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Performance on Income Support (IS) and Incapacity Benefit (IB) clearance times has improved this operational year and we are on track to hit the IB element of this target. We aim to build on the improvements seen so far and seek to achieve performance inside the target level for IS and Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) as well as for IB.
The table below shows the cumulative Actual Average Clearance Times for IS, JSA and IB for the period April 2006 to August 2006.
|Average actual clearance time year to date performance April to August 2006|
|Target (days)||Actual performance|
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 24 July 2006, Official Report, column 890W, on jobseekers allowance, whether it is still his policy that no special considerations are given to a women's suitability for employment when wearing a veil. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the level of unemployment benefit/jobseekers allowance was as a percentage of average earnings in (a) 1976-77 and (b) 2006-07; what percentage he expects it to be in 2020-21; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 20 October 2006, Official Report, column 1465W, on lone parents, what the estimated cost is of the work-related activity premium for lone parents in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09 (i) net of savings and (ii) without assumed savings from employment effects; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The requested information is not available as the work-related activity premium (WRAP) is a new measure which is being piloted to inform us of the level of take-up we can expect if we roll out the premium nationally, and its effect on lone parent employment.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which social security benefits are not means-tested; and what factors were taken into account when deciding not to means-test each such benefit. 
All other social security benefits fall into three groups. Income replacement benefits, based on an individuals national insurance contributions; jobseekers allowance (contribution-based); incapacity benefit; maternity allowance; bereavement benefits; and state pension. Income replacement benefits for specific circumstances that are likely to affect the recipients income: carers allowance; industrial injuries disablement benefit; and severe disablement allowance. Extra cost benefits available to those both in and out of work: disability living allowance; and attendance allowance.
All social security benefits are designed to meet the needs of a particular section of the population. Whether or not a benefit is income-related would depend on what the aims and purposes of the particular benefit were.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people claimed incapacity benefit for mental health problems in each of the last 10 years, broken down by local authority; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt: All central Government ministerial and official air travel is being offset from 1 April 2006. Departmental aviation emissions are calculated on an annual basis and subsequently offset through payments to a central fund. The fund purchases certified emissions reductions credits from energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with sustainable development benefits, in developing countries.
DWP has developed data collection systems to ensure that all aviation emissions are captured, enabling the Department to offset its carbon emissions caused by official air travel using the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund, details of which can be found on the climate change pages of the DEFRA web site at:
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the July 2006 changes which introduced a right to work pre-condition before national insurance numbers could be allocated. 
A right to work condition has been introduced into the national insurance number allocation and decision-making process for employment-related applications. This was implemented in July and guidance has been issued to all Jobcentre Plus staff detailing the evidence requirements needed to satisfy this condition. To support this, changes to Regulation 9 of the Social Security (Crediting and Treatment of Contributions and National Insurance Numbers) Regulations 2001 are due to be laid before Parliament on 7 November 2006.
The Right to Work element of Jobcentre Plus Adult NINO allocation will be assessed as part of an overall assessment of the Adult NINO allocation business process, which will take place during the next operational year (2007-08).
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations on simplifying the non-dependant deduction received in response to Quality and choice: a decent home for all his Department has considered. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of people have been contributing to a non-state pension in each year since 1979-80; and if he will make a statement. 
James Purnell: The requested information is not available. Few data sources provide information on a consistent basis back to 1979. Figures available from the General Household Survey provide information about the proportion of full-time employees who are members of their current employers pension scheme, and information for years since 1979 is presented in the following table.
|Membership of current employers pension scheme for full-time employees( 1, 2, 3 ) 1979 to 2004, Great Britain|
|(1) Full-time employees aged 16 and over.|
(2) Prior to 1985 full-time students are excluded. Figures since 1987 include full-time students who were working but exclude those on Government schemes.
(3) Figures include a few people who were not sure if they were in a pension scheme but thought it was possible.
(4) The table shows un-weighted and weighted figures for 1998 to give an indication of the effect of weighting. For the weighted data (1998 to 2004) the weighted base (thousand) is the base for percentages. Un-weighted data (up to 1998) are based on the un-weighted sample.
General Household Survey.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 31 October 2006, Official Report, columns 273-74W, on the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, what statutory powers of regulation are held by the Health and Safety Executive to regulate the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. 
|(1) The reduction in recoveries reflected the transfer of child benefit to the then Inland Revenue, which previously had contributed £10 million to annual overpayment recoveries within DWP.|
(2) In the six months since April2006, £102.5 million of benefit overpayments have been recovered.
In recovering an overpayment of benefit, the Department seeks to do so without causing excessive hardship to our claimants. In a majority of cases, recovery will be on an ongoing basis, with the average overpayment taking approximately three years to recover.
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