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21 Feb 2007 : Column 782W—continued


Pension Service: Manpower

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what staffing projections he has made for the Pension Service local service teams. [120308]

James Purnell: We are currently planning to have a local service of no more than 2,000 staff by 31 March 2008.

Through a programme of efficiency measures local services expect to provide the same level of service to customers.

Pensions

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what factors he intends to take into account in deciding the date from which state second pension accruals will become flat-rate; and within what period of years he expects this to occur. [118723]

James Purnell: If state second pension remained unchanged, it would become a flat-rate benefit around 2056. However, in line with the recommendation of the Pensions Commission, we have put in place the means to accelerate this eventuality. Through the measures introduced in the Pensions Bill the state second pension will become completely flat-rate in around 2030. We believe this strikes the appropriate balance between moving quickly to flat-rate provision, and providing a transitional period where some earnings-related compulsion remains for a period while personal accounts bed in.

Personal Capability Assessment

Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what independent research he plans to carry out to ensure that the new Personal Capability Assessment is a fit and robust assessment of limited capability for work; [110585]

(2) what independent monitoring he plans to carry out to ensure that the new Personal Capability Assessment is a fit and robust assessment of limited capability for work. [110586]

Mr. Jim Murphy: We are carrying out a two-part evaluation to ensure that the revised Personal Capability Assessment (PCA) constitutes a fair, robust and evidence-based assessment of limited capability for work.

An initial, limited evaluation of the revised descriptors and scores was conducted in September and October 2006 to enable us to begin drafting regulations.


21 Feb 2007 : Column 783W

A second, larger, evaluation is due to commence in March 2007. It will enable us to refine the recommendations of the working groups and will ensure that this is reflected in the draft regulations before they are completed.

Both of these evaluations are being carried out by independent experts from the technical working groups who advised us on the transformation of the PCA, in liaison with medical staff from DWP and Atos Origin. The second-stage evaluation will also involve representatives of the overarching consultative group involved in the PCA review.

We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the revised PCA following its implementation from 2008. For the first two years after it is implemented we will involve in its ongoing evaluation the independent experts from the technical working groups. Those
21 Feb 2007 : Column 784W
independent experts will remain in place to offer assessment, challenge and observations about the operation of the revised PCA during the first two years.

We will then consider the most appropriate means to continue to monitor the revised assessment from 2010 onwards.

State Second Pension

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the proportion of (a) men and (b) women in each age group who are employed and contracted in to the state second pension. [120377]

James Purnell: The information requested is in the following table.

Age All Number employed Number contracted into S2P Proportion employed Proportion contracted into S2P

Male

16-29

5,171,238

3,485,348

2,814,000

67.0

54.0

30-39

4,083,309

3,663,945

2,270,000

90.0

56.0

40-49

4,250,754

3,727,435

1 ,940,000

88.0

46.0

50-59

3,726,115

2,984,101

1,960,000

80.0

53.0

60-64

1,564,528

853,787

789,000

55.0

50.0

Female

16-29

5,140,000

3,250,000

3,030,000

63.0

59.0

30-39

4,500,000

3,260,000

3,120,000

72.0

69.0

40-49

4,210,000

3,230,000

2,620,000

77.0

62.0

50-59

3,810,000

2,570,000

2,190,000

67.0

57.0

Notes:
1. Employed is defined as having done at least 1 hour of paid or unpaid work in the week in which the Labour Force Survey was undertaken.
2. Entitlement to state second pension depends on earnings or the award of certain credits.
3. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10,000.
Source:
Life Time Labour Market Database (LLMDB), 2003/04; DWP Labour Market Statistics, spring quarter 2004

Winter Fuel Payments: Darlington

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Darlington received the winter fuel allowance in each year since its introduction; and what the cost was in each year. [118539]

James Purnell: Information relating to winter fuel payments for the winters of 1997-98 and 1998-99 is not available. The information from winter 1999-2000 is in the following table. Figures for this winter are not yet available but we expect them to be similar to those for 2005-06.

Payments made Amount paid (£ million)

1999-2000

16,070

1.2

2000-01

17,710

2.8

2001-02

17,710

2.7

2002-03

17,820

2.7

2003-04

17,790

3.0

2004-05

17,500

3.1

2005-06

17,540

3.1

Notes:
1. Figures for payments made rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Figures for amount paid rounded to the nearest £100,000.
3. The winter fuel payment was £100 in the year 1999-2000, rising to £200 from the following year.
4. Payments are made at different rates and although caseloads may be similar the total expenditure may vary due to associated factors such as the breakdown of shared and full payments issued and rounding.
5. Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.
Source:
Information Directorate 100 per cent. sample.

Home Department

Arson: Greater London

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many reported cases of arson occurred in each London borough in each of the last five years. [122215]

Mr. McNulty: The available information relates to offences of arson recorded by the police and is given in the following table.


21 Feb 2007 : Column 785W

21 Feb 2007 : Column 786W
Offences of arson recorded by the police by London borough
Borough 2001-02 2002-03( 1) 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06

Barking and Dagenham

280

214

212

177

141

Barnet

162

215

144

120

92

Bexley

187

161

117

88

104

Brent

305

251

226

154

133

Bromley

251

298

247

175

222

Camden

167

179

110

99

65

City of Westminster

112

93

75

62

67

Croydon

243

214

226

137

150

Ealing

288

212

193

138

123

Enfield

193

185

167

117

99

Greenwich

276

230

313

228

188

Hackney

243

144

162

117

96

Hammersmith and Fulham

94

89

68

50

49

Haringey

163

179

121

105

103

Harrow

161

132

90

74

55

Havering

226

203

193

158

127

Hillingdon

265

262

234

153

135

Hounslow

231

248

194

142

112

Islington

165

144

111

101

98

Kensington and Chelsea

53

37

40

27

25

Kingston upon Thames

116

142

157

159

57

Lambeth

198

178

164

116

99

Lewisham

130

140

129

111

118

Merton

169

164

138

78

77

Newham

333

357

250

192

193

Redbridge

148

139

133

147

94

Richmond upon Thames

94

99

69

74

38

Southwark

193

313

198

178

122

Sutton

128

115

137

64

61

Tower Hamlets

299

484

321

191

162

Waltham Forest

151

109

132

103

82

Wandsworth

164

137

118

101

87

Total

6,188

6,067

5,189

3,936

3,374

(1) The National Crime Recording Standard was introduced on 1 April 2002.

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