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Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the figures for people who are classed as not in employment, education or training include those who are participating in New Deal for Young People. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: Our measure of people who are not in employment, education or training includes those participating in the gateway stage of the new deal. However, once individuals move onto a new deal option they are counted as being in employment, education or training.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people took early retirement from their occupational pension scheme before April 2005; and how many are members of schemes in the Pension Protection Fund and in schemes negotiating to enter the fund; 
(2) if he will estimate the cost of (a) removing the 90 per cent. cap and paying all pensions at the scheme level, (b) removing the 90 per cent. cap but keeping the overall cap on the level of pension provided and (c) removing the age discount for those who have not reached their normal retirement age for those people who took early retirement before April 2005 whose fund is in the Pension Protection Fund or negotiating to enter it. 
James Purnell: There are currently three pension schemes which have completed an assessment period with the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and whose members are receiving compensation from the fund; those members do not include any early retirees.
The remaining requested information is not available. Data on the number of early retirees are held by individual schemes and are not held centrally by the PPF until schemes have completed the assessment period. To gather the requested data would therefore entail contacting each scheme individually and incur disproportionate cost.
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners live in the Leicester local authority area; how many are in receipt of council tax benefit; and what percentage this is of the total number of pensioners living in the local authority area. 
|Council tax benefit (CTB) recipients, Leicester local authority, August 2006|
1. The data refer to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple.
2. Case loads have been rounded to the nearest 10 and percentages to 1 decimal place.
3. Council tax benefit figures exclude second adult rebate cases.
4. Aged 60 and over is defined as benefit units where the claimant and/or partner are aged 60 and over. Therefore figures will contain some claimants aged under 60 where there is a partner aged over 60 years.
5. The data refer to benefit units which may be a single person or a couple.
1. Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System Quarterly 100 per cent. case load stock-count taken in August 2006.
2. Office for National Statistics mid-2005 population estimates.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people earned over the (a) £5, (b) £10 and (c) £20 per week earning disregard and had their housing benefit reduced in each of the last three years; 
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether an investor in a personal
account to be established under the provisions of the Pensions Bill will have the option to invest in (a) their local economy, (b) ethical funds, (c) green funds and (d) infrastructure projects for the local community. 
James Purnell: It will be up to the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority to decide on the appropriate investment funds to be offered to members taking into account any legal requirements and objectives, for example to run personal accounts in the best interests of members. We expect this will include a choice of social, environmental and ethical funds and branded funds.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) whether there is a target in place for the length of time taken to process an application to the Social Fund via the Social Fund hotline; 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions asking whether there are targets in place for the length of time taken to process an application to the Social Fund via the Social Fund hotline, for the length of time taken to process an application for a community care grant, and whether applications made to the Social Fund can be fast tracked under exceptional circumstances. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Jobcentre Plus has a number of targets that are agreed with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, supported by a suite of Key Management Indicators (KMI) that set the expected standards of delivery.
The KMI relating to Social Fund applications requires Crisis Loans (whether taken by telephone or otherwise) to be dealt with within an actual average clearance time of two days. Where the application is for living expenses however this must, wherever possible, be dealt with on the day that the application is made. For Community Care Grants, the KMI specifies that applications be processed within an actual average clearance time of nine days.
All applications to the Social Fund are dealt with as quickly as possible. Whilst there is no specific fast track system, staff are expected to treat each individual application on its merits to give sympathetic consideration to any exceptional circumstances faced by the customer.
I hope this is helpful,
Mr. Plaskitt: Jobcentre plus does not have a social fund hotline and does not actively promote the social fund to the public. However, material is produced to signpost customers to the correct channels if they wish to make or pursue an enquiry or make an application.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether there is any reward mechanism for people whose calls to the benefit fraud hotline result in successful prosecution. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The DWP initiative targeting benefit fraud was re-launched as targeting benefit thieves in November 2006. On the site at www.dwp.gov.uk/benefit-thieves people can anonymously report someone they suspect of committing benefit theft.
|Number of visits to the targeting benefit fraud and targeting benefit thieves websites|
|Targeting benefit fraud||Visits||Unique visitors|
| Notes: 1. Visits - Number of times a visitor or visitors came to the site. Each visit is recorded separately for every visit more than thirty minutes apart. 2. Unique Visitors - Individuals who visited the site during the report period. If someone visits more than once, they are counted only the first time they visit.|
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was spent on promoting the benefit fraud hotline in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The Department runs the benefit fraud communications campaign primarily to positively reinforce honest behaviour, create a climate of intolerance to benefit fraud and to undermine its social acceptability.
|Advertising spend (£000)|
1. All figures are exclusive of VAT.
2. The figures in these tables refer to media spend only, excluding production and other costs.
3. All figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many claimants of (a) jobseeker's allowance and (b) other income-related benefits took up the offer of free English provision in each year since 1997; how many places for English provision were available in each year; and what the budget was for the provision of free English lessons in each year; 
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.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions asking about: the number of claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance and other income-related benefits who took up the offer of free English provision in each year from 1997; how many places for English provision were available in each year; and what budget was provided for the provision of free English lessons in each year; and whether a copy of Jobcentre Plus guidelines to advisers will be placed in the Library. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
I am unable to answer your specific questions as we do not routinely collect data about Jobcentre Plus funding provision at the level requested. Within Jobcentre Plus language support forms one component of the basic skills provision available to help people improve their literacy, numeracy and language skills through employment programmes such as the New Deal.
In addition to the provision available through the New Deal, many benefit customers access freely available provision provided and funded by other organisations such as the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), local authorities and community-based organisations.
The Jobcentre Plus guidelines for advisers are being updated in the light of the Minister of State's recent announcement about measures to help break down language barriers that are preventing unemployed people from finding work and a copy will be placed in the Library when they are completed.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost was to the public purse of benefits paid to foreign nationals released from the prison estate who have leave to remain in the UK for human rights reasons in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
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