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6 July 2006 : Column 1346W—continued

Parliamentary Boundaries

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs when the final outcome of the Parliamentary Boundary Commission will (a) be published and (b) become effective for the purpose of the election on which these boundaries would be used. [81854]

Mr. Hanson: I have been asked to reply as this question relates to the Northern Ireland Parliamentary Boundary Commission.

The Parliamentary Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland is required to submit its final report to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland by June 2007. The Secretary of State must then lay the Commission’s final recommendations (with or without modifications) before Parliament for approval.

Work and Pensions

Economically Inactive

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of the 2 million economically inactive people who would like to work are receiving benefits, broken down by benefit. [75345]

Mr. Plaskitt: In January-March 2006 there were 7,943,000 inactive people of working age in the United Kingdom. Of these 2,019,000 (25 per cent.) wanted to work.(1)

Latest LFS data suggest that of the 2 million inactive people who want to work: around one quarter are claiming housing and/or council tax benefit; around 15 per cent. are claiming sickness or disability benefits (excluding disabled persons tax credit); around 17 per cent. are claiming child benefit; less than two per cent. were claiming jobseeker’s allowance; and around one third are not claiming benefits.(2)

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Comparison between the data collected by the LFS and administrative data shows that the LFS consistently undercounts benefit claimants. However, the LFS data give an indication of the benefits received. It is important to note because of these caveats and the small sample sizes of the data used, the figures above are subject to a great degree of uncertainty.


(1) Labour Force Survey (LFS), January-March 2006.

(2) Labour Force Survey Winter 2005.

Jobcentre Plus

Sir John Butterfill: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations he has received on the closure of much of the Jobcentre Plus office in Cotlands Road, Bournemouth; what assessment he has made of (a) the capacity of the revised arrangements to deal with inquiries from claimants unable to get help or advice on the telephone and (b) the number of officers in management roles at the Chippenham office; what the average time taken to process an application for benefits has been in each of the last three months; and if he will make a statement. [71264]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 6 July 2006:

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Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many individuals diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis who attended a medical tribunal were successful in (a) 2003, (b) 2004 and (c) 2005. [81968]

Vera Baird: I have been asked to reply as responsibility for Social Security and Child Support appeals now falls to the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs.

The requested information is not available. Details are not kept about the nature of the medical condition of people who attend appeal tribunals.

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what arrangements are in place to ensure that medical tribunals for individuals diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis who are housebound are held in a location convenient for the claimant. [81969]

Vera Baird: I am answering this question as responsibility for social security and child support appeals now falls to the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs.

Social security and child support appeals are heard at a network of around 130 venues throughout Great Britain. Where a party to the proceedings wishes to attend an oral hearing but is unable to travel due to a medical condition, a legally qualified panel member may agree that the hearing can be held at an alternative suitable location, including the person’s home.

National Insurance Contributions

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate (a) the number of people due to retire after 2010 who have paid voluntary national insurance contributions and who would otherwise have qualified for a full basic pension on the basis of 30 contribution years required for a full state pension and (b) the total amount of such overpayment. [77988]

James Purnell: The information is not available in the format requested.

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National Insurance Numbers

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individuals applying for a national insurance number were referred to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate in (a) the last six months, (b) the last 12 months and (c) each of the last five years due to (i) suspicion about their eligibility to work in the UK, (ii) the use of false documents and (iii) other reasons. [75703]

Mr. Plaskitt: Between 1 April 2005 and 31 March 2006, 3309 cases were referred to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate. Of these, 772 were referred due to the use of false documents and 2537 were referred as potential immigration offenders. Figures are not available prior to the 1 April 2005 as the information was not formally recorded. No further breakdown is available.

Pathways to Work Pilot Areas

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department's estimate is of the cost to date of personal adviser time per work-focused interview in Pathways to work pilot areas. [49802]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The total cost to date per work-focused interview (or unit cost) is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

In response to PSA target requirements, Jobcentre Plus do publish the unit costs for job broking and benefit processing every year in their annual report and accounts. The PSA unit costs for job broking activities and benefit processing for 2004-05 were as shown in the following table.

Benefit Unit cost (£)

Job broking


Benefit processing



Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his latest estimate is of the number of women in the UK who will retire between 1 May 2005 and 31 April 2010 with (a) 30 years or more of class 1 national insurance contributions and (b) more than 30 but less than 39 years of national insurance contributions. [77999]

James Purnell: The information is not available in the format requested.

Personal Capability Assessment

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) which organisations his Department has had meetings with on the proposed reform of the Personal Capability Assessment referred to in the Green Paper “A new deal for welfare”; [75376]

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(2) which individuals form the expert panels set up by the Department since the publication of the Green Paper “A new deal for welfare” to formulate policy on reforming the Personal Capability Assessment; and which bodies they represent. [75386]

Mr. Jim Murphy: As part of the Welfare Reform Green Paper consultation we have met a large number of stakeholders to discuss the full range of our reform proposals. With many of these we discussed our proposals to transform the PCA. Because of the number of organisations involved we are not able to list all the individuals and groups involved. We continue to meet with organisation to discuss the proposals.

In addition, the Department has created a series of working groups, comprising medical, technical and stakeholder experts, to advise and assist in the work to transform the Personal Capability Assessment (PCA). The membership of each of the groups is in the tables.

Overarching PCA Consultative Group
Name Organisation

Duleep Allirajah

Macmillan Cancer Support

Dr. Mark Baker


Andy Barrick


Brigid Campbell

Independent/Social Security Advisory Committee

David Congdon


Stephen Duckworth

Disability Matters

Richard Excell


Katie Hanson


Jane Harris


Marilyn Howard


Christine Jess

Disability Employment Advisory Committee

John Knight

Leonard Cheshire

Glynn McDonald

Arthritis Care

Andy Rickell


Sue Christoforou


Vanessa Stanislas

Disability Alliance

John Wheatley

Citizens Advice Bureau

Mental Health Consultative Group
Name Organisation

David Congdon


Sue Christoforou


Margaret Edwards


Richard Excell


Jane Harris


Caroline Hawkings

Turning Point

Kate Nash


Rachel Perkins

Disability Employment Advisory Committee

Mia Rosenblatt

National Autistic Society

Liz Sayce

Disability Rights Commission

Judy Scott

Judy Scott Consultancy

Debbie Witton

Salford County Council

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Mental Health Technical Working Group( 1)
Name Organisation

Dr. Jed Boardman

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Dr. Alan Cohen

Royal College of GPs

Dr. Bob Grove

Department of Health

Sue Godby

Unum Provident/College of Occupational Therapists

Dr. Paul Litchfield

Faculty of Occupational Medicine

Miles Rinaldi

National Institute for Mental Health in England

Philippa Russell

National Children’s Bureau

Prof. Geoff Shepherd

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mental Health Trust

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