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10 July 2006 : Column 1608W—continued

Remploy

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when approval was given for the chief executive of Remploy to take on an external commitment in the form of a directorship of Hill Executive Action Ltd.; and who gave such approval. [80445]

Mrs. McGuire: The position of director of Hill Executive Action Ltd. does not have any impact on his role as chief executive of Remploy and, as such, does not require approval by Remploy.

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many hours a week the chief operating officer of Remploy is contracted to work for the organisation. [80449]

Mrs. McGuire: The chief operating officer is contracted to work for 35 hours a week for Remploy.

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the remit was of the review team looking at the future of Remploy Ltd. including information on the more detailed work that was requested of the team as announced in his written statement of 6 June. [81679]

Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 4 July 2006]: The remit of the review was announced in my ministerial statement of 16 March 2006, and a copy of the terms of reference for the review was placed in the Library.

I asked PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) to provide expert independent advice on the options for a radical strategy that would lead to Remploy being able to help more disabled people into work at unit costs comparable with other providers of supported employment, specifically: the options for a strategy within the existing budgeted funding envelope of £111 million per year; and what alternatives approaches compatible with the Government’s overall policy direction are possible without the need for significant further investment.


10 July 2006 : Column 1609W

The review team were asked to do some more detailed work to ensure that we are in the best possible position to make robust decisions about the future of Remploy.

The recommendations of the review team will be considered very carefully, and I hope to make a further statement to Parliament before the summer recess.

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the written statement of 6 June 2006, Official Report, column 26WS, on Remploy, when the Minister expects to be in a position to make a further statement to the House on the future of Remploy. [82625]

Mrs. McGuire: I have not yet received PricewaterhouseCoopers' report on Remploy, but expect to do so shortly. I hope to make a further statement about the review before recess.

Savings Credit

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost of savings credit was in 2005; what his estimate is of the cost in each year from 2006 to 2030; and if he will make a statement. [70298]

James Purnell: The cost of the savings credit from 2004-05 to 2007-08 is in the following tables. Figures for the projected costs of the savings credit beyond 2007-08 are currently not available. I will write to the hon. Member when they become available.

Table 1: Savings credit expenditure—outturn
£ billion
Pension credit (savings credit) expenditure in the UK nominal terms Pension credit (savings credit) expenditure in the UK real terms 2006-07 prices

2004-05

1.0

1.0


Table 2: Savings credit expenditure—projections
£ billion
Pension credit (savings credit) projected expenditure in the UK nominal terms Pension credit (savings credit) projected expenditure in the UK real terms 2006-07 prices

2005-06

1.1

1.1

2006-07

1.2

1.2

2007-08

1.5

1.4


Seasonal Workers

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what support his Department provides for (a) seasonal workers when they are out of work and (b) the rural unemployed; and if he will make a statement. [82032]

Mr. Jim Murphy: All customers who are unemployed and eligible for benefits, including seasonal workers and the rural unemployed, are able to access a wide range of services and programmes provided by Jobcentre Plus provided they meet the eligibility
10 July 2006 : Column 1610W
criteria. In instances where a seasonal worker may not be eligible for benefits they are still able to use the services of Jobcentre Plus in their search for temporary employment.

The Jobcentre Plus website displays details of job opportunities and advisers encourage customers to access these facilities through their local libraries or community centres to maintain their contact with the labour market. Where a customer has to travel to the local office they are paid their fares at the local transport rates. For customers who live in remote or island areas Jobcentre Plus staff can carry out interviews locally.

Jobcentre Plus also offers the facility of postal signing to customers living further than one hour by public transport from the nearest local office, or where the journey would involve using transport not regarded as local such as an aircraft or ferry.

Rural areas with particular problems of unemployment and worklessness will also benefit from the Deprived Areas Fund, to be operational from October 2006. This will provide Jobcentre Plus district managers with flexibility to invest funds at a local level in a way which they decide best meets the needs of their local workless residents.

SERPS

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people are estimated to have contracted out of the state earnings related pension scheme. [81860]

James Purnell: Information on the number of people contracted out of the additional state pension (the state second pension, formerly the state earnings related pension scheme) in each year during the period 1978-79 to 2003-04 is in the table.


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Type of Scheme
Million
Defined Contribution
Tax year Defined Benefit Occupational Personal/Stakeholder

1978-79

9.3

0.1

1979-80

9.6

0.1

1980-81

9.6

0.1

1981-82

9.3

0.1

1982-83

9.1

0.1

1983-84

8.9

0.1

1984-85

8.7

0.1

1985-86

9.0

0.1

1986-87

9.0

0.2

1987-88

8.8

0.2

2.6

1988-89

9.0

0.5

2.9

1989-90

8.9

0.7

3.6

1990-91

8.7

0.7

3.9

1991-92

8.4

0.6

4.0

1992-93

8.1

0.6

4.1

1993-94

7.8

0.6

3.9

1994-95

7.6

0.6

3.8

1995-96

7.7

0.7

3.6

1996-97

7.7

0.7

3.5

1997-98

7.6

0.8

3.5

1998-99

7.7

0.8

3.5

1999-2000

7.6

0.7

3.5

2000-01

7.8

0.7

3.5

2001-02

7.7

0.7

3.5

2002-03

7.7

0.6

3.3

2003-04

7.6

0.6

2.9

Notes: 1. The data for 2003-04 are provisional and may be subject to change in future publications. 2. 2003-04 is the latest year for which NIRS2 contracted-out data are available. 3. The state earnings related pension scheme was reformed by the state second pension from 2002-03. Source: Department for Work and Pensions, Second Tier Pension Provision 1978-79 to 2003-04.

State Pension Age

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many of those in employment would be affected by the state pension age rising to (a) 66 by 2026, (b) 67 by 2036 and (c) 68 by 2046, assuming they continue in employment until state pension age. [82601]

James Purnell: The information is in the following table.

Estimated numbers of people currently in paid work and not in full-time education, of an age to be potentially affected by such changes in state pension age (SPA), first quarter 2006; in Great Britain
Age in first quarter 2006 Number (million)

38 to 46 (SPA 66 or between 65 and 66)

6.4

29 to 37 (SPA 67 or between 66 and 67)

5.7

16 to 28 (SPA 68 or between 67 and 68)

4.9

Total

17.0

Note: Each increase in the SPA is phased in gradually over two years. Source: Labour Force Survey.

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many women who are currently in employment will be affected by the increase in the state pension age from 60 to 65. [82602]

James Purnell: Around 10.5 million women in paid work, and not in full-time education, in Great Britain in the first quarter of 2006 were of an age to be potentially affected by the equalisation of state pension age from 2010 to 2020.


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