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13 Mar 2007 : Column 270Wcontinued
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost of each stage of the roll out of the 0800 number for Jobcentre Plus. 
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. Member with the information requested.
Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 13 March 2007:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the estimated cost of each stage of the roll out of the 0800 number for Jobcentre Plus. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
The new 0800 telephone number is only part of a wider package of measures being delivered to improve the process for new and repeat claims to income support, jobseekers allowance and incapacity benefit. The 0800 feature will give the majority of our customers the facility to make a benefit claim in a single call which will be free from landlines.
The new national 0800 number for people making new benefit claims is being rolled out for a one off cost of £1.1m excluding VAT. I cannot provide the cost of running the new service as the telephone charges are the subject of commercial negotiations that we have not yet concluded.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people claimed jobseeker's allowance in Chorley constituency in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The available information is in the following table:
|Jobseeker's allowance claimants in the Chorley parliamentary constituency, each January 1997 to 2007|
1. Figures are unrounded.
2. Figures include clerically held cases.
100 per cent. count of claimants of unemployment-related benefits, Jobcentre Plus Computer Systems.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many former farmers claimed jobseeker's allowance in (a) Chorley constituency and (b) Lancashire in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The information is not available.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of the resident working age population in (a) Eastbourne and (b) East Sussex is in receipt of jobseeker's allowance. 
Mr. Plaskitt: As at January 2007, 2.9 per cent. of the working-age population of Eastbourne were in receipt of jobseeker's allowance. At the same date, 2.2 per cent. of the working-age population of East Sussex were in receipt of jobseeker's allowance.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people from (a) Aylesbury constituency, (b) Aylesbury Vale District and (c) Buckinghamshire have been interviewed by Jobcentre Plus in connection with an application for a national insurance number in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The information requested is not available.
The available information is that from 1 January 2006 to 22 February 2007, 5,117 applications from Buckinghamshire for national insurance numbers were received at the Isle of Wight Central Control Unit for processing following an interview.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions under what circumstances participants of the New Deal for Young People may extend their period on Gateway beyond 10 months. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The New Deal for Young People (NDYP) Gateway period is designed to last for a maximum of four months. People aged 18-24 who have been claiming jobseeker's allowance for six months join the Gateway and receive intensive job search support to improve their job prospects. If an NDYP participant has not found work at the end of the Gateway period, they are referred to one of the NDYP Options. In exceptional circumstances, for example, a family bereavement, a short-term illness, or an option becoming unexpectedly unavailable, the Gateway period can be extended.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the (a) one-off and (b) recurring cost of implementing the Occupational Pension Schemes (Minimum Funding Requirement and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. 
James Purnell: The Occupational Pension Schemes (Minimum Funding Requirement and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002 were accompanied by a regulatory impact assessment (RIA), a copy of which is available in the Library. The RIA included an assessment of the impact of the regulations on business, although this will have been affected by the subsequent replacement of the minimum funding requirement by new scheme funding requirements from December 2005. The cost to the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (OPRA) of implementing the regulations, if any, is not separately identifiable.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the number of workers aged 60 and over. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: There are an estimated 2,052,000 people in work aged 60 or over in Great Britain, 16.8 per cent. of the population in the age group.
These estimates are not based on the same total population estimates as headline ONS estimates for employment in the same period, but this is unlikely to have much effect on the aforementioned figures.
Labour Force Survey, Q4 2006. The Labour Force Survey is a survey of the population of private households, student halls of residence and NHS accommodation.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of recipients of incapacity benefit moving into work in the Pathways to Work pilot areas. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: There have been 24,730 individuals recorded as having entered work through Pathways to Work.
1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Data are to the end of March 2006. This is because the Jobcentre Plus Job Entry Targets (JET) measure was terminated in March 2006 and replaced by a new Job Outcome Targets (JOT) measure. We need to move to capturing job outcomes using this measure; however, JOT data are taken from HMRC and therefore there is a longer delay in using this information.
3. The statistics quoted in this response are taken from the Pathways to Work Evaluation Database.
4. It would not be appropriate to infer any kind of job entry rate from the data supplied in this response as it would be an underestimate of the true underlying job entry rate due to the fact that more recent cases will have had less time to find a job.
5. Job entry figures include all recorded job entries plus Return to Work Credit (RTWC) awards for which no job entry is yet recorded. (By definition, a RTWC award must indicate that a job entry has occurred). Figures for job entries include New Deal for Disabled People (NDDP) job starts.
6. This answer is based on the number of individuals who have entered Pathways and then subsequently found a job. The total number of Pathways job entries is higher as an individual can have multiple spells on Pathways.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate he has made of the costs of uprating the basic state pension on the basis of average earnings in each year from 2008-09 to 2015-16; and if he will make a statement. 
James Purnell: Under our reforms, more people will be receiving state pensions based on their national insurance records, and there will be a more generous basic state pension due to the restoration of the earnings link. This provides a solid foundation for private saving. The guarantee credit will continue to provide a safety net and reforms to the savings credit will reduce the spread of means testing and support the savings incentives that are an integral part of the reform package.
The following table contains the projected additional cost of earnings-uprating the basic state pension from 2008 relative to current system spending.
|Table 1: Cost of earnings uprating the basic state pension, net of income related benefits|
|£ billion, 2006-07 prices|
|Cost of uprating from 2008|
1. The analysis is based on the reform proposals presented in the Pensions Bill rather than the White Paper. Some methodological improvements were made to the projections of basic state pension expenditure and revised data has been used between publication of the White Paper and the introduction of the Pensions Bill.
2. Net costs include savings seen from reduced expenditure on other income related benefits (pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit). They do not include any change in income tax revenue or national insurance. Annex A of the Pensions Bill RIA shows the cost of earnings uprating the BSP on a gross basis.
3. Net costs assume the pension credit standard minimum guarantee is uprated by earnings from 2008.
4. Figures do not include the effect of any other reform measures.
5. Costs or savings presented in the table are based on long-term projections of United Kingdom benefit spend, consistent with the pre-Budget report 2006.
6. Figures exclude the effect of personal accounts.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to set up an independent review on public sector pensions. 
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost has been of (a) stationery, (b) postage and packaging and (c) staff hours associated with reissuing the pensions uprating notifications. 
James Purnell: The information to ascertain the costs associated with this exercise is not yet available.
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) pensioners and (b) children in Leicester have been lifted out of poverty since 1997. 
James Purnell: Specific information regarding low income for Great Britain is available in Households Below Average Income 1994/95-2004/05, a copy of which has been placed in the Library. The threshold of below 60 per cent. contemporary median income is the most commonly used in reporting trends in low income.
The data source does not allow us to provide robust numbers for estimates below a regional level. Therefore, estimates for Leicester are not available.
Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average time taken by the Benefits Agency to process claims was in the last period for which figures are available. 
The Benefits Agency was an Executive Agency of the Department of Social Security (DSS). Both organisations ceased to exist in June 2001 when
the Department for Work and Pensions was formed from DSS, the Employment Service and parts of the former Department for Education and Employment; Jobcentre Plus was formed from the Benefits Agency and the Employment Service. Since 2001, further changes in benefit delivery have been made with the formation of the Pension Service and the disability and carers service.
The information requested is not available.
Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Glenrothes were in receipt of (a) attendance allowance and (b) income support in 1997; and how many were in receipt of income support in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Plaskitt: Information for the Glenrothes parliamentary constituency is not available prior to May 2005. The available information is in the following table.
|Income support claimants in the Glenrothes parliamentary constituency.|
|At August each year:||Number|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest10.
2. Figures prior to 2005 are not available due to constituency changes in Scotland.
DWP Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS)
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