Previous Section Index Home Page

8 Oct 2007 : Column 143W—continued

Departments: Training

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was spent by his Department on staff away days in the last 12 months. [153189]

Mrs. McGuire: The information is not available centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Departments: Visits Abroad

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which overseas visits were undertaken by Ministers in his Department in the course of their duties in the last year; which overseas visits Ministers intend to take in the next 12 months; and what the purpose was of such visits in each case. [152599]

8 Oct 2007 : Column 144W

Mrs. McGuire: Ministers have made a number of overseas visits over the year to look at other countries' approaches to social security and welfare reform and will continue to do so where necessary. All travel is undertaken in accordance with the Civil Service Management Code and the Ministerial Code.

Full information about all ministerial trips can be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, all Cabinet Minister overseas visits costing in excess of £500 are published on an annual basis. The latest list was published on 25 July. Copies of the lists are available in the libraries of the House or at

From 2007-08 the annual list will be expanded to include a breakdown of travel by all Ministers.

Disability Rights Commission: Information Officers

Mr. Gauke: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many press officers are employed by the Disability Rights Commission. [154561]

Mrs. McGuire: The Disability Rights Commission was dissolved on 1 October and has been subsumed within the Commission for Equality and Human Rights. Prior to its dissolution the Disability Rights Commission had seven employees involved in press office activity, four of whom were part-time.

Employment Schemes: Disabled

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people with disabilities were on employment programmes in 2007; and what the Department's targets for obtaining jobs for people with disabilities was. [156508]

Mrs. McGuire: The available information is in the following tables.

Specialist disability employment programmes 2006-07
Programme Number of people

Access to Work

28,500 people

New Deal for Disabled People (NDDP)

60,940 customers registered with NDDP

Work Preparation

8,100 customers started on the programme


12,800 people

Residential Training Colleges

1,140 customer starts on the programme


10,020 disabled people supported on Workstep by Remploy

Mainstream employment programmes—participants with a disability indicator (at February 2007)
Programme Number of participants

New Deal for Young People


New Deal 25+


New Deal for Lone Parents


New Deal 50+


New Deal for Partners


Employment Zones


Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

The Department does not obtain jobs for people, but rather provides advice and support to help people
8 Oct 2007 : Column 145W
engage with the labour market. Although there are no specific targets, the Department has a Public Service Agreement to significantly increase the employment rate of disabled people and reduce the difference between their employment rate and the overall rate in the three years to March 2008.

Hard-to-Help Families

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will consider the merits of improving arrangements to facilitate multi-agency mentoring and follow-through for hard-to-help families with multiple problems; and if he will make a statement. [154096]

Mr. Plaskitt: Our recently published Green Paper “In work better off: next steps to full employment” (Cm: 7130) sets out proposals for improving our successful record of working in partnership with the private and voluntary sectors, other government Departments and agencies, both nationally and locally.

In addition, DWP is working with the Cabinet Office and other Departments to develop integrated services for the most disadvantaged families. The Families at Risk Review (led by the Social Exclusion Task Force) is seeking to ensure that services that work with the whole family are provided in a tailored, flexible and holistic way.

Health and Safety Executive: Information Officers

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many press officers are employed by the Health and Safety Executive. [154135]

Mrs. McGuire: At 1 April 2007, HSE employed eight full-time equivalent press officers, one of whom was on maternity leave.

Housing Benefit

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the outcome was of his investigation of the feasibility of collecting information on the cost of housing benefit paid to households renting properties formerly owned by local authorities; and if he will make a statement. [154050]

Mr. Plaskitt: Local authorities supply management information on housing benefit through a monthly claimant level data extract.

Since April 2007 this data extract should include, where applicable, the date when an individual housing benefit claimant had their tenancy transferred from a local authority property to a registered social landlord property. Only transfers occurring after 1 April 2007 will be captured through this data.

We are unable to identify where a housing benefit claimant is resident in a property that was formerly owned by the local authority if the transfer occurred prior to April 2007, or if it occurred when a different tenant was in place.

This data extract is not currently available for all local authorities and validation of this information needs to be carried out before the data can be used.

8 Oct 2007 : Column 146W

Housing Benefit: Fraud

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases of housing benefit fraud have been detected and resolved using the (a) Benefit Fraud Inspectorate, (b) Housing Benefit Matching Service, (c) remote access terminals and (d) Anti-Fraud Incentive Scheme. [154765]

Mr. Plaskitt: The Benefit Fraud Inspectorate, Remote Access Terminals and the Anti-Fraud Incentive Scheme are not dedicated parts of the process of detection of individual cases of benefit fraud. Therefore the requested figures are not available.

Information from the Housing Benefit Matching Service is not available broken down separately into fraud and error.

Incapacity Benefit

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were claiming incapacity benefit in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK in each year since 1997. [156716]

Mrs. McGuire: The available information is in the following table.

Number of incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claimants
Quarter ending Jarrow South Tyneside North East GB

February 1997





February 1998





February 1999





February 2000





February 2001





February 2002





February 2003





February 2004





February 2005





February 2006





February 2007





1. February 1997-February 1999 figures are uprated to WPLS figures, and rounded to the nearest 100.
2. February 2000-February 2007 figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
3. Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant postcode directory.
DWP Information Directorate 5 per cent. sample and 100 per cent. WPLS.

Local Authorities Pensioner Forums

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what grants have been made to local
8 Oct 2007 : Column 147W
authorities to fund local pensioner forums in each of the last three years. [156273]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: None.

New Deal Plus for Lone Parents

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions where the seven pilot schemes for the New Deal Plus for Lone Parents are taking place; in which parliamentary constituencies they are taking place; how long the pilots will last; and what criteria will be used to evaluate their effectiveness. [154670]

Caroline Flint: New deal plus for lone parents was introduced in April 2005 in North London, South East London, Bradford, Dudley and Sandwell, and Leicestershire. It was extended to Cardiff and Vale and Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders in October 2006. The current pilots, which run until March 2008, are open to eligible lone parents in non-London areas and eligible lone and couple parents in London areas.

The Child Poverty Strategy ‘Working for Children’, published in March 2007, announced the extension and expansion of the new deal plus pilots from April 2008 to March 2011. In pilot locations outside London, key elements of new deal plus for lone parents will be extended to eligible couple parents, and the pilots will be expanded to cover all London areas and will continue to be available to eligible lone and couple parents.

The effectiveness of the pilots is defined in terms of increased exits from benefit and increased employment outcomes compared with similar lone parents in non pilot areas. Evaluation also examines the effectiveness of delivery and impacts on the wider economy.

Early findings from the pilots were included in ‘The lone parent pilots after 12 to 24 months: an impact assessment of In-Work Credit, Work Search Premium, Extended Schools Childcare, Quarterly Work Focused Interviews and New Deal Plus for Lone Parents’, DWP Report 415, published in March 2007, and in ‘New Deal Plus for Lone Parents qualitative evaluation’ DWP Report 426, published in May 2007. Both reports are available in the Library. Qualitative findings from the Scottish and Welsh pilots, and findings from the next wave of Impact Assessments will be published next year and placed in the Library.

Details of the Parliamentary constituencies in which the new deal plus for lone parents pilots are currently operating are in the following table.

8 Oct 2007 : Column 148W

8 Oct 2007 : Column 149W
New deal for lone parent Jobcentre Plus Pilot District Parliamentary constituency

North London (part of North and North East London Jobcentre Plus District)

Finchley and Golders Green



Enfield, North

Hornsey and Wood Green (the new deal plus for lone parents pilots do not cover Hornsey)


South East London Jobcentre Plus District

Bexleyheath and Crayford

Erith and Thamesmead

Old Bexley and Sidcup


Greenwich and Woolwich

Lewisham, East

Lewisham West

Lewisham, Deptford

Dudley and Sandwell (part of the Black Country Jobcentre Plus District)

Dudley, North

Dudley, South

Halesowen and Rowley Regis



West Bromwich, East

West Bromwich, West

Leicestershire (part of the Leicestershire and Northampton Jobcentre Plus District)

Leicester South,

Leicester, East

Leicester, West

Harborough (Market Harborough)


Hinckley and Bosworth



North West Leicestershire

Rutland and Melton (the new deal plus for lone parents pilots do not cover Rutland)

Bradford (part of West Yorkshire Jobcentre Plus District)

Bradford, North

Bradford, South

Bradford, West



Cardiff and Vale (part of South East Wales Jobcentre District)

Vale of Glamorgan

Cardiff, Central

Cardiff, North

Cardiff, South and Penarth

Cardiff, West

Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders Jobcentre Plus District

Edinburgh, West

Edinburgh, East

Edinburgh, South West

Edinburgh, North and Leith

Edinburgh, South

Livingston, Broxburn, East Calder, Mid Calder

East Lothian, Mussleburgh, Haddington

Midlothian, Loanhead, Dalkeith, Gorebridge

Roxburgh and Selkirk, Galashields, Penicuik


Next Section Index Home Page