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|Weekly earnings||First £ 62||Over £ 62||Employer|
|Up to UEL||Over UEL||Employer|
|(1) Employers pay NICs on all earnings above the Upper Earnings Limit (UEL)|
(2) Employees pay NICs on all earnings above the UEL
Reduced rates apply on earnings paid to those in contracted-out employment (both employee and employer) and those women electing to pay reduce rate NIC (employee only).
Tom Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to promote greater awareness among domestic landlords and their tenants of their duties and rights under gas safety regulations. 
Mrs. McGuire: Landlords are responsible for ensuring that gas systems and appliances are safe for their tenants to use and checked annually for safety by installers registered with the Council for Registered Gas Installers (CORGI). The Health and Safety Executive promotes awareness of these matters through its website, through published alerts and through free leaflets for landlords and for the public, including tenants. CORGI also promotes gas safety messages for landlords and tenants in its public information.
|People into work through new deal in Enfield North|
|(1) Data are for the earliest and latest full calendar years.|
(2) Latest information is only available for January to May 2007.
1. 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.
2. Data for 1998 only include information for new deal for young people, new deal 25-plus and new deal for lone parents.
3. New deal for young people operated as a pilot in 12 pathfinder locations only (not including Enfield North) from January to March 1998, and was rolled out nationally in April 1998.
4. Data are rounded to the nearest 10.
DWP Information Directorate.
|Household recipients||Individual beneficiaries|
1. The number of households in receipt and individual beneficiaries are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Pension credit was introduced in October 2003 so data for 2003 is as at November.
3. Household recipients are those people who claim pension credit either for themselves only or on behalf of a household.
DWP Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent. data
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to ensure that recent increases in energy prices do not increase levels of poverty among pensioners. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government are committed to tackling fuel poverty. Fuel prices do fluctuate and although fuel prices have risen since 2003 this follows a period of price stability between 1997 and 2003. Between 1996-97 and 2005-06 pensioners incomes increased by 29 per cent. in real terms, compared with a 15 per cent. real terms increase in utility bills between 1996-97 and 2006.
Winter fuel payments provide a significant contribution to pensioners heating bills. The winter fuel payment has risen from £20 in 1997-98 to £200 and £300 for oldest pensioners. Last year the winter fuel payment helped more than 11 million older people with their fuel bills, and assistance has been provided for two million low income households though schemes to improve energy efficiency, for example through better heating and insulation.
Incomes of the poorest pensioner households have risen by around 30 per cent. over the last 10 years. In addition we have successively raised the pension credit standard minimum guarantee in line with earnings every year since its introduction. In April 2008 the standard minimum guarantee will rise by 4.2 per cent. which is higher than the relevant average earnings index, ensuring that pension credit more than keeps pace with earnings and prices.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Specific information regarding low income for the United Kingdom is available in Households Below Average Income 1994/95-2005/06. The threshold of below 60 per cent. contemporary median income is the most commonly used in reporting trends in low income.
The data source does not allow us to provide robust numbers for estimates below the level of Government office region. However there are approximately 200,000 pensioners living in London with below 60 per cent. of median income (after housing costs). This figure is the average over three survey years, 2003/04 to 2005/06, and is based on information from the Family Resources Survey.
1. Three survey year averages are given for each of the regions as robust single year estimates cannot be produced because of the sample sizes for individual regions.
2. The income measures used to derive the estimates shown employ the same methodology as the Department for Work and Pensions publication Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series, which uses disposable household income, adjusted (or equivalised) for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living.
3. The figures are based on OECD equalisation factors.
4. The preferred measure of low income for pensioners is by using a threshold of 60 per cent. of the contemporary median income after housing costs. This is consistent with indicators that will be monitored as part of PSA delivery agreement 17.
5. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100,000.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) pursuant to the answer of 16 January 2008, Official Report, column 1381W, on performance appraisals, in what format information is available on departmental staff (a) performance against objectives and (b) appraisals; 
Information is collated on employees overall performance levels. Managers award one of four performance levels: Top, Higher, Majority or Lower. The information of the percentage of employees at each level is then collated across the Department.
The Government believe that employment is the best route out of poverty for families both now and in the future. By helping more parents into work now we will be able to break the cycle of generational benefit dependency and help prevent more young people from living a life on benefits in the future.
We also believe that early engagement in learning and educational attainment is key to providing positive outcomes for young people and reducing the risk of them falling into poverty in later life, irrespective of where they live.
Progress is being made. 2006 saw the highest numbers ever continuing in full-time education when they completed year 11 across the country. In addition, since 1997 the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds not in education, employment or training has fallen from 17.8 per cent. to 17.1 per cent. nationally, with rural areas having a better figure than the national figure; 13.7 per cent. according to the latest figures available.
In order to assist young people stay in full-time education, especially in rural areas, local authorities have to make transport arrangements where they consider it necessary to secure a childs attendance at school and in those circumstances it must be free of charge. In addition, the Education and Inspections Act 2006 extended entitlement to free school travel for pupils entitled to free school meals or whose parents are in receipt of maximum working tax credit.
To help those young people who are having difficulties getting into education, employment or training the Government have recently strengthened their strategy to help them do so. We plan to give early access to the new deal to 18-year-olds who claim jobseekers allowance having already spent a period of time not working or studying, giving them direct support and advice on the best way to start on the road to a life of employment.
It is this Governments aim to encourage 16 and 17-year-old school leavers to make the most of their potential by entering further education, employment or taking up the Government's guarantee of a place on Work Based Learning for Young People rather than encouraging them to live independently.
Young people under the age of 18 do not have automatic entitlement to jobseekers allowance unless they fall into what is known as a prescribed circumstance. These circumstances are specified in the jobseekers allowance regulations. Where a young person does not come within a prescribed circumstance, the regulations do allow for the discretionary award of jobseekers allowance, but only where the young person can show that they would be in severe hardship were they not to receive benefit.
Income support is available for people who do not have to demonstrate their availability for work and training, for example, young people who are sick or disabled, are lone parents, or who are continuing in non-advanced full-time education while estranged from their parents.
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