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7 Jun 2007 : Column 709Wcontinued
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when Ministers first requested calculations to be made in relation to the cost of introducing the £25,000 income disregard as referred to in the answer of 13 December 2005, Official Report, column 1836W, on tax credits; and when they received those calculations. 
[holding answer 23 May 2007]: The £25,000 disregard was introduced as part of a balanced package of measures with rights and responsibilities for claimants. Some measures in the package have a cost to the Exchequer while others have a yield. Ministers received information on the Exchequer effect
of the package as part of their deliberations leading up to the 2005 pre-Budget report, when the package was announced.
Following publication of the 2004-05 overpayment statistics in May 2006, HMRC had two years of overpayment statistics to inform this costing. Unlike in 2003-04, awards in 2004-05 were based on the previous years' income making them much more representative of future years awards. In addition the first stage of the finalisation process for 2005-06 was completed in August 2006, adding to this body of knowledge. This allowed HMRC to publish a separate cost for the disregard in November 2006.
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases of (a) overpayment and (b) underpayment there were in the Child Support Agency for Bexley residents in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is the matter for the Chief Executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.
Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 7 June 2007:
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply form the Chief Executive.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases of (a) overpayment and (b) underpayment there were in the Child Support Agency in Bexley residents in each of the last five years .
We contacted your office to clarify the information you required, and it was agreed that this information was the number of people who were paying less than they should have in terms of underpayment i.e. case compliance, and for overpayments, the cases where the Agency was later shown to have incorrectly assessed the case i.e. the accuracy of cases. The information we hold is given in the attached table.
Information has been provided on the umber of cases charged and how many of these are full, partial or nil payers. Those cases that are partial or nil payers can be regarded as underpayers. Cases with full compliance are paying at least the full amount of maintenance due. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide the quantity of overpayments made by the Agency at the Parliamentary Constituency level. The Agency uses a sample of cases to measure overpayments throughout the Agency, and as a result of the size of this sample this information is only accurate at the Agency level.
I am sorry but due to limitations with the available information it is only possible to provide information regarding underpayments at Parliamentary Constituency level for old and new scheme cases on the new computer system (CS2) and not for those on the old system. As the new scheme went live in March 2003 this information should be interpreted as a naturally growing caseload. It is not possible to provide this information going back the full five years.
|Case compliance of non-resident parents on the new system in Bexleyheath and Crayford|
|Charged||Nil payment||Partial compliance||Full compliance|
|As of March:||Number||Number||Percentage||Number||Percentage||Number||Percentage|
1. The table shows the number of new system cases that were charged money via the collection service over a three month period and the number of cases which a payment was/was not received over the same period.
2. Volumes are rounded to the nearest 10 and percentages are rounded to the nearest whole percent.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many lone parent families eligible to receive child support benefit do not receive the benefit because the father does not contribute to the Child Support Agency. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive. He will write to my right hon. Friend with the information requested.
Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 7 June 2007:
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, how many lone parent families eligible to receive Child Support benefit do not receive the benefit because the father does not contribute to the Child Support Agency.
In order to ensure that a complete answer is provided clarification was obtained from your office to ascertain the intent of the question. It was agreed that you required the volume of cases where child maintenance is not received from the non-resident parent. The information requested can be obtained from table 7.1 of the March 2007 Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary Statistics by deducting the number of cases received from the number of cases charged.
A copy of this is available in the House of Commons Library, or on the Internet via the following link: www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/child_support/csa_quarterly_mar07.asp.
The Agencys management information is case based and relates to all parents with care, which means lone parent families cannot be isolated.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
|CSA Table 7.1: Case Complianceamended to include total cases where maintenance not received( 1)|
|Quarter ending March 2007||Number/percentage|
|(1) This table shows the number of cases that were charged money via the Agencys collection service over a three month period and the number of cases from which a payment was received from over the same period.|
1. The table above includes those old-scheme cases with either a Full Maintenance Assessment or an Interim Maintenance Assessment; plus those new-scheme cases with either a Full Maintenance Calculation, or a Default Maintenance Decision. New-scheme cases being processed clerically are excluded from this analysis. New scheme cases classed as maintenance direct at the end of the month are excluded.
2. Cases are classed as compliant if they are currently open, and have been charged and paid money via the collection service (either regular maintenance and/or arrears) over the preceding quarter.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of children raised by (a) married couples, (b) unmarried couples and (c) single parents are estimated to live below the poverty line. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: We measure the poverty line as households below 60 per cent. of contemporary median income. Income is measured before housing costs: this is the international norm.
Information requested for lone parents is available in the Households Below Average Income 1994-95 to 2005-06 (revised), table 4.5 on page 46. This is available in the House of Commons Library.
The following table reports the proportion of children in poverty at a point in time by family type. We do not have data for children raised by different family types. These figures are based on OECD equivalisation factors and the information refers to the United Kingdom.
|Percentage of children living in households below 60 per cent. median income (before housing costs) by family type: 2005-06|
Family Resources Survey 2005-06OECD equivalisation scale
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the outside (a) agencies and (b) consultancies which are undertaking work commissioned by his Department; and what the (i) purpose and (ii) cost is of each commission. 
Mrs. McGuire: A table detailing current contracts and committed expenditure as at 22 May 2007 has been placed in the Library. Excluded from this table are engagements for Legal consultancy. This information is not held centrally and can be obtained only by incurring disproportionate cost.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) when the Department expects all those currently eligible to receive funds under the financial assistance scheme and who are 65 years old or over to receive payments; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how much the Financial Assistance Scheme has paid out to members of schemes that wound up before 6 April 2005 with insufficient funds to cover all pension entitlements; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) how many people who are eligible to receive funds under the financial assistance scheme are 65 years old or over; and if he will make a statement. 
James Purnell: The FAS is currently paying all eligible members of qualifying schemes aged 65 and over for whom acceptable member data has been received. Before payments can be made the FAS Operational Unit is dependent on receiving acceptable data from the trustees, and confirmation of personal details from the member. We are actively encouraging trustees in qualifying schemes to provide data on eligible members as quickly as possible. The FAS will make payments within a month of receiving acceptable member data; there is no backlog of payments in FAS.
The FAS has paid a total of £4,351,024 gross (£3,384,030 net) to 1,166 qualifying members as at 11 May 2007.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) nurses and (b) midwives claimed jobseekers allowance in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The information requested is not available.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to refresh the new deal for young people. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The new deal for young people has been a success, helping more than 732,000 young people into work from its inception up to the end of November 2006 (the latest point for which figures are available). We are now considering the approach to welfare reform recommended in David Freud's report Reducing dependency, increasing opportunity: options for the future of welfare to work published on 5 March 2007. The report recommended that we build on the success of new deal by building greater flexibility into employment services. We will respond in the summer, setting out our proposed next steps.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pension tracking application forms were submitted to the Pension Tracking Service in each month since the service has been offered; and how many pensions were successfully traced in each month. 
James Purnell: The information is in the following tables.
|Total number of trace requests received by the Pension Tracing Service since April 2005|
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