|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the percentage change in real terms of the cost of travelling by (a) private car, (b) bus and (c) train since 1997. 
|Real changes in the cost of transport: UK 1997 to 2005 (Index 1997 = 100)|
|All motoring( 1)||Bus fares||Rail fares|
|(1) All motoring includes the cost of purchase, maintenance, fuel, tax and insurance.|
Office for National Statistics
The overall cost of motoring has fallen in real terms by 8.6 per cent. between 1997 and 2005. Over the same period, bus fares and rail fares have risen by 14.5 per cent. and 5.0 per cent. respectively.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the exit figures were from (a) incapacity benefit and (b) severe disability allowance in (i) each Pathways to Work area and (ii) each non-Pathways to Work area in each quarter since the commencement of Pathways to Work pilots. 
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of child maintenance claims were cleared within 18 weeks during the last six months for which the Child Support Agency was accepting applications to the old scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what percentage of child maintenance claims were cleared within 18 weeks during the last six months for which the Child Support Agency was accepting applications to the old scheme; and if he will make a statement.
The Agency begins to process new applications as soon as they are received and continues until they have been cleared. Any applications that have not yet been cleared can be regarded as outstanding. The amount of work required to achieve clearance and the elapsed time it involves varies considerably depending on, amongst other things, the circumstances of the parents and how readily they cooperate with the Agency. As such, the Agency holds only a negligible number of completely unprocessed applications.
An old scheme clearance is defined under the following circumstances; if a maintenance assessment has been carried out; a parent with care has been identified as claiming Good Cause or is subject to a Reduced Benefit Decision; the application is identified as being a change of circumstances on an existing case; or the application has been closed. This differs from the definition of a new scheme clearance, which also includes further work in agreeing and setting up a collection schedule following the completion of a maintenance calculation.
68 per cent of child maintenance claims received on the old scheme in the period from 1st September 2002 to 28th February 2003, the last six months for which the Child Support Agency was accepting applications to the old scheme, were cleared within 18 weeks.
As you will be aware, the Agency has committed in its Operational Improvement Plan, published in February 2006, to improve performance in this area such that 80 per cent of new applications will be cleared within 18 weeks of receipt by March 2008.
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the amount of money lost to council tax benefit fraud in the financial year (a) 2004-05, (b) 2005-06 and (c) 2006-07; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt: Council tax benefit is similar to housing benefit in both regulations and administration. The following table shows estimated overpaid expenditure for council tax benefit by applying the proportion of expenditure that was overpaid for housing benefit, to the total expenditure on council tax benefit.
|Estimated overpayment due to fraud in council tax benefit|
|Percentage of expenditure||Overpaid £ million|
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 question on whether he plans to introduce charges for employers posting adverts on the Jobcentre Plus website. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
There are no plans to charge employers for posting their job vacancies on the Jobcentre Plus website.
The basis of our employer strategy is that we offer enhanced services to those employers who best support our aim to help disadvantaged customers.
I hope this is helpful.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many prosecutions his Department has instigated for the fraudulent use of disability living allowance in each of the last five years; how many of these prosecutions were successful; and if he will make a statement. 
|Prosecutions for disability living allowance related fraud|
|Number of prosecutions||Number of convictions|
1. The figures include prosecutions for benefit and instrument of payment related fraud.
2. The figures for number of prosecutions do not include General Matching Service cases.
3. The figures for the number of convictions include General Matching Service cases.
1. Number of prosecutions from Fraud Information by Sector.
2. Number of convictions from Disability and Carer's Service Operational Intelligence Unit.
Mr. Jim Murphy: DWP does not focus its employment programmes specifically by faith, but instead focuses resources on disadvantage. Employment programme funding will be targeted on areas such as Tower Hamlets and Bradford where a large number of the population are Muslim.
Partners Outreach for Ethnic Minorities, an outreach service which started in February 2007, aims to test ways to improve support for people from ethnic minorities who are disengaged from the labour market and unlikely to use mainstream Jobcentre Plus services. It is targeting Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Somali partners in low income households. The target group includes a high proportion of women who are predominantly Muslim. It is available in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford, Leeds and Leicester, the cities identified in the National Employment Panels 2005 report Enterprising people: Enterprising places.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department has spent on initiatives to reduce housing benefit fraud in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
|Amount (£ million)|
1. A number of counter-fraud schemes have operated from 1997. These are the Weekly Benefit Saving Scheme, the New Incentive Scheme, the Security Against Fraud and Error Scheme and the Verification Framework. The figures include set up and ongoing costs for the Verification Framework in addition to money claimed by local authorities for work done under the Weekly Benefit Saving Scheme, the New Incentive Scheme and the Security Against Fraud and Error Scheme.
2. The main changes in expenditure between years can be explained as follows: A tightening of the rules in 1998-99 reduced the amounts local authorities could claim for counter-fraud work. The increase in 2001-02 was due to the replacement of the Weekly Benefit Saving Scheme by the New Incentive Scheme.
A further increase in subsidy paid in 2003/04 stemmed from increases in the rewards for anti-fraud work.
1997-98 to 2000-01 data are from the DWP Appropriation Accounts; later figures are from the DWP Resource Accounts.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many, and what percentage of claimants left incapacity benefit at the (a) four month and (b) 12 month stage of their claim in (i) Pathways to Work areas and (ii) non-pathways area, in each quarter since January 2003. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The available information is in the tables. Figures for the latest quarter do not include any late notifications and are subject to major changes in future quarters. For illustration purposes total terminations for May 2004 increased by 33 per cent. in the year following their initial release.
|Number and percentage of incapacity benefit (IB)/severe disablement allowance (SDA) terminations in Pathways to Work areas|
|Quarter ending||Up to 4 months||Up to 4 months (percentage)||4-12 months||4-12 months (percentage)|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|