
Additional help is provided to older people who do not find work quickly. New deal 50 plus, which is a voluntary programme, provides people with advice and guidance from personal advisers, and access to in-work financial help through the 50 plus element of the working tax credit. Since April 2000, the programme has been successful in helping more than 150,000 older workers into employment. Once in work, new deal 50 plus customers can claim a Training Grant of up to £1,500 for training of which up to £300 can be used for life-long learning.
People aged 50 and over are also eligible for help from new deal 25 plus. People who have been claiming jobseeker's allowance (JSA) for 18 months and who have not previously participated on new deal 25 plus, are already required to attend the Gateway stage of the new deal 25 plus programme. This is a period of up to 4 months of intensive job search and specialist help
and support to improve job prospects. This is followed by the Intensive Activity Period (IAP) which is currently voluntary for people aged 50 and over. The IAP provides further support and pre-work training to help people return to work.
Since April 2004, we have been piloting mandatory participation in the new deal 25 plus IAP for people aged 50-59 who have been claiming JSA for 18 months. The pilot has offered people in this age group more extensive help back to work. Interim pilot data has yielded positive results and, as announced in our Welfare Reform Green Paper, we will be commencing a phased national rollout.
New deal 50 plus is a voluntary programme for those who have been claiming benefits, including those claiming the pension credit, for six months. However, our Green Paper also announced our intention to pilot mandatory participation in new deal 50 plus activities for people aged 50-59 who have been claiming JSA for six months. This will involve attendance at work-focused interviews and the development of action plans to help participants move into employment. Pilot locations have not yet been confirmed.
Since October 2004, pension credit has been a qualifying benefit for the majority of Jobcentre Plus programmes. This enables people aged 60 and over who are claiming pension credit to take advantage of the wide range of back to work help available.
In spring 2005 there were three million people claiming incapacity benefits in Great Britain, of which 1.3 million were aged 50 or over. As nearly half of all benefit claimants aged 50 or over are on IB, they will be able to benefit from the rollout of the successful Pathways to Work service across the whole country which will be completed by 2008. Pathways offers new IB customers early support from skilled personal advisers and direct access to a Choices Package of employment programmes and clear financial incentives to make work pay. Any IB customer will be able to access the support and help available on a voluntary basis.
Our Age Positive Campaign works with employers and others to promote the business benefits of an age diverse workforce and best practice on age in recruitment, training and promotion. In May 2005 we launched the Be Ready national information campaign to raise employer awareness of, and ability to adopt, flexible employment and retirement opportunities to support the recruitment and retention of older workers in advance of age legislation due in October 2006.
The number of people working past State Pension Age has been increasing and now stands at over one million. We have introduced more attractive state pension deferral options with a higher rate of increment (10.4 per cent.) and the option of taking a lump sum instead of a weekly increase if individuals defer taking their pension for 12 months or longer.
Mrs. McGuire: Following the publication of the Framework for Vocational Rehabilitation, the strategy Health, Work and Well-being; Caring for our future launched in October 2005 set out how the Government is working in new ways to rehabilitate people back to employment. A National Director for Health and Work has now been appointed holding specific responsibility for vocational rehabilitation and on 3 May 2006 the Government held a summit for stakeholders.
The Government are also working with stakeholders to find ways to provide earlier and better rehabilitation as part of its wider programme of work on tackling perceptions of a compensation culture and improving the system for valid claims.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will ensure that all Jobcentre Plus staff, including those based in Plymouth, are aware of the provisions of SI 2002 No 2905 which affect hon. Members' ability to make representations on behalf of their constituents. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about ensuring that Jobcentre Plus staff, including those based in Plymouth, are aware of the provisions of SI 2002 No 2905 which affect Hon. Members' ability to make representations on behalf of their constituents. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
All staff in Jobcentre Plus are aware that they must use the Personal Information Policy Guide when dealing with requests for personal information relating to our customers or staff. This is the primary guidance within the Department for Work and Pensions in respect of dealing with personal customer information and when it may be passed to third parties. The Guide contains specific instructions for staff to follow when a request is received under The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data Elected Representatives) Order 2002: SI 2002 no 2905.
I am sorry that your office has experienced some difficulty in obtaining information in respect of your constituents. To address this, Louise Ferris, Customer Service Manager, Plymouth Benefit Delivery Centre (Tel: 01752 - 272012), has agreed with your office that future requests should be sent to her for a response.
I hope this is helpful.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on providing Jobcentre Plus services in each London Jobcentre Plus district in each of the last five financial years, broken down by (a) head count related expenditure, (b) non-head count related expenditure and (c) capital expenditure; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy
[holding answer 22 May 2006]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the
Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions asking how much his Department spent on providing Jobcentre Plus services in each London Jobcentre Plus district in each of the last five financial years, broken down by (a) head count related expenditure, (b) non-head count related expenditure and (c) capital expenditure. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
The table below gives the details of expenditure by District for the last four years. Prior to 1 April 2002, Jobcentre Plus did not exist and therefore there are no corresponding figures available for the 2001/02 financial year.
|District (costs include irrecoverable VAT)