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24 Apr 2007 : Column 1096W—continued


Social Security Benefits: Telephone Services

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many calls to the benefit theft hotline were (a) answered and (b) unanswered in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available. [124707]

Mr. Plaskitt: The information is in the following table.

Month Calls answered Calls abandoned( 1)

2006

February

21,351

731

March

20,887

731

April

12,737

179

May

15,387

203

June

20,327

328

July

16,819

199

August

20,513

241

September

14,295

212

October

15,784

1,046

November

22,653

635

December

11,118

301

2007

January

19,574

560

(1) Calls abandoned include calls whereby the customer hangs up prior to the call being answered by an NBFH agent.
Note:
Data include external partners Broad Systems performance as they provide NBFH services during out of hours, they are not part of Jobcentre Plus.
Source:
National Benefit Fraud Hotline

24 Apr 2007 : Column 1097W

Tattooing: Plastic Surgery

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations he has received on public funding for private companies and charities to offer claimants tattoo removal. [128709]

Mr. Jim Murphy: No representations have been received on public funding for private companies and charities to offer claimants tattoo removal.

Welfare State

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent representations he has received on the conclusions of the Freud report on the welfare systems in (a) Australia, (b) New Zealand, (c) the US and (d) the rest of the world. [128711]

Mr. Jim Murphy: No representations have been received on David Freud’s conclusions about the
24 Apr 2007 : Column 1098W
welfare systems of these countries or the rest of the world. The Government will be responding to David Freud’s review in the summer, and will invite people to make representations as part of that process.

Welfare-to-work Strategy

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will (a) put in place a mechanism for independent scrutiny of the Government’s long-term review of its welfare to work strategy; and (b) if he will ensure that provision is made for third parties to contribute to the review. [116898]

Mr. Jim Murphy: David Freud’s report, “Reducing dependency, increasing opportunity: options for the future of welfare to work”, was published on 5 March. The Government welcome the report and will respond to its recommendations in due course. As part of this process, we will set out how third parties can make representations.


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