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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer by the Leader of the House on 16 November 2006, Official Report, column 134, on parliamentary questions, what information his Department supplied to the Leader of the House on the number of questions tabled to his Department to enable him to reply to the question. 
|Outstanding PQs after prorogation|
A detailed record check subsequent to supplying that information has identified that 29 questions received a prorogation answer. The revised information has been provided to the Leader of the House to enable a pursuant reply to be made to the hon. Member.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of pensioners with an income of less than £115 per week; what proportion of these are (a) women, (b) age over 75, (c) age over 80 and (d) age over 85; and if he will make a statement. 
|Pensioner units with a gross income of less than £115 per week (deflated to 2004-05 price of £107.82)|
|Pensioner couples||Single pensioners|
1. Gross income is income from all sources received by the pensioner unit including income from social security benefits, earnings from employment, any private pension, and tax credits.
2. Figures are for Great Britain.
3. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10,000.
4. Based on survey data and as such subject to a degree of sampling error.
5. Pensioner units are either pensioner couples or single pensioners.
6. Pensioner couples are couples where the man is over state pension age.
7. The breakdown by age for pensioner couples is by the age of the man.
Pensioners Incomes Series, 2004-05
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effect of the Public Procurement Regulations 2006 on the ability of public authorities to meet their disability equality duty through the award of contracts. 
[holding answer 8 February 2007]: Representing the wider Government, departmental officials have met with Remploy, the GMB trade union and officials from the Office of Government Commerce to discuss the barriers that Remploy and
other supported business are facing in trying to make best use of the opportunities presented by the public procurement regulations.
The DWP procurement community has made an assessment of the implications of the regulations and concluded that our policies fully supported the act. This was followed by workshops for procurement staff on the implications of the regulations and our duty to make more use of them during the planning for the award of DWP contracts.
25 January 2007
26 April 2007
1 February 2007
14 February 2007
16 May 2007
15 August 2007
14 November 2007
28 February 2007
28 February 2007
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many benefit recipients requested that his Department refund bank penalty charges which have arisen as a result of benefit payments being late because of an error on the part of his Department in each year since 2002. 
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how much his Department (a) has spent and (b) plans to spend on each scheme to promote the UN Convention on disability; 
Mrs. McGuire: My Department held a number of meetings with disability organisations and others during negotiations on the Convention on the Rights of Disabled People. These informed the UKs negotiating stance and helped raise awareness of the Convention among disabled people. In addition, my Department finances the maintenance of a website run by an independent disability and human rights expert which is designed to provide information for disabled Britons about the Convention. Other opportunities have been taken to promote awareness of the Convention, for example, a joint event with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development. The cost of these activities is not readily available. Decisions about future promotional activities, and related costs, have yet to be taken. The Convention was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 13 December 2006. The UK supports it wholeheartedly and hopes to be among the first countries to sign and ratify the Convention.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people on (a) jobseekers allowance and (b) incapacity benefit were involved in voluntary work in each of the last 24 months. 
Dr. Howells: Our embassy in Damascus maintains regular contact with the Government of Syria. We have a number of concerns regarding Syrias role in the region. The Prime Ministers Foreign Policy Adviser, Sir Nigel Sheinwald, raised these concerns when he visited Syria on 30 October 2006. We hope that Syria will make the strategic choice to play the constructive role that the international community expects. We are keeping our policy under review.
Mr. McCartney: The Government of Zimbabwe are well aware of our views on their treatment of farmers and farm workers irrespective of the colour of their skin or ethnic background. Their disastrous economic policies have caused massive internal displacement of farm workers and their families. They have undermined food security, eroded agricultural exports and crippled the Zimbabwean economy. In all our contacts with the Government, we underline the need for real reform to reverse the tragedy which is currently unfolding in Zimbabwe.
The Government of Zimbabwe are also fully aware of our views on the use of violence to break up peaceful protests. The excessive force used to disperse lawful demonstrations and rallies over the last week is a case in point. We strongly condemn the actions of the Zimbabwean police, and call on the Zimbabwean authorities to undertake a full and fair investigation of the events.
Dr. Howells: I have just returned from a visit to Sri Lanka. In my meetings with the President, senior ministers, representatives of the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim communities, and NGOs, I spoke of the damage that the current escalation of the conflict and concern about human rights were doing to Sri Lanka's image and the quality of its democracy. I stressed that a military solution alone could not provide a lasting peace in Sri Lankathe parties to the conflict have to work together towards a lasting solution. Britain stands ready to help and as a friend of Sri Lanka will continue to work actively to support the search for peace.
In my meetings with the Sri Lankan President and other senior Ministers last week, I stressed that a military solution alone cannot provide a lasting peace
in Sri Lanka. The parties to the conflict have to work together towards a lasting solution.
Dr. Howells: I have just returned from a visit to Sri Lanka, where I held meetings in Colombo and Ampara district with the President, senior ministers, representatives of the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim communities, and non-governmental organisations.
I made clear our concern that the current escalation of the conflict was holding back Sri Lanka's development, corroding the quality of its democracy and tarnishing its international image. Drawing on the lessons of the peace process in Northern Ireland, I stressed that a military solution alone could not provide a lasting peace in Sri Lankathe parties to the conflict have to work together towards a solution that will ultimately satisfy the legitimate aspirations of all Sri Lankans.
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