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5 Jun 2007 : Column 348W—continued

Incapacity Benefit

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of incapacity benefit claimants receive benefit after (a) self-assessment, (b) GP referral, (c) independent medical assessment, (d) provision of additional information, (e) non fee-paying referral and (f) using form IB85. [137543]

Mrs. McGuire: The information is not available in the format requested. For the available information, I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave on 15 May 2007, Official Report, column 640W.

Incapacity Benefit: Disqualification

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many sanctions were imposed in Pathways to Work areas on incapacity benefit claimants who missed their (a) first, (b) second and (c) third work-focused interview for each quarter since 1997. [123577]


5 Jun 2007 : Column 349W

Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 26 February 2007]: The information requested is not available.

Just over 0.1 per cent (one in 1,000) of all incapacity benefit claims within Pathways districts resulted in a sanction being imposed in 2005-06.

Industrial Health and Safety: Noise

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claims there were for occupational deafness from employees in the music and entertainment industry in each of the last 10 years. [139159]

Mrs. McGuire: The information requested is not available.

Jobcentre Plus: Christchurch

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on what date notice was given to Land Securities Trillium of the intention to vacate the Christchurch premises of Jobcentre Plus. [138865]

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.

Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 5 June 2007:

Jobcentre Plus: Telephone Services

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will hold discussions with the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus on making all jobcentre customer telephone lines freephone numbers. [138304]

Mrs. McGuire: The Secretary of State regularly meets the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus. Late last year we agreed to Jobcentre Plus proposals for introducing 0800 numbers for all claims for benefit. This service is currently being rolled out nationally. Jobcentre Plus continues to use 0845 numbers for benefit enquiries and local geographic numbers for contacting jobcentres. We will keep under review the use of all these numbers.

Jobseeker's Allowance: Basic Skills

Natascha Engel: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how Jobcentre Plus monitors and assesses the literacy and numeracy of claimants; [138594]

(2) what steps are taken by Jobcentre Plus to ensure that written advice on benefit suspensions and sanctions are understood by people with low literacy skills. [138596]


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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 my hon. Friend with the information requested.

Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 5 June 2007:

Jobseeker's Allowance: Edmonton

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people are claiming (a) jobseeker's allowance and (b) incapacity benefit in Edmonton constituency. [140066]

Mr. Plaskitt: As at April 2007, there were 2,780 people claiming jobseeker's allowance in the Edmonton parliamentary constituency. As at November 2006, there were 4,910 people claiming incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance in the Edmonton parliamentary constituency. Both figures are the most recent available information.

Low Incomes

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he plans to publish the revised Households Below Average Income 2005-06 statistics. [140245]


5 Jun 2007 : Column 351W

Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 4 June 2007]: The Households Below Average Income 2005-06 (revised) was published on 22 May 2007.

National Insurance

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many new national insurance numbers were issued to non-UK citizens resident in Peterborough city council area in each year since 2004; and if he will make a statement. [140618]

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

Registrations for national insurance numbers from non-UK citizens in Peterborough city council area
Number

2004-05

3,320

2005-06

5,080

Notes:
1. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Numbers are based on 100 per cent. data from the National Insurance Recording System (NIRS).
Source:
100 per cent. sample at 17 June 2006 from the National Insurance Recording System (NIRS).

Occupational Pensions

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much the Department has spent on (a) legal fees, (b) consultants, (c) special advisers and (d) other costs in relation to the High Court case concerning the Government’s response to the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s ruling on the case of lost occupational pensions; and if he will make a statement. [135317]

James Purnell: The Department has spent some £66,000 to date on legal fees in relation to the High Court case. No consultants or special advisers were employed by the Department on this case and other costs, principally civil servants’ salaries, are incorporated into normal departmental staff costs.

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the written statement of 28 March 2007, Official Report, columns 113-14WS, on occupational pensions, what the evidential basis is for his estimate that providing benefits of 80 per cent. of core pension rights to members of affected pension schemes will cost £8 billion in cash terms and £1.9 billion in net present value terms. [136021]

James Purnell: In order to determine the likely cost of the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS), data were collected on the numbers and characteristics of 380 affected pension schemes and specific data were collected on some 1,300 members of a smaller number of these schemes expected to be representative of the overall eligible membership. These sample data have then been fed into an actuarial model developed by the Government Actuary's Department to generate detailed time profiles of costs.


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The actuarial model calculates the amount of pension that would be paid in each year to each individual in the sample, reflecting the design of the FAS. The key pieces of information used to calculate these costs are age, retirement age, accrued pension, percentage of pension lost and the likely longevity of eligible members and any survivors. The results, in terms of likely cash flow in each year, are scaled up to the level of the total assumed numbers of affected scheme members.

The main assumptions used in the calculations, based on the best available evidence, are as follows: 125,000 eligible pensioner and non-pensioner members; an average funding level of schemes in respect of non-pensioner members of 30 to 35 per cent.

An average accrued pension for non-pensioner members of £3,300 per year; and longevity estimates from standard tables from the UK actuarial profession's Continuous Mortality Investigation, based on the longevity experienced by pensioners whose pensions are secured with insurance companies.

Further information is available in the Annex to the Government's response to the report by the parliamentary ombudsman, “Trusting in the pensions promise", published on 8 May 2006.

Pension Credit: Internet

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pension credit application forms have been downloaded from the pension credit website in each month since the service has been provided. [138037]

James Purnell: The available information is in the following table.

Pension credit application forms downloaded from the Pension Service website
2004 2005 2006 2007

January

4,182

6,677

7,295

February

5,782

6,726

6,919

March

5,688

9,169

10,815

April

4,606

6,404

7,940

May

2,502

4,151

5,513

June

4,519

2,762

3,144

July

4,133

4,308

4,933

August

3,451

4,378

6,787

September

3,787

4,523

5,054

October

3,344

5,007

5,767

November

4,500

7,113

6,325

December

2,748

4,471

4,399

Source:
DWPE Communications Team, monthly Webtrends report issued by the Pension Service website.

Pension Credit: Telephone Services

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pension tracing application forms have been requested (a) on the pensions tracing application form telephone number 0845 6002 537 and (b) in total in each month since the service has been offered. [138040]


5 Jun 2007 : Column 353W

James Purnell: The Pension Tracing Service does not collect statistics on the number of pension tracing application forms that are requested from the telephone number 0845 6002 537 or issued via other methods of distribution.


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