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Lifetime Labour Market Database 2, 2003-04
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the proportion of private sector employers who offered any pension to employees in each year since 1997 for which data is available. 
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 6 December 2007, Official Report, columns 1508-09W, on the social fund, what definition his Department uses of serious risk to health and safety in relation to crisis loan applications. 
... a social fund payment may be awarded to assist an applicant to meet expenses (except those excluded by these directions)
(a) in an emergency, or as a consequence of a disaster, provided that the provision of such assistance is the only means by which serious damage or serious risk to the health or safety of that person, or to a member of his family, may be prevented;
Therefore the applicant has to meet three requirements; the need must have arisen as a result of a disaster or emergency; it must constitute a serious risk to the health and well being of the applicant or a member of their family and there must be no other means of meeting the need.
The decision maker will consider carefully the circumstances of the applicant and should interpret the phrase, serious damage or serious risk to the health or safety of that person and in an emergency, or as a consequence of a disaster, in a broad common sense manner that includes consideration of both physical and mental health.
Mr. Plaskitt: There are no plans currently to change the discretionary social fund review process. This consists of an internal review and, for those still dissatisfied with the outcome of their application, an independent review by a social fund inspector at the Independent Review Service.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people asked for a face to face interview about a social fund application and were not offered this in the latest month for which figures are available. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) on-flow and origin, (b) off-flow and destination and (c) stock figures for (i) jobseeker's allowance, (ii) incapacity benefit (not credits only), (iii) severe disablement allowance, (iv) income support with incapacity benefit credits and (v) income support, broken down by statistical group, were for each of the last 36 months for which figures are available. 
Mrs. McGuire: A total of 1,846,470 claimants, who were included in the incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance caseload in May 2007, have started their claim since 1997. Of these, 1,836,660 claimants were of working age.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what assessment he has made of the effect on Post Office counters of the 2007 arrangements for paying benefits which would otherwise fall due over the Christmas period; 
Mr. Plaskitt: The Department has always ensured that when customers are due payments on a national public holiday when most banks and financial institutions are closed, they have access to their money in advance.
We normally advance payments to the last banking day before the Christmas holiday, which last year fell on 24 December. Post Office Ltd. had been aware for some time of these arrangements and had assured us that branches would be able to cope with the anticipated volumes.
However, Post Office Ltd.s own decision to close at lunch time on the Monday raised concerns about customers ability to get their money that day. Post Office opening times are operational matters for Post Office management.
Although Post Office Ltd. has provided further assurances that they would be able to cope, including with lunch time closing, we have decided that, where it is technically possible to do so, we will advance payments to 21 December last year. This means that every pensioner will receive their payment before Christmas and around three quarters of pensioners will be paid on 21 December. Some customers will still need to collect their money on the Monday and others may choose to do so. Post Office Ltd. has made clear that everyone who wants their money that day, will be able to get it.
Eight out of 10 of the Departments customers are paid into bank accounts and will be able to access their money from their bank on the Monday, or whenever they want from cash machines over the Christmas period.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate he has made of the likely increase in the number of claimants of (a) disability living allowance (care component), (b) attendance allowance and (c) carers allowance after 5 April 2008 when they become exportable within the european economic area; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the likely additional costs of (a) disability living allowance (care component), (b) attendance allowance and (c) carers allowance after 5 April 2008 when they become exportable within the european economic area; 
(3) what estimate he has made of the likely number of staff needed to handle extra cases of (a) disability living allowance (care component), (b) attendance allowance and (c) carers allowance after 5 April 2008 when they become exportable within the european economic area. 
As I reported in my statement of 13 December 2007, Official Report, column 68WS, we are
still involved in ongoing discussions with the European Commission to clarify the extent of the Governments responsibilities following the judgment in the European court on 18 October 2007. Until we understand the full implications of the judgment we cannot estimate the additional costs, staffing requirements or the number of additional customers.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 13 December 2007, Official Report, column 68WS, on Disability Benefits (European Court of Justice), what matters he expects to be discussed in future meetings between officials from his Department and European Commission officials on European legislation on the exportability of benefits. 
Mrs. McGuire: In its judgment of 18 October 2007, the European Court of Justice decided to remove the care component of disability living allowance, attendance allowance and carers allowance from the list of non-exportable special non-contributory cash benefits in Annex IIa to the EC Regulation 1408/71. The Court decided that these benefits should be classified as sickness benefits (as defined by Regulation 1408/71). We are working with the European Commission to clarify how our disability benefits, which are long term residence-based benefits, fit into a regime originally designed to cover short-term contributions-based sickness benefits.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 13 December 2007, Official Report, column 68WS, on disability benefits (European Court of Justice), what legal advice his Department sought ahead of the European Court of Justices judgment; and at what cost. 
Mrs. McGuire: In addition to legal consideration by internal legal advisers, Her Majestys Government instructed external counsel to represent the United Kingdom in the proceedings before the European Court of Justice at a cost of approximately £19,000.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effects on the payment of benefits to UK citizens resident elsewhere in the EU of the judgment of the European Court of Justice in case C299/05 on 18 October. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the basic state pension was for (a) couples and (b) single households, excluding other benefits and special payments in each year since 1997-98, in cash terms. 
|Basic state pension for pensioner couple (£)||Basic state pension for single pensioner (£)|
There are no singles or couples rates as such, the basic state pension is an individual benefit; although the category A rate is commonly referred to as the singles rate, and the combination of the category A and category B rate is commonly referred to as the couples rate.
Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households include no one in full-time employment; and what steps he has taken to tackle worklessness in the last five years. 
|Working-age households in which no one works full-time, United Kingdom, April-June 2007 (not seasonally adjusted)|
1. A working-age household is a household that includes at least one person of working age (male aged 16-64 or female aged 16-59).
2. Estimates have not been adjusted for households with unknown economic status.
3. Base for percentages excludes households with unknown economic status.
4. As with any sample survey, estimates from the Labour Force Survey are subject to a margin of uncertainty.
5. Variables used: HNFTIME, HEACOMB, RELHRP6.
Labour Force Survey household dataset
The percentage of households in which all inhabitants of working age are in employment has risen from 54.5 per cent. in 1997 to 57.9 per cent. in 2007. Through our active labour market policies we have achieved a record number of people in employment, an increase in the employment rate, and the lowest claimant unemployment level since 1975. There are now a million lone parents in work for the first time ever.
We have taken forward an ongoing programme of welfare reform over the last five years and are determined to go further still. Our command paper Ready for work: full employment in our generation, published on 13 December 2007, sets out further
measures to increase employment opportunities for disadvantaged people and to support them in taking up those opportunities.
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