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(b) Under White Paper reforms, total contributory state pension (basic state pension and state second pension) would be around £139 a week at state pension age (before any deductions for tax). Whether they were a non-saver or a saver their income would be above the qualifying threshold for
pension credit, so they would not see any reduction in the net value of state payments if they chose to make private pension savings. Under current assumptions, their private pension savings would be worth £80 a week, giving a saver total state and private income, net of pension credit, of around £219 a week at state pension age.
1. Values are forecasts only. They are dependent upon future assumptions of price and earnings growth, and consequently are subject to revision.
2. Numbers are shown in 2005-06 earnings terms.
3. Private pension outcomes are forecast using the assumption that under current policy, individuals save using a stakeholder pension at the rate of 3.9 per cent. (the average amount saved currently) and the annual management charge is 1.5 per cent. Under White Paper reforms savings rates are 7 per cent. with a management charge of just 0.5 per cent.
4. Projections under current policies assume: continued earnings uprating of the standard guarantee credit; continued price uprating of the savings credit threshold; and continued price uprating of the basic state pension.
5. The White Paper reform projections assume: continued earnings uprating of the standard guarantee credit; earnings uprating of the maximum savings credit from 2008 and then by prices from 2015; earnings uprating of the basic state pension from 2012; measures to improve coverage of the basic state pension described in the White Paper and measures to simplify state second pension from 2012.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the latest date is for the restoration of the link between the basic state pension and earnings under the proposals in the White Paper; and if he will make a statement. 
James Purnell: The White Paper Security in retirement: towards a new pensions system states that the earnings link will be restored to the basic State pension. the objective is that this will be done, subject to affordability and the fiscal position, in 2012 but in any event at the latest by the end of the next Parliament.
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has had with the Pensions Regulator on the representation of deferred members on the boards of pension funds. 
James Purnell [holding answer 31 October 2006]: My officials held discussions with the Pensions Regulator prior to its consultation exercise on its code of practice on Member Nominated Trustees. The consultation exercise included representations about deferred members being eligible to participate in the nominations and selection process.
Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will give a breakdown of the costs incurred to his Department for each type of transaction processed by sub-post offices involving Post Office card accounts; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will cease the practice of job centres writing their clients name and national insurance number on warrants issued to them for travel in order to reduce opportunities for identity theft. 
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. Gentleman with the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking if he will cease the practice of jobcentres writing their clients name and national insurance number on warrants issued to them for travel in order to reduce opportunities for identity theft. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. Jobcentre Pluss preferred method of dealing with payment of travel expenses is reimbursement of the travel expenses by either cash or cheque, but where the customer is unable to meet the initial travelling expense a travel warrant can be issued in advance.
When issuing travel warrants, we are not required to enter a National Insurance number and, as an interim measure, a communication will be issued to all staff reminding them to use the customers name only.
I share your concern that our processes should protect both customers and the public purse. I have therefore asked my Jobcentre Plus Products and Services Management Division to review our use of National Insurance numbers where there is potential risk of aiding identity fraud.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether those volunteering while on benefits are entitled to claim lunch expenses without affecting their benefit entitlement; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt: Volunteering plays an important role in helping people move off benefits and back into work. It gives people confidence, the chance to develop skills and to gain invaluable experience after a period out of work.
We have therefore simplified the rules. Meals can now be treated as a reasonable expense which volunteers can claim back so that they are no longer expected to meet the cost of their lunch from their benefit.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the relationship between levels of worklessness and rent levels in (a) social rented housing and (b) temporary accommodation. 
We are, along with the Department for Communities and Local Government, involved in the assessment of the working future project that is led by the Greater London Authority; the East Thames Housing Group; and Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Newham local authorities. The working future project is testing the effect that reduced rents and increased access to employment services can have on the incentives for housing benefit claimants in temporary accommodation to find work.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of households of working age in (a) social housing and (b) temporary accommodation were estimated to be in work in each English region in each of the last five years. 
|Working age employment rates in social housing|
Labour Force Survey individual datasets, four-quarterly averages.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the estimated costs were for provision of childrens advocacy services by (a) National Youth Advocacy Service and (b) Children and Family Court Advisory Service cited in Separate Representation of Children. 
Ms Harman: The latest Legal Services Commission figures for 2005-06 indicate that the average cost of one legally aided party under the age of 18 in Private Law Section 8 Children Act 1989 (cases applying for contact) is at least £3,330.
|(a) National Youth Advocacy Service in the financial years|
|Financial years (April to March)||£|
|(b) Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service in the financial years|
|Financial years (April to March)||£|
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of coroners officers employed by (a) police forces, (b) local authorities and (c) coroners; and what effect she expects the provisions of the draft Coroners Reform Bill to have on the number of officers employed by each. 
Ms Harman [holding answer 6 November 2006]: There are approximately 430 coroners officers in England and Wales. Around 90 per cent. are employed by police forces with the remaining 10 per cent. employed by local authorities. I am not aware of any officers employed directly by the coroner, although some coroners directly employ other support staff. The draft Bill should not directly impact on the number of coroners officers. Providing the coroner service is currently being resourced locally, there should be no requirement arising from the draft Bill to increase the number of coroners officers in a particular area.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the costs and benefits of establishing a national service of coroners officers. 
[holding answer 6 November 2006]: The draft Coroner Bill regulatory impact assessment (RIA) published in June this year assessed the costs and benefits of a unified national coroner service consisting of coroners, coroners officers and other support staff.
The RIA estimated the total cost of the unified national service as requiring an additional £17 million per year in annual costs and £31 million in set-up costs. Having assessed the costs and benefits carefully, the Government take the view that the benefits of a unified national coroner service do not justify the costs, and the proposals outlined in the current draft Bill provide better value for money.
Ms Harman: Coroners are independent judicial officers whose duties are to hold inquests and order post mortem examinations in accordance with the requirements of the Coroners Act 1988 and the Coroners Rules 1984. In carrying out these duties coroners meet the public interest by determining the facts of deaths which are reported to them. Coroners also hold treasure inquests in accordance with the requirements of the Treasure Act 1996.
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