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Peter Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were entitled to bereavement benefits in the last year for which figures are available; and how many people claimed them. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The information is not available in the format requested. No information is available on the number of people who may be entitled to bereavement benefit, but are not receiving it. As at November 2006, the most recent available information, there were 57,130 people in receipt of bereavement benefit.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effect of the extreme variability of attack of spasmodic torticollis (dystonia) on care component payments for sufferers from the condition. 
Mrs. McGuire: Entitlement to the care component or mobility component of disability living allowance is not linked to particular disabling conditions, but on the extent to which a severely disabled person has personal care needs and/or walking difficulties as a result of their disability.
People with spasmodic torticollis can qualify for the allowance if they satisfy the rules which govern entitlement most of the time. Advice is available in the Disability Handbook to decision makers on the variability of care and mobility needs that can result from this condition, and other forms of dystonia.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what increase in the number of deduction from earning orders was anticipated following the introduction of the Child Support Agency's operational improvement plan; and what increase there has been to date. 
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what increase in the number of deduction from earning orders was anticipated following the introduction of the Child Support Agency's operational improvement plan; and what increase there has been to date.
In the Agency's Operational Improvement Plan we committed to using deduction from earnings orders earlier, and more frequently, for those who either default on other payment arrangements or indicate that they are unlikely to pay.
The Agency's data shows that there was a steady increase of approximately 7,000 in the number of Deduction from Earnings Orders (DEOs) recorded, from around 159,000 in March 2006 to around 166,000 in November 2006. However, following an exercise to validate this data, a long term accumulation of approximately 8,500 ineffective DEOs (cases where employers had informed the Agency that the non-resident parent on that case was no longer in their employment) were suspended pending investigation. The recorded number of DEOs then fell to around 158,000 in December 2006. These figures also include Deduction from Earnings Requests (DERs) as the two cannot be disaggregated for old scheme cases. A Deduction from Earnings Request is the Armed Forces equivalent of a DEO.
Since the launch of the Operational Improvement Plan payments via direct debit and standing order have shown a steady increase, with payments by direct debit up around 4,000 since December 2005, and payment by standing order also up by around 7,000 in the same period. Further, the number of non-resident parents who have their maintenance deducted directly from benefits payments has also risen by 27,000 in this period.
Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average difference in child support payments is between those on the pre-2003 system and those on the new system in similar circumstances. 
Mr. Plaskitt: When applying the new scheme formula to a sample of cases on the old scheme, it is estimated that the maintenance liability is on average around £2 lower under the new scheme rules than the old scheme.
Child Support Computer System 5 per cent. extract, December 2006.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what proportion of claims for disability living allowance made by (a) telephone, (b) post and (c) an online claim form have taken (i) up to four weeks and (ii) four or more weeks from receipt of claim to payment of benefit in the last 12 months; 
(2) what the average period of time was between receipt of a claim for attendance allowance and payment of benefit for claims made by (a) telephone, (b) post and (c) an online claim form in (i) the UK, (ii) England, (iii) Scotland, (iv) Wales, (v) each English region and (vi) each parliamentary constituency in each of the last 10 months. 
|Incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance claimants in Great Britain at quarters shown|
| Notes: 1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest ten. 2. Figures include incapacity benefit credits-only cases. Source: DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study|
Mr. Jamie Reed:
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Copeland
were registered for incapacity benefit in the financial year ending (a) March 1997 and (b) March 2007. 
As at November 1997, there were 4,500 people in Copeland claiming incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance. As at November 2006, there were 4,250 people in Copeland claiming incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance. These figures include those receiving national insurance credits only.
Mrs. McGuire: Statistics relating to work place fatalities and injuries are collected on the basis of financial year, from April to March. They are published annually for the previous year each summer. Six month provisional figures are made available via the Health and Safety Executive website. Figures for 2004-05, 2005-06 and the first six months of 2006-07 are set out in the following table. Final figures for the whole of 2006-07 should be published in July.
|Number of fatal injuries notified to all enforcing authorities( 1) , across all industries|
|Year( 2)||2004-05||2005-06( 3)||2006-07( 3) (six months)|
|1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005||1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006||1 April 2006 to 31 September 2006|
|(1) Enforcing authorities include; HSE; local authorities; and the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR). Although ORR has enforced railway safety since 1 April 2006, there is still a requirement under RIDDOR to report certain incidents. RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995) is the primary determinant as to whether a fatal accident is included in these figures or not.|
(2) The year is defined as a planning year, 1 April to 31 March.
(3) Provisional: these figures are the latest available at the time of publication, and subject to change.
(4) Workers includes employees and the self-employed.
(5) Members of the public are those persons killed as a result of an accident arising out of or in connection with work activity, although they are not at work themselves.
(6) Includes suicides and trespassers on the railways. There were 253 fatal injuries due to suicides and trespassers on railways in 2004-05, 254 in 2005-06provisional, and 132 in the first six months of 2006-07provisional.
Figures in brackets are those reported to the Railways Inspectorate (RI), although included in the all-industry figures above.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many inspections the Health and Safety Executive made for compliance with the Noise at Work Regulations 1989 in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. McGuire: This information is only available from the year 2002-03 for those instances where, as part of a HSE Field Operations Directorate inspection, noise was discussed in order to ensure compliance with relevant statutory provisions relating to noise (including the Noise at Work Regulations 1989 and, from 6 April 2006 the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005). The figures for each of the years from 2002-03 are provided as follows. The level of HSE inspection activity on this topic has remained broadly similar as a percentage of total inspections carried out since 2002-03. In the last four years HSE has undertaken fewer, but more focused and longer, inspections targeted at priority areas known to cause the greatest numbers of injuries and cases of ill health (including noise).
|Number of HSE inspections made in relation to compliance with statutory provision relating to noise at work|
|Number of noise related inspections||Total number of inspections||Noise as percentage of total|
|(1) The total number of inspections for 2006-07 is provisional.|
All data is taken from HSEs work recording systems and the years run from 1 April to 31 March. Figures for the total number of inspections in 2005-06 and 2006-07 are minimum numbers and because of a change to arrangements for recording the number of inspections made during these years are not directly comparable with the numbers for earlier years.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many companies the Health and Safety Executive prosecuted in each of the last 10 years for non-compliance with the Noise at Work Regulations 1989. 
|Number of companies prosecuted|
All years run from 1 April to 31 March.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to provide guidance to the music and entertainment industry on the implementation of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 in April 2008; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. McGuire: Representatives of the music and entertainment sectors, with support from the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities, are developing specific, practical advice on controlling noise at work under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, which will apply to these sectors from 6 April 2008. The final guidance should be available by February 2008. Employers need information on the simple and straightforward actions they can take to protect workers. Regular exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing damage which for employees, including musicians and performers, can jeopardise their careers.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many venues on the Public Entertainment Licence Register have been inspected to ensure compliance with the Noise at Work Regulations 1989 in the last 12 months. 
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