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Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of households in the UK had an income of (a) £22,009 or less, (b) £22,010 to £32,744 and (c) £32,745 or more in 2005-06. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The income information for 2005-06 is not available. Fully processed income data for 2005-06 will not be available until March 2007, following the publication of Households Below Average Income 2005/06.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the (a) start date, (b) original planned completion date, (c) current expected completion date, (d) planned cost and (e) actual cost was of the upgrade from Windows 2000 to EP in his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Departments project to upgrade to Windows XP started in August 2004. Rollout commenced in June 2005 with an expected completion date of December 2005 at a planned cost of £12.673 million. The project completed in February 2006 with a final cost of £12.276 million.
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.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what monitoring he has undertaken of the Job Outcome Target. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Following a pilot which ran from January 2005 to March 2006 in seven Jobcentre Plus Districts, the Job Outcome Target was introduced nationally in April 2006. Job Outcomes are measured by matching information on employment starts provided by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) with information held on Jobcentre Plus systems.
As part of the pilot we monitored performance and conducted research into the operation of the target. Two reports have been published and are in the Library ('Evaluation of the Job Outcome Target Pilots: quantitative study: Final Report Authors: Frankham et al. Ref No 316 and 'Evaluation of the Job Outcome Target Pilots: Findings from the Qualitative Study Authors: Johnson et al. Ref No 302). The national implementation incorporated findings from this research. Further research is underway to examine activity in the pilots one year after implementation and to incorporate best practise on a national basis. We expect findings from this research to be published after February 2007.
I hope this is helpful.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the costs were of services from private sector security companies at Jobcentre Plus in each year from 2001-02; and what the estimated costs are in 2006-07. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what the costs were of services from private sector security companies at Jobcentre Plus in each year from 2001-02; and what the estimated costs are in 2006-07. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Security services for Jobcentre Plus are included in the services provided by Land Securities Trillium through its facilities management contract with the Department for Work and Pensions and are not charged separately.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Departments planned spending is on the work-based learning for adults programme for (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. 
Funding for occupational training and basic skills courses provided outside the new deal programmes ended on 31 March 2006. For 2006-07, £9 million is being provided to cover training for customers who started WBLA courses prior to 31 March 2006, and £14 million is being provided for training allowances for jobseekers voluntarily taking up Learning and Skills Council (LSC) basic skills provision. In 2007-08, £14 million will again be provided for training allowances for customers voluntarily taking up LSC basic skills provision.
Training to address basic skills needs and work focused training continues to be available through the new deal programme. The mandatory new deal programmes contain a formal training element tailored to meet individual needs, and people participating in voluntary new deals can also take up training opportunities and access training through the Learning and Skills Council, or through other local agreements.
Work continues between Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Education and Skills, Jobcentre Plus and the LSC to develop proposals for a new LSC supported Basic Skills programme for Jobcentre Plus customers for introduction in September 2007.
Mr. Plaskitt: The income-related benefits, income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit were all introduced prior to 1997 and they remain income-related.
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will raise the level of carers allowance to the amount which would be received by a person working an average week being paid the National Minimum wage; and if he will make a statement; 
Mrs. McGuire: Carers allowance is an income-maintenance benefit for carers who are not in full-time work and regularly provide substantial care, of at least 35 hours a week, to a severely disabled person receiving attendance allowance or the equivalent rates of the disability living allowance care component. Carers receiving carers allowance can have earnings, net of a range of expenses, including the cost of alternative care for either the severely disabled person or a child under 16 years of age while the carer is at work, of up to the national insurance lower earnings limit, currently £84 per week, net of certain expenses. This limit and the weekly rate of carers allowance are increased each year to maintain their value. We have no plans to increase carers allowance to the level of the national minimum wage.
Special help is available for lower-income carers entitled to carers allowance through the carer premium in the income-related benefits and the additional amount for carers in pension credit. In 2002 we increased the carer premium by £10 per week over and above annual increases to reflect movements in the Retail Price Index, and set the rate of the additional amount in pension credit at the same level. Currently, carers can receive up to £26.35 per week more from these benefits than other recipients, More than 181,000 pension credit recipients, 210,000 income support recipients and 3,000 income-based jobseekers allowance recipients are receiving this extra help.
Analysis of the Family Resources Survey and Households Below Average Incomes datasets indicates
that carers, including those receiving carers allowance, are no more likely to be in poverty(1) than the general population.
(1) Defined as income below 60 per cent. of median household income (before housing costs).
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what changes have been made since 5 May 2005 to the requirements for applicants for National Insurance numbers to produce original documents. 
The Department then follows a robust process to verify the individuals identity, including a face-to-face interview designed to build up a picture of the individuals circumstances; document examination checks to ensure the authenticity of any documentary evidence provided in support of the application; and corroborative checks with third parties (including other Government Departments) to verify information supplied during the interview.
James Purnell: The requirements of EU Directive 2003/41/EC on the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision, which was adopted by the member states on 3 June 2003, apply to the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations his Department plans to send to the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors 2006 Conference. 
The Department for Work and Pensions will be represented at the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors 2006 Conference by senior members of staff from the Pensions Regulator. The Pensions Regulator is a non-departmental public body responsible for the supervision of work-based pension schemes within the UK, and usually represents the UK
at the regular meetings of the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors. The Department works closely with the Pensions Regulator to ensure that the interests of UK pension scheme members are appropriately represented at these meetings.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make it his policy to issue guidance to encourage the public sector to employ people with mental illnesses, in line with the relevant recommendation by the Work and Pensions Committee in its report on incapacity benefit and Pathways to Work. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department is host to the Office for Disability Issues, which was launched on 1 December 2005 to take forward the Governments strategy for improving the life chances of disabled people. One element of this work will be to oversee the effective implementation of the Disability Equality Duty, which requires all public bodies to actively promote equality of disabled people, including people with mental illnesses. The Office for Disability Issues is working in partnership with the Disability Rights Commission to support and encourage government departments to commit to meaningful actions that will improve their policies and services and realise the potential of their diverse workforces.
In addition the Disability Rights Commission has produced a series of Codes of Practice, assisting people and organisations to understand their rights and duties under the Disability Discrimination Act. The Codes give practical guidance, including illustrative examples covering a wide range of impairments, on how to prevent discrimination against disabled people. The Codes have been produced following wide-ranging consultation by the Disability Rights Commission to ensure they are appropriate for the users. The Commission has also produced a range of guidance leaflets and other information to help improve awareness and understanding of rights and requirements under the Act.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many residents in (a) South East Cambridgeshire constituency, (b) Cambridgeshire and (c) the Eastern region receive pension credit. 
|Individual beneficiaries in South East Cambridgeshire constituency, Cambridgeshire county council and the East of England, February 2006|
|Individual beneficiaries( 4)|
1. These figures are early estimates. The preferred data source for figures supplied by DWP is the Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS). However, the figures provided are the latest available figures which are taken from the QMS scan at 17 February 2006. These are adjusted using the historical relationship between WPLS and GMS data to give an estimate of the final WPLS figure.
2. The number of individual beneficiaries is rounded to the nearest 10.
3. Parliamentary constituency, Government Office Region and county council are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant postcode directory.
4. The number of individual beneficiaries includes both claimants and their partners.
DWP 100 per cent. data from the Generalised Matching Service (QMS) Pension Credit scan taken as at 17 February 2006.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total amount of assets was in pension funds that started to wind up before 6 April 2005 with insufficient funds to cover their pension entitlements before annuities were purchased; and if he will make a statement. 
In July 2005 the Government published technical guidance for the pensions and financial services industries on how to operate automatic enrolment techniques within the current legal framework governing personal pensions. The Government are at present exploring whether it can develop similar guidance for employers, in order to encourage the use of automatic enrolment into occupational pension schemes.
In its Second Report, the Pensions Commission recommended that all employees should be automatically enrolled into funded pension saving but with the right to opt out, and with a modest compulsory employer contribution. In the White Paper Security in retirement: towards a new pensions system the Government made it clear that it accepted the Pensions Commissions recommendation. The Government will introduce legislation requiring employers to automatically enrol their employees into either good quality occupational schemes or personal accounts.
Mr. Kemp: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what percentage of pensioners in the (a) Houghton and Washington East constituency and (b) Sunderland city council area have been lifted out of poverty since 1997. 
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