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7 Nov 2006 : Column 1126W—continued


Local Housing Allowance

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimates his Department has made of the impact of changing the definition for determining the local housing allowance from the mid point of local rents to the median on (a) the percentage of claimants facing a shortfall between their eligible and contractual rent and (b) the average size of that shortfall. [96141]

Mr. Plaskitt: Any shortfall between the local housing allowance and contractual rent at the time of national roll-out of the local housing allowance will depend on the trends in local rent levels and the accommodation choices made by tenants. The trends in local rent levels up to the point of national roll-out are currently hard to predict and local housing allowance rates will vary across local private rent sector markets and different sizes of property.

However, we estimate that the majority of new claimants at roll-out will gain under the proposed national local housing allowance compared with what they would have been entitled to under the current housing benefit rules.

Lyons Review

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many jobs in his Department have been relocated (a) to Liverpool and (b) elsewhere as a result of the Lyons Review; and on how many occasions Liverpool has been considered for relocation of staff under this programme. [100094]

Mrs. McGuire: The basis of the Department’s relocation strategy resulting from the Lyons’ review is to relocate posts rather than people. Decisions to where posts should be relocated have been made to make best use of existing capacity within the Departmental estate.

While it is not possible to give an accurate response on the number of occasions that Liverpool has been considered for relocation of posts, the following table shows the occasions that posts have actually been relocated from London and the South East to Liverpool and to elsewhere between 1 June 2003 and 31 October 2006:

Posts relocated to: Number

Liverpool

443

Elsewhere

3459


7 Nov 2006 : Column 1127W

Means-Testing

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost of ending the means test for income-based jobseeker’s allowance; and if he will make a statement. [99944]

Mr. Plaskitt: We have made no such estimate.

Mortgage Interest Relief

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when his Department will process the mortgage interest relief benefit claim which Mr. Thompson of Great Headline Crescent, Paignton submitted in May 2005. [99241]

Mr. Plaskitt: 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. Gentleman with the information requested.

Letter from Lesley Strathie:

Obesity

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 9 January 2006, Official Report, column 93W, to my hon. Friend the Member for East Worthing and Shoreham (Tim Loughton) on obesity, if he will provide the figures collected by his Department since January. [90190]


7 Nov 2006 : Column 1128W

Mrs. McGuire: Information is only available on those claiming incapacity benefits whose primary diagnosis is obesity. The available information is in the tables.

Incapacity benefit (IB), severe disablement allowance (SDA) and income support with a disability premium (ISDP); working-age expenditure on people suffering from obesity
£ million—real terms (2006-07 prices)
Obesity—IB/SDA/ISDP expenditure Total—IB/SDA and ISDP expenditure Obesity as a percentage of IB/SDA/ISDP expenditure

2000-01

8

13,413

0.06

2001-02

8

13,530

0.06

2002-03

8

13,051

0.06

2003-04

8

12,888

0.07

2004-05

8

12,675

0.07

2005-06

9

12,392

0.07


Incapacity benefit (IB), severe disablement allowance (SDA) and income support with a disability premium (ISDP); working-age expenditure on people suffering from obesity
£ million—nominal terms
Obesity—IB/SDA/ISDP expenditure Total—IB/SDA and ISDP expenditure Obesity as a percentage of IB/SDA/ISDP expenditure

2000-01

7

11,566

0.06

2001-02

7

11,955

0.06

2002-03

8

11,899

0.06

2003-04

8

12,057

0.07

2004-05

8

12,120

0.07

2005-06

9

12,096

0.07

Notes: 1. Figures are consistent with the historical out-turn expenditure figures published in the DWP’s benefit expenditure which can be found on the Department for Work and Pensions website at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd4/expenditure.asp 2. Expenditure has been apportioned using data on conditions of IB and SDA recipients from the IB 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study. 3. Expenditure refers to the total expenditure directed at working-age adults and any child dependants from IB, SDA and ISDP for those in receipt of IB or SDA. 4. Diagnoses are coded in accordance with the International Classification of Disease (10th edition), published by the World Health Organisation. 5. Figures are rounded to the nearest million pounds. 6. Figures are of working-age claimants only. 7. Real-terms figures are in 2006-07 prices. 8. Expenditure for 2005-06 reflects the latest estimate of out-turn, and not the amounts voted by Parliament. 9. All figures relate to expenditure in Great Britain only.

Opinion Polling

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost has been of opinion polling conducted for his Department in each year from 1996-97 to 2005-06; what the expenditure has been so far in 2006-07; and if he will make a statement. [97027]

Mrs. McGuire: My Department carried out limited annual public attitude omnibus surveys between 2001 and 2004. In 2005, in order to make the findings more robust, an increased number of new attitude statements were tested among the public prior to being included in omnibus research. In 2005 we also conducted a piece of research to monitor public awareness of the Department and its responsibilities.


7 Nov 2006 : Column 1129W
Cost (£)

2001 -Public Attitudes - Wave 1

9,350

2002 - Public Attitudes - Wave 2

9,600

2003 - Public Attitudes - Wave 3

10,450

2004 - Public Attitudes - Wave 4

11,100

2005 - Public Attitudes Public Awareness - Wave 5 and New 1

86,000

2006 - Public Attitudes

50,000

2007

Unavailable at this time

Total

160,600


Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on what issues his Department has conducted opinion polling since 2005; what the cost has been in each case; and if he will make a statement. [97028]

Mrs. McGuire: The information is as follows:

Omnibus Survey Research

My Department conducted annual omnibus surveys to monitor public attitudes to the Government’s welfare reform programme in 2005 and 2006. In addition, a further piece of research was conducted in 2005 to monitor public awareness of the Department and its responsibilities.

In 2005 the cost of the public attitudes survey was £43,000 and public awareness survey was £43,000. The cost of the public attitudes survey in 2006 was £50,000.

Pathways to Work

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 28 October 2005, Official Report, column 610W, to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws), if he will provide the figures collected by his Department since October 2005. [90188]

Mr. Jim Murphy: Of the 255,640 Pathways participants to the end of June 2006, there are only 159,080 for whom medical condition information is currently available. Of these 63,600 (40 per cent.) are classified as having a mental or behavioural disorder.

There have been 6,160 Pathways job entries for participants classified as having a mental or behavioural disorder.

Information is not available on the number of hours worked for Pathways job entries.

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 14 November 2005, Official Report, columns 1008-09W, to the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field), on Pathways to Work, if he will provide the figures collected by his Department since November 2005. [90467]

Mrs. McGuire: The information is in the tables.


7 Nov 2006 : Column 1130W
Number of incapacity benefit claims that have been terminated in the UK excluding Pathways to Work pilot areas
Quarter ending All terminations Terminations outside Pathways to Work areas Percentage of terminations outside Pathways to Work areas

November 2003

180,300

172,900

95.9

February 2004

165,500

158,500

95.8

May 2004

168,200

150,900

89.7

August 2004

170,200

152,800

89.8

November 2004

170,000

153,900

90.6

February 2005

169,100

153,100

90.5

May 2005

171,000

155,800

91.1

August 2005

158,600

144,600

91.2

November 2005

158,100

143,700

90.9

February 2006

110,400

99,900

90.5


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