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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether national insurance numbers will be issued to (a) non-working and (b) self-employed migrants to the UK from (i) Bulgaria and (ii) Romania after their accession to the EU. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The allocation of a national insurance number (NINO) is dependent upon satisfying certain employment and benefit-related criteria. Individuals who are employed, self-employed, in receipt of benefit, or the partner of a benefit claimant can be eligible for a NINO.
A non-working Bulgarian or Romanian national would be allocated with a NINO in order to apply for a benefit subject to satisfying the relevant benefit entitlement criteria and identity requirements. There are limited circumstances in which benefit entitlement would arise. For example a highly skilled migrant who
holds an EEA registration certificate annotated to say that they have unrestricted access to the UK labour market and who meets the normal conditions of entitlement for income-based jobseekers allowance would have benefit entitlement.
A right to work condition was introduced into the NINO allocation and decision making process for employment-related applications. This was implemented in July 2006. Bulgarian and Romanian nationals who apply for a NINO for the purposes of self-employment will need to provide proof of their right to work in the UK, their self-employment status, and their identity before a NINO would be allocated.
Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) whether he has plans to require private and voluntary sector Pathways contractors to reach targets in relation to certain disability groups; 
(2) what steps he is taking to ensure that private and voluntary sector Pathways contractors are rewarded for outcomes in the form of claimants moving into (a) part-time work, (b) voluntary work and (c) training. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: Any successful bid for a Pathways to Work contract will need to address the needs of all customers, taking into account the range of different health conditions and disabilities, on a tailored and flexible basis. We have no plans to set Pathways to Work contractors targets for particular disability groups. The Pathways approach to employment support is designed to treat each customer as an individual rather than as a member of a particular group or sub-group. Targets based on condition would frustrate this approach and ignore the fact that customers often have multiple health problems and barriers to work.
Pathways contracts are heavily outcome focused and will pay providers for job entries and for sustained employment. A job entry payment will be paid when a customer enters employment of at least eight hours a week. A sustained payment will be paid if, at the 26 week point, the customer is in employment of at least 16 hours a week and has been off benefit for at least 13 of the preceding 26 weeks.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have been subject to mandatory work-focused interviews as part of the Pathways to Work pilots since their inception; and in how many cases such an interview has been waived in the case of people with (a) certain infectious and parasitic diseases, (b) neoplasms, (c) diseases of the blood and blood forming organs and certain diseases involving the immune mechanism, (d) endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases, (e) mental and behavioural disorders, (f) diseases of the nervous system, (g) diseases of the eye and adnexa, (h) diseases of the ear and mastoid process, (i) diseases of the circulatory system, (j) diseases of the respiratory system, (k) factors influencing health
status and contact with health services, (l) diseases of the digestive system, (m) diseases of the skin and subcutaneous system, (n) diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue, (o) diseases of the genitourinary system, (p) pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium, (q) certain conditions originating in the perinatal period, (r) congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities, (s) symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified and (t) injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: 114,430 new incapacity benefit customers have been subject to mandatory work focused interviews as part of Pathways to Work. Of these, 9,050 had their initial work focused interviews waived.
26,580 incapacity benefit customers who are part of the extension of Pathways to existing customers have been subject to mandatory work focused interviews. Of these, 7,580 have had their work focused interviews waived.
|Mandated new incapacity benefit customers||Mandatory extension to existing customers|
All figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
Pathways to Work Evaluation Database (data to the end of June 2006)
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what improvement in employment outcomes has taken place in the Pathways to Work pilot areas for (a) all participants, (b) participants over 50 years, (c) participants whose first reason for claiming incapacity is mental ill-health and (d) all participants with mental ill-health. 
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 30 November 2006]: Information is not available in the format requested. However, early findings from the independent research conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (Early quantitative evidence on the impact of the Pathways to Work pilots, DWP Research Report No. 354), shows for all participants a 9.5 per cent. increase in the proportion of people who are employed 10 and a half months after claiming incapacity benefit. For participants over the age of 45, the increase in the proportion of people who are employed 10 and a half months after claiming incapacity benefit was 12 per cent.
For participants whose health problem is a mental health condition, there has been no significant impact on the proportion of people who are employed 10 and a half months after claiming incapacity benefit.
Our internal analysis has found that in terms of the net impact of Pathways to Work, those with a mental health or behavioural disorder have fared as well as other customers in terms of off-flows from benefit. One-to-one research with personal advisers and practitioners has found many examples of incapacity benefit customers helped by our Condition Management Pathways in Pathways areas.
Natascha Engel: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the policy reasons are for the different rules which apply to providing index-linked pensions to British pensioners living in Canada and the United States. 
James Purnell: The UK has a full reciprocal social security agreement with the United States covering a range of contributory social security benefits for people moving between the countries, including provision allowing annual UK state pension uprating increases to be paid.
The arrangement with Canada is very limited in scope and does not allow annual UK state pension uprating increases. The arrangement, which was first entered into in 1959, helps only persons coming to the
UK from Canada. For retirement pension purposes, it allows former residents of Canada to qualify for an enhanced amount of UK basic state pension by treating periods of residence in Canada as periods when UK national insurance contributions had been paid, provided the person has resided in the UK for 10 years following arrival or return here. There is no corresponding arrangement that would help a person going from the UK to Canada to qualify for either UK or Canadian benefits on taking up residence there.
An agreement between the UK and the USA, which was concluded in 1969, allowed future annual uprating increases that became payable after its coming into force to be paid to UK pensioners living in the USA. Talks were subsequently held with Canada about a possible similar agreement. However, Canadian legislation prevented payment of Canadian old age security pension (COASP) under reciprocal agreements with other countries, ruling out the scope for reciprocity in the export of pensions. Although this legislation was amended in 1977 to allow COASP to be paid outside Canada, UK Ministers at that time decided, in line with the UKs general policy on frozen pensions, that insufficient resources were available for increasing the rates of UK pension payable in Canada. The arrangement between the UK and Canada was updated at the time, to reflect the developments in Canadian legislation, but the changes to it were limited to ensuring that there was no double concurrent provision of both countries pensions for former Canadian residents living in the UK.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the impact on the pension fund of an individual on median earnings saving in the proposed personal accounts aged (a) 25, (b) 35 and (c) 45 in full-time employment contributing to an exempt employer scheme of a waiting period of (i) three months, (ii) six months, (iii) nine months and (iv) 12 months where the individual changes employer in line with the average frequency in (A) the retail sector and (B) the hospitality sector. 
|Fall in fund values for different waiting periods|
|Reduction in expected value of fund for different waiting periods (%)|
|Age in 2012||3 months||6 months||9 months||12 months|
1. The calculations assume that the individual has a series of jobs, each 44 months long, until state pension age. Small variations in the percentage by age depend upon the length of their last job, which affects the total percentage of their career spent waiting to enter a scheme.
2. Based on a turnover rate of 27 per cent. of individuals for the retail and hospitality sectors combined (Labour Force Survey 2005).
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions he has had with the Audit Commission on the Commissions recent report, Changing Lanes, targeting employers in order to deliver road safety messages to those who drive at work. 
Mrs. McGuire: I have not discussed Changing Lanes with the Audit Commission. However, the Chair of the Health and Safety Commission has written to the chief executive of the Audit Commission to endorse the reports emphasis on education, training and publicity, and also to describe how the Health and Safety Executive has been working with the Department for Transport to raise awareness of employers responsibility for work-related road safety.
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