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The uncorrected evidence from Jobcentre Plus officials at the Work and Pensions Select Committee hearing on 15 January 2007 quoted expenditure on severance packages as being £185.5 million in 2005-06 with a forecast of £116 million in 2006-07. These figures relate to allocated funding for the year whereas the expenditure figures in the tables in the response reflect actual in year expenditure. Provision needs to be set aside from allocated funding for future Annual Compensation Payments even though such costs are not incurred in year. This ongoing provision accounts for the difference between the figures in the tables and the figures quoted in the evidence session held on 15 January.
The total cost of visits abroad by staff in the Department for Work and Pensions in the
last 12 months is £961,442. This includes the cost of flights/ferries/Eurostar, accommodation and staff subsistence.
Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 2 March 2007]: Electronic communications enabling on line claiming for Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and State Pensions were introduced on 20 March 2006 and can be located through the Governments Direct Gov website at: http://www.direct.gov.uk
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the ratio of incapacity benefit to median earnings in the UK was in each year from 1975-76 to 2005-06; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. McGuire: Information is not available in the format requested. Incapacity benefit, which replaced invalidity benefit and sickness benefit, was introduced in April 1995, and median earnings data from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) are only available from 1997.
The National Statistics Annual Surveys of Hours and Earnings indicate that the ratio of long term incapacity benefit to gross weekly earnings for all employees has been broadly constant at about 22 per cent. since 1997.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research he has undertaken into the proportion of working age people in the UK on incapacity benefit in comparison with figures for other EU countries; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of recipients of incapacity-related benefit received such benefit for (a) mental illness and (b) back pain in each year since 1979-80. 
|Proportion of invalidity benefit, incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance claimants with a primary diagnosis of back pain or mental and behavioural disorders at the dates shown|
|Back pain||Mental and behavioural disorders|
1. March 1980-April 1994 figures are based on a 1 per cent. sample, and are therefore subject to a degree of sampling variation.
2. August 1995-August 1998 (inclusive) percentages have been based on 5 per cent. sample figures uprated to 100 per cent. WPLS totals.
3. August 1999-August 2006 (inclusive) percentages are based on 100 per cent. WPLS figures.
4. Incapacity benefit figures include incapacity benefit credits-only cases.
5. Incapacity benefit replaced invalidity benefit and sickness benefit in April 1995.
DWP Information Directorate 1 per cent. samples, 5 per cent. samples and 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many injuries were reported to enforcing authorities by industry in the North West in each year since 1997, broken down by region and local authority. 
Mrs. McGuire: I have placed tables in the Library providing the number of injuries reported to enforcing authorities in the North West Government office region for the 10 years from 1996-97 to 2005-06 by local authority.
I am pleased to report that the North Wests total combined number of fatal and major injuries, and combined rate of fatal and major injuries have both shown a decline in the last year. The North Wests rate for all reported injuries has declined in each of the last two years and since 2001-02 overall.
I am concerned that both the rate of fatal and major injury and the rate of all reported injuries are higher in the North West than in Great Britain as a whole. However, this is strongly influenced by the composition of employment including the mix of industries and occupations in different regions.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the Jobcentre Plus offices which (a) had their hours of opening to the public reduced and (b) closed in each of the past four years, broken down by Parliamentary constituency. 
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 23 November 2006]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Gentleman with the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking if he will list the Jobcentre Plus Offices which (a) had their hours of opening to the public reduced and (b) closed in each of the last four years, broken down by Parliamentary constituency. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Annex A which provides a list of the offices that reduced their opening hours to the public in the last four years; and
Annex B which provides a list of the offices that have closed in the last four years.
It is not possible to break these lists down by Parliamentary constituency. This information is provided at a Jobcentre Plus Regional level and is set out in the attached tables, copies of which have been placed in the Library.
The list of closures should also be set against the 837 offices that we have rolled out to date under our restructuring programme, plus over 150 locations where we have installed flexible service delivery arrangements.
I would emphasise that the closure of any of our offices involves consultation with local stakeholders, including MPs, and putting in place suitable alternative arrangements for delivering services to our customers.
I hope this is helpful.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking how many people were employed at each Jobcentre Plus in the most recent year for which figures are available. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
The latest month for which actual information relating to this question is available is October 2006. The information has been
placed in the Library and shows the actual number of people who work in Jobcentre Plus offices (Staff in Post) that have completed their transformation as part of the national roll out, and the number of full-time equivalent staff. I have not included those offices that have yet to convert.
There are several sites which either show no staff are based there or have low numbers of staff. Those showing no staff based there are flexible delivery sites where staff from a nearby office open the site on a limited number of days each week. Sites that show low numbers of staff are either in rural areas providing a full Jobcentre Plus service or in urban areas providing Crisis Loan payments at a screened delivery point.
John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many incidents of violence towards Job Centre Plus staff from clients receiving a decision on Social Fund Crisis funds were recorded in each year since 2003; and how many have been recorded in 2007; 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Gentleman with the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions concerning incidents of violence towards Jobcentre Plus staff (a) from customers receiving a decision on Social Fund Crisis funds and (b) more generally in the delivery of our services. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
The Agency has robust arrangements for collecting information following verbal, attempted, or actual assaults on our staff. As part of the incident reporting process, we ask our staff to categorise as near as they can the cause of an incident by selecting from a list. We do not have an exact match to the Social Fund Crisis funds category in your question, but the second column of the table below shows where staff have selected the closest matcha category entitled Social Fund/Hardship claim dispute, e.g. eligibility, delays, demands. The third column shows the total number of actual assaults against our staff during the period you state. Incidents relating to Social Fund/Hardship represent a small proportion of the total number of assaults.
|Calendar year||Actual assaultssocial fund||Total actual assaults|
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