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Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what percentage of staff of each public body responsible to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions were (a) on fixed term appointments and (b) agency workers in each of the last three years. 
Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 19 December 2006]: The number of civil servants on fixed term appointments at 31 March in non-departmental public bodies excluding the Health and Safety Executive in each of the last three years is shown in Table 1.
Table 2 shows the number of civil servants on fixed term appointments in the Health and Safety Executive. The numbers for agency workers are also available and are included in the table as numbers and percentages.
|Table 1: Non-departmental public bodies excluding health and safety executive|
|31 March 2004||31 March 2005||31 March 2006|
|Number of FTA||Percentage of total staff||Number of FTA||Percentage of total staff||Number of FTA||Percentage of total staff|
Figures are full-time equivalent (rounded) and are consistent with Office for National Statistics definitions.
|Table 2: Health and safety executive|
|As at 31 March each year||Number of FTA||Percentage of total staff||Number of agency staff||Percentage of total staff|
Figures are full -time equivalent (rounded) and are consistent with Office for National Statistics definitions.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 4 December 2006, Official Report, columns 189-90W, on the retirement age, what his Departments policy is on the application of the national default retirement age to staff below the senior civil service. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pension has abolished its mandatory retirement age for all staff below senior civil service grades from 1 October 2006. The minimum principal civil service pension scheme pensionable age of 60 has not changed, which means that staff can choose when they wish to retire, and claim their full pension benefits, from age 60 onwards. The Department will assume staff wish to continue to work unless they tell us otherwise.
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what programmes his Department operates to make particular provision in rural areas; and what the cost of such programmes is expected to be in 2007-08. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: Our welfare to work programmes are delivered primarily at local level through Jobcentre Plus and local partnerships and are generally tailored to meet the particular needs of individuals. Additional support is targeted at those areas in greatest need, with the lowest employment rates, regardless of whether they are in urban or rural locations.
We have recently introduced the Deprived Area Fund (DAF) which is a flexible discretionary fund targeting the most disadvantaged wards, some of which include rural areas. This initiative is intended to feed into our Public Service Agreement target of increasing the employment rate in the 903 wards with the worst initial labour market position. The fund is given to local Jobcentre Plus districts to tackle the particular employment problems faced by their communities and the individuals living within them.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was spent on administration costs of disbursing benefits for (a) children, (b) working-age adults, (c) pensioners and (d) disabled people in each year since 1996-97. 
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many job vacancies were notified to the job centre in West Chelmsford constituency in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
|Vacancies notified to Jobcentre Plus in the West Chelmsford parliamentary constituency|
|Month of notification||Number of vacancies|
1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Jobcentre Plus boundaries do not match directly to parliamentary constituency boundaries. Therefore, figures quoted are aggregate totals for vacancies notified in the West Chelmsford parliamentary constituency.
DWP Information Directorate Jobcentre Plus Labour Market System.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library copies of all instructions and bulletins issued to staff since 1996 on the processing of applications from widowers for benefits following changes to the rules for such applications. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 18 December 2006]: Current bulletins, together with guidance on the processing of applications from widowers, will be placed in the library by mid January 2007. Older instructions will take longer to collect and we will endeavour to place this in the Library by mid February 2007.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the annual state second pension payments which will be made based upon the Pensions White Paper proposals in each year from 2006 to 2052. 
The information requested on state second pension payments is not available. Estimates of the annual cost of the state second pension are shown in the following table. The costs are consistent with those shown in the Pensions Bill Regulatory Impact Assessment and include proposals for a simplified state second pension.
|Cash (£ billion)||Real terms 2006-07 prices (£ billion)||Percentage of GDP|
| Note: Figures are in £ billion in 2006-07 prices and are for all UK and overseas pensioners. They include SERPS/simplified S2P and graduated retirement benefit (GRB).|
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