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|Benefit fraud referrals and investigations by DWP|
|Referrals received||Referrals accepted for investigation|
1. Referrals accepted for investigations exclude General Matching Service cases.
2. Figures are a total of benefit fraud and instrument of payment fraud.
Fraud Information by Sector system and data from the Fraud Investigation Service, Organised.
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he plans to take to ensure that employers are willing to recruit people who have been claiming incapacity benefit or employment and support allowance. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The Government are determined to ensure that people on incapacity benefits and, when it is introduced, those on the new employment and support allowance, should not be written off as incapable of work and consigned to a life on benefit.
Since 1997, we have set about implementing the most profound extension of disability rights this country has ever seen. In October 2004, we extended the employment provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 to provide protection against discrimination for an additional 600,000 disabled workers. A further seven million jobs and one million employers were brought within the scope of the employment provisions of the Act. We conduct regular media campaigns aimed at helping employers and service providers to recognise their obligations under the DDA, as well as the commercial benefits of providing accessible services.
Our Pathways to Work pilots work with employers to help people on incapacity benefits gain and retain employment. They have already shown significant success in getting people off benefit and into employment. Over the next two years we will be extending Pathways to Work to every part of Britain. As a result of this investment, we will be bringing new hope and opportunity to some of the most disadvantaged members of our community.
We are currently putting together a cohesive and wide-ranging strategic action plan, developed in consultation with employers and employer organisations that are committed to increasing job opportunities for disabled people. We will work closely with them and other key stakeholders to build and deliver the action plan. Proposals include: an employer-led campaign to better engage employers to recruit and retain disabled people at both corporate and local levels; continued work to increase awareness of the Disability Discrimination Act; addressing and challenging negative employer attitudes; and building employer support for the Government's Welfare Reform agenda. Our aim is not just to challenge and change attitudes, but also to make a real difference to the recruitment of disabled people as well as their retention and progression within organisations.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate he has made of the carbon emissions of his Department; what commitment he has made to reducing such emissions; and if he will make a statement. 
The Department is committed to meeting the new Sustainable Operations targets announced by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 12 June. We continue to work closely with our Estates Partners, Land Securities Trillium, to identify and introduce more energy saving measures across the estate, and to maintain, and where possible increase, our use of renewable energy. Currently 60 per cent. of our electricity is sourced from renewable sources, although this is not factored into the figures reported above. We have also begun work with the Carbon Trust to increase awareness among staff, encouraging them to make best use of energy saving devices and features where they are available, and to adopt improved housekeeping practises.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the Child Support Agency will reclaim from the Treasury monies wrongly deducted for maintenance payments from a constituent of the hon. Member for Birkenhead (reference PCU/156249/RVI/LCP, case number, 321030812331). 
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive. As he is currently unavailable, I am responding on his behalf.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the Child Support Agency will reclaim from the Treasury monies wrongly deducted for maintenance payments from a constituent of the hon. Member for Birkenhead (reference PCU/156249/RVI/LCP case number 321030812331.
As details about individual cases are confidential I have written to you separately about this case.
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 6 July 2006]: Members of the Territorial Army are not automatically exempt from paying child support maintenance. Child support calculations do not take account of any payment made in respect of the performance of duties as a member of the Territorial Army. Such members, in common with those who serve communities in similar occupations such as lifeboat crew or part-time firefighters, tend to undertake these activities in addition to their main occupation. Child support will take account of earnings from that main job and any other net weekly income.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the total backlog was of all Child Support Agency cases relating to West Lancashire residents operating under the old scheme of calculation which are due to transfer to the new scheme but where the transfer has not yet taken place in each month since March 2003; 
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on what dates members of the child support redesign team in his Department have had meetings with individuals and organisations from outside his Department in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Plaskitt: Sir David Henshaw began his redesign work in February 2006 and is due to report back to the Secretary of State before the summer recess. During this time Sir David and his team are meeting with a variety of individuals and organisations from outside the Department. Representations made to Sir David will be detailed in his report.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will instruct the Child Support Agency to reconsider its decision not to provide child maintenance for Mrs. Lynda Gould of Buckfast on the basis that her sons father is in the Territorial Army; and if he will make a statement. 
Members of the Territorial Army are not automatically exempt from paying child support maintenance. Child support calculations do not take account of any payment made in respect of the performance of duties as a member of the Territorial Army. Such members, in common with those who serve communities in similar occupations such as lifeboat crew or part-time firefighters, tend to undertake these activities in addition to their main occupation. Child support will take account of earnings from that main job and any other net weekly income.
We are making further investigations into how the relevant legislation should be applied in this case. The chief executive of the Child Support Agency will write to the hon. Member and his constituent once we have completed that investigation.
John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individuals diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis qualified for disability living allowance in (a) 2004 and (b) 2005. 
Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 6 July 2006]: For the year ending 30 November 2004, there were about 2,400 new awards for customers whose primary disabling condition is recorded as myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic fatigue syndrome or other post viral conditions. For the year ending 30 November 2005, there were about 2,800 new awards.
DWP information Directorate: 5 per cent. sample data. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what factors were taken into account when deciding that industrial injuries disablement benefit should be treated as income for means-tested benefits. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: Industrial injuries disablement benefit is compensation paid for the degree of disablement suffered as a result of an industrial accident. In all the income-related benefits, income from all sources is normally taken into account, with disregards only where special considerations apply. Consequently, this benefit is taken fully into account when determining entitlement to an income related benefit.
Other benefits such as attendance allowance and disability living allowance are available to customers if as a result of their injuries they require personal care. As such these benefits are disregarded when entitlement to means-tested benefits is assessed.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidelines have been issued on awarding compensation to mesothelioma sufferers who have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 19 June 2006]: The Department introduced regulations and procedures on 29 July 2002 that deem people suffering from mesothelioma to be 100 per cent. disabled from the outset. The change ensures that customers receive the maximum amount of IIDB from the earliest possible date. Procedures were also changed to remove the need for a separate examination on behalf of the Department where the disease has already been diagnosed.
These changes are in addition to the existing fast track arrangements for dealing with claims from customers suffering from other asbestos related diseases and ensure that they are dealt with maximum speed and minimum intervention from the Department.
In relation to civil claims for damages, the Judicial Studies Board publishes guidelines for the judiciary on the assessment of damages for pain and suffering in personal injury cases. These are based on decided cases and do not cover any damages that may be awarded for other elements of the claim, such as loss of earnings. The latest edition of the guidelines indicates that an award of between £45,000 and £70,000 is appropriate in mesothelioma cases.
Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the numbers of (a) women and (b) men who suffer from mesothelioma due to exposure to fibres brought home on the clothes of spouses, or other family members, exposed to asbestos at their workplace. 
Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether those who suffer from mesothelioma due to exposure to fibres brought home on the clothes of spouses, or other family members, exposed to asbestos at their workplace are eligible to make claims under the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers Compensation) 1979 Act scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 10 July 2006]: People who have contracted mesothelioma as a result of fibres brought home by others exposed at the workplace are not eligible for a payment under the Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers Compensation) Act 1979.
Mr. Jim Murphy: Although no formal research has been undertaken to assess the uptake of new deal in rural areas, we estimate that more than 273,000 people in rural areas(1) have started new deal for young people, new deal 25 plus and new deal for lone parents and over 172,000 have gone into work through these programmes. This ratio of programme starts to people into jobs through new deal compares favourably with the national average.
New deal for young people and new deal 25 plus are mandatory programmes and people who are required to attend these programmes will be expected to do so, regardless of the area in which they live. However, new deal advisers are required to identify any barriers or issues participants in new deal may have in getting back to work, and this can include, where appropriate, addressing barriers that may be inherent in living in rural areas.
Jobcentre Plus providers must deliver provision in locations that are easily accessible to participants, and where particular difficulties exist, for example in more rural areas, they must address these. Participants also receive help with their travel expenses for attending the Jobcentre Plus office on days when they would not normally be required to, or when attending new deal provision.
We produce an internal annual Rural Proofing Report for the Countryside Agency; this includes examples of how the Department has addressed service delivery issues in rural areas. A copy of the Countryside Agency's Rural Proofing Report for 2004-05 is available in the Library.
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