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19 Feb 2007 : Column 329W—continued


Correspondence

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to improve the Department’s performance in replying to hon. Members’ correspondence. [102255]

Mr. Plaskitt: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) aims to reply to hon. Members’ correspondence to Ministers within 20 working days of receipt. We replied to 90 per cent. of these letters within this 20 day target during 2006. A range of pro-active processes have been introduced to support these arrangements and we are continuing to review our systems and handling arrangements to identify areas for further improvements.

David Freud

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much David Freud will be paid for conducting the review of welfare-to-work programmes. [117799]

Mr. Jim Murphy: David Freud is providing his time on a pro bono basis.


19 Feb 2007 : Column 330W

Departmental Buildings

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will ensure that North Star House, London N7, a former job centre, remains in public ownership for community use; and if he will make a statement. [119191]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The Department for Work and Pensions does not own North Star House. It was occupied by this Department until December 2004 when we vacated and surrendered it to our estates service provider, Land Securities Trillium. DWP is not involved in any future plans for this building.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many temporary employees were contracted to work for his Department in 2005-06; and what the total cost of such employees was in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 1997-98. [106689]

Mrs. McGuire: The average number of temporary employees employed by the Department during 2005-06 was 2,268 full-time equivalents. These staff are mainly administrative grades and are often employed for relatively short periods of time up to a maximum of 39 weeks. The cost of these temporary employees in 2005-06 was £30.96 million.

The Department for Work and Pensions was established in June 2001 bringing the Department for Social Security and parts of the former Department for Education and Employment, including the Employment Service. Comparable historical information on the cost of temporary employees in 1997-98 is not available.

Disability Living Allowance

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the application for reconsideration and appeal of the claim for disability living allowance submitted by Dawn Phillips of Christchurch on 27 November will be actioned. [119371]

Mrs. McGuire: The administration of disability living allowance is a matter for the chief executive of the Disability and Carers Service, Mr. Terry Moran. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Terry Moran, dated 19 February 2007:


19 Feb 2007 : Column 331W

Earnings and Income

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the earnings and income ratio between the 95th and 5th percentile points were for (a) male, (b) female and (c) all workers in each of the last 20 years. [113714]

Mr. Jim Murphy: Specific information regarding individual earnings and income for Great Britain is available in the ‘Individual Income 1996-97 to 2004-05’ publication.

Consistent figures for male and female incomes are not available prior to 1996-97.

The tables for earnings and income from 1996-97 to 2004-05 for males, females and all workers are as follows.

It should be noted that households stating the lowest incomes to the Family Resources Survey may not actually have the lowest living standards. Comparisons of household income and expenditure suggest that a lot of people who report very low incomes appear to have high spending. The bottom 5 per cent. of the income (or earning) distribution should not, therefore, be interpreted as having the bottom 5 per cent. of living standards.

Table (a1) Male workers—earnings Money values of 95th and 5th percentile points, male workers total individual earnings, (2004-05 prices)
£ per week
Ratio 95th to 5th percentile

1996-97

17.3

1997-98

20.5

1998-99

19.4

1999-2000

20.2

2000-01

19.2

2001-02

17.2

2002-03

18.1

2003-04

19.3

2004-05

18.5

Note:
Workers are those either full-time or part-time employed or self-employed.
Source:
Family Resources Survey—Individual Incomes

Table (a2) Male workers—income Money values of 95th and 5th percentile points, male workers total individual income, (2004-05 prices)
£ per week
Ratio 95th to 5th percentile

1996-97

10.9

1997-98

12.1

1998-99

12.7

1999-2000

11.9

2000-01

11.7

2001-02

12.0

2002-03

11.5

2003-04

12.1

2004-05

12.6

Note:
Workers are those either full-time or part-time employed or self-employed. Total income is defined as gross individual income plus tax credits.
Source:
Family Resources Survey -Individual Incomes

19 Feb 2007 : Column 332W

Table (b1) Female workers—earnings Money values of 95th and 5th percentile points, female workers total individual earnings, (2004-05 prices)
£ per week
Ratio 95th to 5th percentile

1996-97

32.3

1997-98

48.6

1998-99

35.7

1999-2000

30.1

2000-01

28.4

2001-02

27.9

2002-03

27.4

2003-04

27.3

2004-05

28.9

Note:
Workers are those either full-time or part-time employed or self-employed.
Source:
Family Resources Survey—Individual Incomes

Table (b2) Female workers—income Money values of 95th and 5th percentile points, female workers total individual income, (2004-05 prices)
£ per week
Ratio 95th to 5th percentile

1996-97

12.6

1997-98

12.3

1998-99

12.5

1999-2000

11.5

2000-01

11.7

2001-02

12.4

2002-03

12.1

2003-04

11.5

2004-05

11.0

Note:
Workers are those either full-time or part-time employed or self-employed. Total income is defined as gross individual income plus tax credits.
Source:
Family Resources Survey -Individual Incomes

Table (c1) All workers—earnings Money values of 95th and 5th percentile points, all workers total individual earnings, (2004-05 prices)
£ per week
Ratio 95th to 5th percentile

1996-97

26.7

1997-98

34.9

1998-99

33.4

1999-2000

29.8

2000-01

28.3

2001-02

25.2

2002-03

25.0

2003-04

27.1

2004-05

25.4

Note:
Workers are those either full-time or part-time employed or self-employed.
Source:
Family Resources Survey -Individual Incomes


19 Feb 2007 : Column 333W
Table (c2) All workers—income Money values of 95th and 5th percentile points, all workers total individual income, (2004-05 prices)
£ per week
Ratio 95th to 5th percentile

1996-97

13.8

1997-98

14.5

1998-99

14.7

1999-2000

13.6

2000-01

14.0

2001-02

14.0

2002-03

13.6

2003-04

13.3

2004-05

12.8

Note:
Workers are those either full-time or part-time employed or self-employed. Total income is defined as gross individual income plus tax credits.
Source:
Family Resources Survey -Individual Incomes

European Social Fund

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) whether a shadow funding round will be introduced in order to fill the gap before the implementation of the 2007 to 2013 European Social Fund round; and if he will make a statement; [118114]

(2) what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the gap between the end of the 2000 to 2006 European Social Fund round and implementation of the 2007 to 2013 round; and if he will make a statement. [118116]

Mr. Plaskitt: There will not be a shadow funding round because there will not be a gap between the 2000-06 and 2007-13 European Social Fund programmes in England. The 2000-06 programme will fund existing and new activity until mid-2008. Funding in 2007 will be at broadly the same level as previous years. We expect that the first funding round for the 2007-13 programme will be launched in autumn 2007 and that activity will start in early 2008.

Financial Assistance Scheme

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the latest estimate is of the number of people who will have received payments from the Financial Assistance scheme by the end of 2006; [105766]

(2) what the latest estimate is of the number of people who are eligible for payments from the Financial Assistance Scheme; and how many have received payments from the scheme. [105767]

James Purnell: As at 26 January 2007 we have assessed the eligibility of 1,158 people for the Financial Assistance Scheme, of which 871 are being paid and 196 will be paid once they reach age 65. A further 91 will be paid as soon as they have confirmed their personal details.

Over the lifetime of the scheme we expect around 40,000 people to be eligible for payments from the Financial Assistance Scheme.


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