|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
4 Dec 2007 : Column 1170Wcontinued
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claims were made for discretionary housing payments in each London local authority in 2006; how many such claims were accepted; and what the median payment was in each area. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The information for 2006 is not available.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many incapacity benefit payments were made in each of the last three years in the Vale of York; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. McGuire: Information about the number of incapacity benefit payments is not collated centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Information about the number of beneficiaries in the Vale of York is in the following table.
Number of incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance beneficiaries in Vale of York parliamentary constituency
|Quarter ending||Beneficiaries receiving payment|
Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
DWP Information Directorate 100 per cent WPLS
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what proportion of all recipients of in-work premium payments remained in work for the full year for which the payment applied; and what assessment he has made of how this compares to the job retention rates for groups not entitled to such payments; 
(2) what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of in-work premium payments in respect of (a) job retention and (b) in-work poverty. 
Caroline Flint: 59 per cent. of in-work credit claims were for the full year. This is the best indication we have of the proportion of recipients who sustained employment for at least one year.
DWP has recently published an initial impact assessment of lone parent pilots, including in-work credit, after 12 to 24 months of the pilots operation. Although it was not possible for the initial report to examine job retention rates, the next report, due to be published summer 2008, will examine the longer term impacts of the pilot, including retention. Forthcoming qualitative research will also examine the effects of in-work credit on job retention, to provide context for the findings from the impact assessment.
Recent qualitative research with lone parents and Jobcentre Plus staff supports the view that in-work credit aids employment retention.
In-work poverty is not part of the planned evaluation of in-work credit.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people received an in-work premium payment in each quarter since its inception. 
Caroline Flint: The available information is shown in the following table.
|Quarters||Number of in-work credit starts|
| Notes: 1. Rounded to nearest 20. 2. Information is provided to June 2007 as this is the last quarter available. Source: Resource Management database.|
Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff in Jobcentre Plus have been dismissed in the last 12 months due to their attendance record. 
Caroline Flint: 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 4 December 2007:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the number of staff in Jobcentre Plus who have been dismissed in the last 12 months due to their attendance record. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
The latest available information is that 497 people were dismissed due to unsatisfactory attendance between October 2006 and September 2007.
The attendance management procedures operated by Jobcentre Plus are within the framework set in the Department for Work and Pensions attendance management policy.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people there are on each grading of Jobcentre Plus's customer assessment tool. 
Caroline Flint: The information requested is not routinely collected and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the 56th Report of the Public Accounts Committee, Session 2006-07 HC 312, if he will monitor the performance of Jobcentre Plus by the exit to employment successes of individual personal advisers. 
Caroline Flint: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide my right hon. Friend with the information requested.
Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 4 December 2007:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking if he will monitor the performance of Jobcentre Plus by the exit to employment successes of individual personal advisers. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
We have no plans to monitor the performance of Jobcentre Plus by the exit to employment successes of individual personal advisers. However, we will continue to monitor our success in helping people into work at national and district level through the Job Outcome Target.
Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether a claimant may be refused jobseekers allowance on the grounds of having voluntarily left employment where they have done so following (a) domestic violence, (b) bereavement and (c) dismissal because of inability to meet the conditions of employment due to child care responsibilities. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The Jobseekers Act 1995 states to receive jobseekers allowance a claimants unemployment must be involuntary. An independent decision maker will consider why a claimants employment has ended and whether they had just cause. All the factors in which the claimants employment ended will be considered as a whole, including personal or domestic life aspects. Where domestic violence, bereavement or child care responsibilities are factors they will be taken into account.
Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in what circumstances the jobseekers allowance regime permits claimants to participate in (a) full or (b) part-time education or training. 
Mr. Plaskitt: To receive and continue to receive jobseekers allowance, claimants must be available and actively seeking work. Generally claimants who are in full-time education are not regarded as available for employment during the period of study. Similarly those in full-time training are not regarded as available and are not entitled to jobseekers allowance.
Jobseekers allowance claimants can however, undertake part-time skills training provided it does not conflict with the work search requirements of their benefit.
However, obtaining skills can be an important factor in finding and retaining work. Therefore claimants will be treated as available if they are participating in an employment related course of up to two weeks approved in advance by DWP, or aged 25 or over and on an approved employment related course including one under the new deal for up to nine months.
Intensive training for longer than two weeks can only be accessed by moving an individual from jobseekers allowance onto a training allowance, which protects eligibility to passported benefits including housing benefit and council tax benefit. Training allowances have to date, only been offered to a limited number. In Opportunity, Employment and Progression: making skills work, published on 26 November, we announced our intention to increase access to such training allowances.
Subject to adviser discretion, customers who have been claiming jobseekers allowance for six months or more will be moved to a training allowance and will be able to undertake training full-time, employability focussed training designed to meet employer needs for up to eight weeks.
Further, in recognition of the importance of obtaining skills in increasing the employment prospects for some Jobcentre Plus customers, we have also announced that we will be piloting mandatory training where the adviser thinks this is appropriate, to test if this increases job outcome rates and employment sustainability and progression.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many companies are participating in local employment partnerships. 
Caroline Flint: So far, 225 employers have agreed to participate in local employment partnerships. 85 of these have already started to implement their partnerships.
Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the designed staff capacity is for his Department's offices at Peel Park House near Blackpool. 
Mrs. McGuire: Peel Park is capable of supporting between 1,300 and 2,400 staff, depending on the configuration of the space required, for example the number of meeting rooms and other space to support business operations and whether non-territorial working is in operation. Based on current estimates for future headcounts, DWP is planning to house 920 staff in Peel Park in 2008. Plans are being considered for further estate rationalisation during 2008-09, which could increase the overall staff numbers at Peel Park by as many as 200.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what information was used to calculate invoices for the Pension Protection Fund in 2006-07; 
(2) what information was used to calculate the levies for the Pension Protection Fund in 2006-07; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is partly funded by a Pension Protection Levy and an Administration Levy on all eligible defined-benefit occupational pension schemes. The PPF is also funded by the assets of schemes that transfer into the PPF and the investment returns of these assets.
The Administration Levy is set by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions under section 117 of the Pensions Act 2004 and is calculated and payable based on the number of members in an eligible scheme. The Administration Levy is imposed in respect of eligible schemes for the purpose of meeting the running costs of the PPF and the Fraud Compensation Fund.
Section 175 of the Pensions Act 2004 provides that the board of the PPF must impose a Pension Protection Levy which is comprised of a scheme-based element (20 per cent.) and a risk-based element (80 per cent.). The Pension Protection Levy is invested to pay compensation to members of eligible defined-benefit occupational pension schemes, when there is a qualifying insolvency event in relation to an employer and where there are insufficient assets in a pension scheme to cover PPF levels of compensation. Section 181 of the Pensions Act 2004 provides that the calculation of the Pension Protection Levy in respect of eligible schemes is a matter for the board of the PPF.
A guide to the Pension Protection Levy 2006-07 is available on the Pension Protection Funds website at:
The calculation of invoices is also a matter for the PPF board and I have asked the chief executive of the PPF, Partha Dasgupta, to write to the hon. Gentleman on these matters.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many service calls on invoicing issues were recorded by the Pension Protection Fund in each month since the fund began operating. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The PPF receives a range of inquiries in respect of the levy including questions, queries and remittance advice. The broad split was 1,237 (19 per cent.) in respect of levy policy and 5,238 (81 per cent.) in respect of data used for the levy.
I have asked Partha Dasgupta, the Chief Executive of the PPF to write to the hon. Gentleman on this matter.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) pensioners and (b) pensioner households (i) were eligible and (ii) took up pension credit in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Estimates of the number of pensioner households eligible for pension credit and the number and proportion that take up pension credit for 2003-04 to 2005-06 can be obtained from the last two Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up reports. Copies are available in the Library.
The 2005-06 report is the latest available, therefore eligibility and take-up figures are not available for 2007.
The number of households receiving pension credit as at May 2007 was 2.73 million and the number of individual beneficiaries as at May 2007 was 3.34 million.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|