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8 May 2007 : Column 171W—continued



8 May 2007 : Column 172W
Parliamentary Under Secretary—House of Lords
Date of Meeting Outside Interest Group Reason for meeting

24 January 2007

Trades Union Congress

To discuss health and safety

31 January 2007

Sane, Rethink, Disability Alliance, Royal National Institute of the Blind, National Autistic Society, Leonard Cheshire, MacMillan Cancer, Judy Scott Consultancy, Mencap, Arthritis care, Disability Matters, Medical Scientist, Mencap, Mind

To discuss Welfare reform

1 February 2007

Shelter, Citizens Advice Bureau, National Housing Federation, Local Authority Association, Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities, London Councils, Chartered Institute of Housing

To discuss welfare reform

1 February 2007

Child Poverty Action Group, Royal National Institute of the Blind, Royal National Institute for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Trade Unions Congress, Disability Alliance, Coalition against the Welfare Reform Bill, RADAR

To discuss welfare reform

6 February 2007

Nottinghamshire County Drug and Alcohol Action Team

To discuss financial support for grandparents caring for grandchildren where their parents are affected by drug abuse.

26 February 2007

The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health

To discuss vocational rehabilitation

5 March 2007

Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF)

To discuss health and safety

6 March 2007

Confederation for the Registration of Gas Installers (CORGI)

To discuss gas safety

8 March 2007

Hazards

To discuss health and safety

14 March 2007

Energy Retail Association (ERA)

To discuss health and safety/gas safety

15 March 2007

One Parent Families

To discuss child maintenance

26 March 2007

Trade Union Congress

To discuss health and safety

27 March 2007

Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (AVECO)

To discuss mental health and employment

29 March 2007

Britain's General Union (GMB)

To discuss health and safety


Parliamentary Under Secretary—House of Commons
Date of meeting Outside interest group Reason for meeting

26 February 2007

Money Advice Trust

To discuss financial inclusion



8 May 2007 : Column 173W
Parliamentary Under Secretary (Disabled People) - House of Commons
Date of meetingOutside interest groupReason for meeting

10 January 2007

Rehabilitation Council

To discuss potential support

15 January 2007

SENSE

To meet Sense staff and to discuss Access to Work and suggest how it could be improved

31 January 2007

CARERS UK

To discuss the complex realities of Carers lives and the long term strategy to improve carers opportunities and ability to access employment

7 February 2007

Joseph Rowntree Foundation

To discuss social care funding

8 March 2007

British Paralympic Association

To discuss post 2012 Olympic legacy

8 March 2007

Dial UK

To discuss financial difficulties faced by user-led organisations


Departments: Redundancy

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people in his Department who participated in (a) involuntary and (b) voluntary staff exit schemes in each year since 1997-98 were paid between (i) £0 to £25,000, (ii) £25,001 to £50,000, (iii) £50,001 to £75,000, (iv) £75,001 to £100,000 and (v) over £100,000; and if he will make a statement; [131564]

(2) how many people in his Department participated in (a) involuntary and (b) voluntary staff exit schemes in each year since 1997-98; and if he will make a statement. [131435]

Mrs. McGuire [holding answers 16 April 2007]: The Cabinet Office continues to work with Departments and agencies to do all that is possible to minimise compulsory redundancies.

Where insufficient volunteers are forthcoming for a flexible scheme, as a pre-redundancy measure, Departments and agencies may call for volunteers to leave on compulsory terms in order to avoid compulsory redundancy procedures.

The Civil Service Compensation Scheme provides compensation for civil servants retired early. It covers most permanent civil servants, including those who have opted out of all civil service pension arrangements.

The CSCS can provide payments under the following categories:


8 May 2007 : Column 174W

Approved early retirement. This allows Departments with surplus staff to invite volunteers for early retirement from those age 50 (age 55 for new joiners on or after 6 April 2006) and over with five years qualifying service. Staff aged 55 with over 25 years service can also apply.

Figures as follows:

(b) Voluntary figures
£0 to £25,000 £25,001 to £50,000 £50,001 to £75,000 £75,001 to £100,000 Over £100,000 Annual total

1998

1,756

328

14

1

3

2,102

1999

110

59

15

8

2

194

2000

83

48

11

9

1

152

2001

66

17

9

2

0

94

2002

47

6

0

5

1

59

2003

38

8

1

0

0

47

2004

68

34

11

2

2

117

2005

275

336

143

30

26

810

2006

1,540

915

248

51

51

2,805

2007

1,141

721

160

20

12

2,054


The aforementioned figures supplied include pension lump sums and compensation lump sums.

Disability Living Allowance: Medical Examinations

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of disability living allowance claimants receive benefit after (a) self-assessment, (b) GP referral and (c) independent medical assessment. [131828]

Mrs. McGuire: For new disability living allowance claims for the period April 2006 to March 2007, where benefit was awarded, 10.09 per cent. were awarded on self-assessment, 50.35 per cent. were awarded on GP referral, and 10.50 per cent. were awarded following independent medical assessment.

The totals are less than 100 per cent. as there are other routes to an award of disability living allowance. The information for these other routes are: benefit awarded on additional information, 6.38 per cent.; benefit awarded on non fee paying referral, for example, physiotherapist or hospital consultant, 21.38 percent.; benefit awarded using form IB85, 1.30 per cent.

Incapacity Benefit Appeals

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answers of 19 March 2007, Official Report, column 622W and 27 March 2007, Official Report, column 1488W, on incapacity benefit appeals, what the reasons are for the time taken between the lodging of an appeal with the first tier agency and the referral of the appeal to the Tribunals Service; and what measures he is putting in place to improve performance. [132126]

Mrs. McGuire: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide my hon. Friend with the information requested.


8 May 2007 : Column 175W

Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 8 May 2007:

Means-tested Benefits

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were on means-tested benefits in each of the last 15 years; what assessment he has made of the merits of means testing; and if he will make a statement. [134495]

Mr. Plaskitt: Income-related benefits are intended to help those people whose resources are insufficient to meet their day-to-day living expenses. By relating a claimant’s income to their entitlement to these benefits, we can ensure that help is available to those who most need it.

The available information is in the following table.


8 May 2007 : Column 176W
Income-related benefit recipients: Great Britain, at May each year 1990 to 2004
Number

1990

7,910,000

1991

7,760,000

1992

8,150,000

1993

8,250,000

1994

8,220,000

1995

8,160,000

1996

7,970,000

1997

7,530,000

1998

7,190,000

1999

6,970,000

2000

6,660,000

2001

6,470,000

2002

6,290,000

2003

6,250,000

2004

6,480,000

Notes:
1. Income-related benefits are: income support; income-based jobseeker’s allowance; pension credit; housing benefit; and community charge benefit/council tax benefit.
2. Overlaps between benefits have been removed.
3. Due to the estimation procedure used to remove the overlaps between housing benefit and council tax benefit, figures have been rounded to the nearest 10,000.
4. The data refer to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple.
5. Income support and jobseeker’s allowance 5 per cent. figures have been uprated using 5 per cent. proportions against 100 per cent. totals of WPLS data.
6. Housing benefit data exclude any extended payment cases.
7. Council tax benefit data exclude second adult rebate cases.
8. Jobseeker’s allowance replaced income support for the unemployed in October 1996.
9. Pension credit replaced minimum income guarantee in October 2003.
Source:
Information Directorate, 1 per cent. and 5 per cent. samples; 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study; Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System, Annual 1 per cent. Sample.

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