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|Jobseekers allowance expenditure in Great Britain (real terms 2006-07 prices )|
|1996-97 (out-turn)||2005-06 (estimated outturn)|
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the number of veterans on incapacity benefit due to (a) mental health conditions and (b) physical conditions. 
Mr. Plaskitt: When considering entitlement to means-tested benefits all income should be taken into account. To not do so would set an inappropriate precedent and represent unequal treatment within the income rules. If an organisation provides a lunch to a volunteer, benefit entitlement is not affected. However, we are aware of and listening to the concerns that have been raised. The Department is looking at this issue as part of a wider examination of the way the benefit system works.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has had with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in respect of the warm front scheme; and whether the Department passes information to the warm front team regarding individuals' benefit entitlements. 
James Purnell: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is committed to working with others to reduce fuel poverty, particularly among vulnerable groups such as pensioners. This includes working with other Government Departments, for example Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and with the Warm Front scheme manager.
Since June 2005, The Pension Service has been co-operating with the Eaga partnership, the largest administrator of energy efficiency schemes in the UK and the provider of the Warm Front Scheme, on behalf of DEFRA.
Pensioners who contact Eaga for help under the Warm Front Scheme but who are not receiving a benefit that would enable them to qualify for help, for example pension credit, are offered a comprehensive benefit entitlement check.
Where Eaga identifies potential entitlement to pension credit, the pensioner's details are passed, with the pensioner's consent, to The Pension Service. The pensioner is then contacted by The Pension Service and where entitlement to pension credit is confirmed, benefit is put into payment. The Pension Service informs Eaga of this and Eaga are able to implement the help available under the Warm Front Scheme.
As well as contributing in a practical way to the attack on fuel poverty in pensioner households and simplifying matters for pensioners, the partnership between The Pension Service and Eaga supports the development of options for delivering more integrated, flexible and efficient services to pensioners.
Mrs. McGuire: The Government believe that good benefit advice should be available to everyone whatever their disability to enable them to make informed decisions about possible entitlement to benefit. The Department goes to great lengths to ensure that people are aware of the benefits that are available and how to claim them. While we have no plans to roll out a programme of benefit delivery specifically for cancer patients, we and the Department of Health are working closely with organisations such as Macmillan Cancer Support to improve the way benefit advice is delivered to all patients.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what new obligations the Welfare Reform Bill will place on local authorities; and whether they will be compensated under the Department for Communities and Local Government's New Burdens principle. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The overall reform strategy for housing benefit continues to focus on streamlining policy rules and working with local authorities to improve local authority administration of housing and council tax benefit. We do not believe that the measures included in the Welfare Reform Bill present any significant additional obligations or burdens on local authorities.
Mr. Kemp: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what percentage of people in the (a) Houghton and Washington East constituency and (b) Sunderland City Council area have received the winter allowance for pensioners in each year since it was introduced. 
It is not possible to provide the percentage of pensioners in the Houghton and Washington East constituency who have received the Winter Fuel Payment because the information is not available by parliamentary constituency.
|Houghton and Washington East constituency|
|Number of payments made|
|Sunderland local authority|
|Number of payments made||Percentage of people 60 years or over|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Population figures are mid year estimates of people aged 60 plus and are not available by Parliamentary Constituency.
3. Figures for 2005-2006 refer only the main payment run so they do not include the late payment run figures. The final figures will be available shortly and placed in the Library.
|London GOR||Number of individuals receiving a winter fuel payment in winter 2005-06|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Local Authorities are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.
3. These figures refer only to the main payment run so they do not include the late payment run figures. Final figures will be available shortly and placed in the Library.
Information Directorate, 100 per cent. Sample.
James Purnell: The estimated annual cost of extending the winter fuel payment to disabled people aged below 60 years who are in receipt of either the middle or higher rate care component or the higher rate mobility component of disability living allowance is £280 million for 2005-06.
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 18 July 2006]: Tackling the problems created by worklessness is central to meeting our aim of increasing prosperity and reducing poverty and social exclusion. We have recently written to 45 local authorities, including Liverpool, to request expressions of interest (EOI) for our Cities Strategy which will bring public, private and voluntary sectors together into a concerted local programme to improve the way support for jobless people is co-ordinated and delivered. We are now considering all the EOIs and will be announcing successful pathfinder areas shortly.
In Liverpool, Riverside, we are working with the local authority, as well as the voluntary, community and private sectors to deliver initiatives to tackle worklessness. These include Step Closer 2 Work which is a programme to help those in receipt of incapacity benefits move closer to the labour market and the Diversity and Social Inclusion Project which aims to reduce worklessness by the provision of training and work experience. I was able to see some of the excellent work being done to tackle worklessness when I visited Liverpool Riverside last month. This included meeting the team running Streets Ahead which is a city wide initiative delivered by a number of partner agencies, aimed at helping disadvantaged people into work.
In Liverpool, we undertook consultations with key partners around the introduction of our Pathways to Work programme, which has already shown significant success in getting people off incapacity benefits and into employment and was rolled out in Liverpool in April. Private and voluntary sector providers deliver and support a number of different programmes within our Pathways to Work pilots.
In Liverpool, we hold bi-monthly meetings which are attended by a range of partners, including Liverpool city council and Connexions. The meetings focus on addressing the educational, training and employment needs of local workless residents, including those in Liverpool, Riverside.
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