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Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many deductions from earnings orders were (a) applied for and (b) successfully implemented by the Child Support Agency in each month since March 2003. 
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. Gentleman with the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the environmental impact resulting from the proposed closure of Chard Jobcentre. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to Lesley Strathie as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus. I am replying on her behalf as Acting Chief Executive.
No specific environmental impact assessment has been undertaken. However the decision to consider Chard for potential closure has taken account of the likely additional travel requirements for both customers and staff. Consideration will be given to postal arrangements for customers who may experience particular difficulty with any future travel requirements.
We are continuing to develop our nationwide network of Jobcentres, and to review and improve our services. Advances in technology and the increased availability of Contact Centre facilities mean that increasing numbers of customers, including employers, access our services via the Internet or telephone. This will result in a positive environmental impact as the necessity to travel to attend our offices is reduced.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons his Department has capped the level of contracted-out rebates for contracted-out appropriate personal pensions and money purchase schemes; and if he will make a statement. 
James Purnell: Age related rebates for contracted-out personal pension schemes and money purchase occupational schemes were introduced in April 1997. The details are in the Secretary of State's report of March 1996, which forms part of the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes Review of Certain Contracting-out Terms, Cm. 3221 This approach to age related rebates has continued in subsequent rebate reviews.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what effect on costs to the public purse the Government have achieved from capping the age-related national insurance rebate to appropriate personal pension schemes for each year from 2007-08 to 2012-13; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what savings are expected to result for the Exchequer from the decision to cap contracted-out rebates for personal pensions and money purchase occupational
schemes (a) at 7.4 per cent. rather than the previous cap level of 10.5 per cent. and (b) at 7.4 per cent. rather than at the levels recommended by the Government Actuary in each year from 2007-08 to 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. 
|New Dealaverage cost per participant|
|New Deal for young people||New Deal 25 plus||New Deal for young people and New Deal plus( 1)||New Deal 50 plus( 2)||New Deal for lone parents||New Deal for disabled people|
|(1 )There is no split currently available between New Deal for young people and New Deal 25 plus for 2005-06|
(2.)Participant numbers for New Deal 50 plus are only available from January 2004.
(3 )Calculations for New Deal 50 plus for 2003-04 are based on starts to the programme from January to March 2004 only.
(4 )New Deal 50 plus costs for 2004-05 and 2005-06 were only incurred by those people who claimed the New Deal 50 plus in-work training grant.
1. On 6 April 2003 the New Deal 50 plus Employment Credit was replaced by the 50 plus element of the Working Tax Credit. For the period Jan-March 2004 some of those who were helped into work through New Deal 50 plus may still have been receiving the Employment Credit, which was paid for up to a year. Costs also included the New Deal 50 plus in-work training grant which some participants claimed after entering work through the programme.
2. New Deal 50 plus costs for 2004-05 and 2005-06 were only incurred by those people who claimed the New Deal 50 plus in-work training grant.
3. Costs are calculated on the total number of people participating and total spend on each programme, excluding administrative costs and include, where applicable, costs incurred in payments made to employers and Job Brokers.
4. Calculations are also based on all New Deal programme costs and allowances paid to participants apart from the 50 plus element of the Working Tax Credit, which is met by HMRC. As this is not included, New Deal 50 plus costs reduce considerably from 2004-05.
5. Following agreement with HM Treasury in 2002-03, ring fences were removed from New Deal. Calculations exclude administrative costs as it is no longer possible to identify the costs of administering the costs of each New Deal separately from the costs of other labour market activities.
6. Calculations include start-up costs.
7. Programme start dates are: New Deal for Young People: January 1998; New Deal 25 plus: July 1998; New Deal for Lone Parents: October 1998; New Deal 50 plus: April 2000; New Deal for Disabled People: July 2001 (New Deal for Disabled People pilots ran from September 1998-June 2001).
8. Calculations are based on latest spend figures to March 2006 and New Deal programme start figures to March 2006.
DWP Departmental Reports 2004-2005, Jobcentre Plus Accounts 2005-6.
New Deal Evaluation Database, DWP Information Directorate.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have been on the (a) New Deal for young people, (b) New Deal 25 plus, (c) New Deal 50 plus, (d) New Deal for disabled people and (e) New Deal for lone parents (i) once, (ii) twice, (iii) three times, (iv) four times, (v) five times, (vi) six times, (vii) seven times, (viii) eight times, (ix) nine times and (x) 10 times. 
|Number of times participants have started|
|Once only||T wice||Three times||Four times||Five times||Six times||Seven times||Eight times||Nine times||Ten times|
| Notes: 1 Latest available information on starts to New Deal is to February 2007. 2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 3. Programme start dates are: New Deal for Young People: January 1998; New Deal 25 plus: July 1998; New Deal for Lone Parents: October 1998; New Deal for Partners: April 1999; New Deal 50 plus: April 2000; New Deal for Disabled People: July 2001. 4. Data for starts to New Deal 50 plus are only available from January 2004. Source: New Deal Evaluation Database, Information Directorate, Department for Work and Pensions.|
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he expects to be able to take between the publication of the initial report in the summer of 2007 on pension scheme assets held by schemes in wind-up with a deficiency of assets to protect those scheme assets and the publication of the final report. 
James Purnell: The prospective assistance provided by the Financial Assistance scheme and the current work of the review into the use of relevant scheme assets should not affect the decisions that trustees take in relation to their scheme funds.
It is not for the Government to offer advice to trustees on whether and when they should purchase annuities. Trustees must act in the best interest of their members and in accordance with scheme rules and their statutory obligations.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what survey work has been carried out to establish the retirement income replacement rate which individuals are prepared to fund by contributions from current salary in the UK. 
The Pensions Commission estimated median desired replacement rates using information on individuals current income and on the income individuals considered enough to live on in retirement. In addition the Commission also looked at actual replacement rates and levels of expenditure. Considering the evidence together they concluded that there could be no universal definition of pension adequacy, but used benchmark replacement rates of 80 per cent. of gross earnings for lowest earners, declining to 67 per cent. for median earners and to 50 per cent. for top earners to assess pension adequacy. (See Table 1)(1).
(1) Pensions Commission (2004), Pensions Challenges and Choice: The First Report of the Pensions Commission, Chapter four.
|Table 1. Adequacy thresholds|
|Earnings||Target replacement rate (Gross) (Percentage)|
The first report of the Pensions Commission: Pensions, Challenges and Choices, Appendices, p. 169
Both the Pensions Commission and DWP have estimated the number of people who are saving enough to reach these benchmarks utilising evidence from more than one survey. DWP current estimates indicate that around seven million people are undersaving(2).
(2) DWP (May 2006), Security in Retirement: towards a new pensions system, Appendix A.
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