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Mike Penning: To ask the Leader of the House who the special advisers in her Office are; what expertise each has; and what the cost of employing them was in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Leader of the House what the office costs for her Departments special advisers for 2007-08 are expected to be, including costs of support staff; and how many full-time equivalent civil servants work in support of such special advisers. 
Helen Goodman: Prorogation signifies the formal end of a Session and brings to an end almost all parliamentary business. There are no plans to change the procedure for PQ answers at Prorogation which were reviewed and improved as recently as 2004. In the new Session Members are free, if they so wish, to re-table questions which have fallen at Prorogation.
As the hon. Member is aware, the Procedure Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into written parliamentary questions which will consider the procedures, scope and rules governing the answering of parliamentary questions.
15. Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the change in the proportion of foreign workers in the UK labour force since 1997; and what assessment he has made of the effects of that trend. 
22. Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the change in the proportion of foreign workers in the UK labour force since 1997 and what assessment he has made of the effects of that trend. 
The UK labour market remains very buoyant. As reported last week, employment is at record levels, employment rates for UK nationals are higher than they were in 1997 and over 660,000 vacancies exist in the economy.
Mr. Plaskitt: The now let's talk money campaign is raising awareness among the financially excluded (including benefit claimants) of the availability of free face-to-face financial/debt advice, the availability of more affordable credit and the value of opening a bank account.
Jobcentre Plus is fully joined up with the now let's talk money campaign and advisers are sign-posting customers to free face-to-face money advice (offered by Citizens Advice and other money advice organisations) and affordable credit (offered by credit unions and community development finance institutions) where this is appropriate.
Caroline Flint: The central measure of the three indicators we use is relative low income. This counts those children living in households below 60 per cent. of contemporary median equivalised household income, before housing costs. Equivalisation takes account of the fact that larger families need more money to maintain the same standard of living as smaller ones. Our data come from the Family Resources Survey.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Over 90 per cent. of citizens can access online benefits applications through a pilot system developed using Windows technology. A review of the pilot is due to complete by the end of the year, which will identify lessons learnt and determine how the system may be made available to more citizens.
19. Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of the winter fuel allowance; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Since its introduction the value of the winter fuel payment has increased substantially. When it was introducedfor the winter of 1997-98every household with someone over state pension age who was receiving certain qualifying benefits got a payment of £20 to help with their winter fuel costs. Now, households including someone age 60 to 79 are entitled to a payment of £200, with households including someone aged 80 or over entitled to £300. This represents a significant contribution to the costs of winter fuel for older people, and should re-assure them that they can afford to keep warm through the winter months.
Barbara Follett: The Government are implementing the Women and Work Commission recommendations for narrowing the gender pay gap. To galvanise this, closing the pay gap is now one of the indicators in the new Equalities Public Service Agreement. And we are considering suggestions made by people responding to our consultation on the Equality Bill about how the law on equal pay could be strengthened.
Mr. Plaskitt: The agency is half way through its three year operational improvement plan and is showing significant improvements in client service. Uncleared applications have been more than halved and stand at their lowest point for at least eight years.
While these improvements are important and welcome, the real test is the difference made for children by collecting or arranging maintenance. Having established a platform of improved service, the focus for the remaining 18 months is enforcement.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: As a result of the Pensions Act 2007 the proportion of women reaching state pension age entitled to a full basic state pension is expected to rise to around three quarters in 2010 and to over 90 per cent. in 2025. Almost half a million extra women over state pension age are expected to be entitled to a full basic state pension in 2025 as a result of reform.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many unrecovered child maintenance payments are outstanding in each constituency in Scotland; and how much in each case is not expected to be recovered. 
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many unrecovered child maintenance payments are outstanding in each constituency in Scotland; and how much in each case is not expected to be recovered.
The Agency does not hold information in the format requested. Such information as is available is shown in the attached table which sets out the total amount of debt owed by non-resident parents in cases processed on the new system (CS2). The Agency is not able to estimate debt on old rules cases processed on the old system (CSCS) at parliamentary constituency level. Although the Agency does estimate the collectability of debt, this estimate is based on past performance and on an Agency wide sample exercise which does not take account of geographic or regional variation. Therefore the Agency is not able to provide a geographic analysis of the collectability of debt.
This debt is owed by non-resident parents as a result of their failure to meet their responsibilities to their children. Debt recovery is very much dependent on the willingness of non-resident parents to co-operate with the Agency. Some non-resident parents do their utmost to avoid their responsibilitiesfor example by moving house or changing jobs whenever the Agency tries to collect maintenance.
The Agency is working hard to collect more maintenance arrears and benefit more children. Measures introduced under the Agencys Operational Improvement Plan, such as enabling credit and debit card payments and employing the services of external debt collection agencies are helping the Agency in this aim.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
|Total debt on cases processed by CS2 by parliamentary constituencies in Scotland: September 2007|
|Parliamentary constituency||Total debt (£)|
1. Includes total debt on both new and old rules cases processed on CS2 system only.
2. Values rounded to the nearest £1,000.
3. Table relates to value of total debt on cases where non resident parent lives in Scotland.
4. Cases have been allocated to a parliamentary constituency through matching the postcode of the non-resident parent against the Office for National Statistics postcode directory. There will be a small number of cases where the postcode is unknown or not recorded and therefore can not be allocated to a parliamentary constituency.
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