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I hope you find this answer helpful.
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases the Child Support Agency holds which have outstanding debt. ; and
What proportion of total child support debt is owed (a) to the Secretary of State and (b) to parents with care. ; and
What proportion of the £3.7 billion child support arrears relates (a) to cases on the old child support computer system and (b) the new child support computer system. 
The Agency reports the amount of outstanding debt in its Annual Report and Accounts, the latest version of which is held in the House of Commons library. The information requested is supplementary to that reported and this additional analysis therefore does not include the provisions applied as a result of the annual debt analysis exercise within the Agencys accounts.
This debt is owed by non-resident parents as a result of their failure to meet their responsibilities to their children. The Agency is committed to recovering as much of the outstanding debt as possible and is significantly increasing collections under the Operational Improvement Plan.
At the end of November 2007, the latest period for which these figures are available, the Child Support Agency had 1,056,500 cases with outstanding debt. Of the total debt outstanding, we estimate that 53 per cent is owed to the Secretary of State and 47 per cent to parents with care. Of this debt, we estimate that 56 per cent related to cases on the old child support computer system, and 44 per cent to cases on the new child support computer system.
The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill proposes to strengthen and streamline the range of enforcement and debt management powers that will be at the disposal of the Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission. These will be used both to encourage ongoing compliance to prevent the new debt building up, and to enable more of the accumulated debt to be recovered.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of the £1.5 billion child support debt regarded as collectable is owed (a) to the Secretary of State and (b) to parents with care. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost of bus transport as a proportion of incomes of less than (a) 30 per cent., (b) 40 per cent., (c) 50 per cent. and (d) 60 per cent. of the median in each year since 1997. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking what estimate has been made of the cost of bus transport as a proportion of incomes of less than (a) 30 percent, (b) 40 percent, (c) 50 percent, and (d) 60 percent of the median average in each year since 1997 (185862).
Estimates of household income are provided in the ONS analysis 'The effects of taxes and benefits on household income'. The latest analysis for 2005/06 was published on the National Statistics website on 17th May 2007 at: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/taxesbenefits.
The analysis is based on data from the Expenditure and Food Survey, which is a sample survey covering approximately 7,000 households in the UK. The EFS has been used for this response because it collects both income and expenditure data.
The most common and internationally recognised threshold to measure poverty is income below 60 per cent of median. The sample size for the number of households with an income below 30 per cent of median is too small to yield reliable results. In addition presenting information for households with an income of 40 or 50 per cent of median income can be misleading. One reason for this is that households stating the lowest incomes may not actually have the lowest living standards. Many households who report very low incomes appear to have high spending equivalent to households higher in the income distribution.
The table provided shows bus and coach expenditure as a percentage of household unequivalised disposable income for households that have income of 40, 50 and 60 percent below median income. Due to the issue of small sample size, an average for the period 2000/01 to 2002/03 and 2003/04 to 2005/06 has been provided. Data for 1997/1998 to 1999/00 is not available. In addition figures showing only bus fares could not be provided as expenditure on bus and coach fares are collected as one item.
|Bus and coach fares as a percentage of median household disposable income( 1: ) United Kingdom|
|Households where income is below 40% of median||Households where income is below 50% of median||Households where income is below 60% of median|
|(1) Unequivalised household disposable income.|
Ranked by unequivalised disposable income.
Office for National Statistics
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will consider the merits of paying apprentices a wage at least as great as the young persons rate of the minimum wage. 
World-class Apprenticeships: Unlocking Talent, Building Skills for AH published on 28 January 2008 confirms that the Government will be asking the Low Pay Commission to look at the whole issue of apprenticeship pay in the future.
We also recognise the need to ensure that apprentices in learning today are receiving at least the current minimum apprentice wage of £80 per week. We will therefore ask the LSC, as a matter of urgency, to write to all employers and providers contracted to the LSC to deliver apprenticeships to reiterate their contractual responsibility to ensure all their apprentices are paid at least the minimum weekly amount, and to check on compliance through the existing audit arrangements. We will also ask the new National Apprenticeships Service to work with employers and the TUC to publicise the national helpline for apprentices who believe they are being paid less than the minimum apprenticeship wage, and also look at how the current minimum could be more effectively enforced.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many national insurance numbers were issued in the city of Edinburgh in each of the last 18 months, broken down by parliamentary constituency of recipient. 
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of private sector employers which offer pension schemes with contributions above three per cent.; and what percentage of occupational pension schemes this figure represents. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available shows approximately 300,000 private sector employers offer a contribution above three per cent to pension schemes (defined benefit schemes, defined contribution schemes, group personal pension schemes, stakeholder pension schemes and personal pensions)
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many women over state pension age on 5 April 2010 would benefit if the reduction from 39 to 30 in the number of qualifying contribution years required for a full basic pension applied to them; and what estimate he has made of the additional cost for 2010-11. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The estimated total additional net cost in 2010-11 of reducing the number of qualifying years required for a full basic sate pension to 30 for women over sate pension age in 2010 is around £1 billion in 2007-08 price terms. It is estimated that around 2 million women would gain more basic state pension as a result of this.
1. GB estimates based on the Government Actuarys Department Retirement Pension model.
2. This is an estimate of the net annually managed expenditure cost of re-assessing basic state pension entitlement of all women pensioners in 2010 against 30 qualifying years, rather than just the cohort that reach state pension age in 2010.
3. These net costs take into account expenditure on income-related benefits.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimated weekly rate of basic pension will be payable in 2010-11 to (a) a woman reaching age 60 years on 6 April 2010 with a contribution record of (i) 10, (ii) 15, (iii) 20, (iv) 25, (v) 30, (vi) 35 and (vii) 39 qualifying years and (b) a woman one day younger with a similar contribution record. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The estimated weekly rates of basic state pension payable in 2010-11, to a woman reaching state pension age on 6 April 2010 with a contribution record of (i) 10, (ii) 15, (iii) 20, (iv) 25, (v) 30, (vi) 35 and (vii) 39 qualifying years are shown in the following table. A woman one day (or more) younger will receive the same amounts. The number of qualifying years required for a full basic state pension for anyone reaching state pension age on or after 6 April 2010 is 30 years.
|Number of qualifying years||Estimated weekly rate of basic state pension payable in 2010-11 , for a woman reaching state pension age on or after 6 April 2010 (£)|
1. For a woman reaching state pension age on 6 April 2010, qualifying years may be comprised of contributions and/or credits including home responsibilities protection. For these women, each complete year of home responsibilities protection awarded under the existing rules will be converted into a qualifying year for basic state pension.
2. We have uprated the current level of basic state pension by the Retail Prices Index, using Treasury economic assumptions. The level of basic state pension, in 2010-11, is forecast to be £95.70 per week.
3. Estimated weekly amounts are presented rounded to the nearest 5p.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the most common length of time was for each benefit delivery centre or processing site that social fund applicants had to wait for (a) initial decisions, (b) internal reviews, (c) applications awaiting any action and (d) applications not yet registered, or best estimate thereof in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 15 January 2008]: 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.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about what the most common length of time was for each benefit delivery centre or processing site that Social Fund applicants had to wait for initial decisions, internal reviews, applications awaiting any action and applications not yet registered, or best estimate thereof in the most recent period for which figures are available. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Information is available only for initial decisions.
The most common clearance times (mode) for discretionary Social Fund applications in November 2007 are given in the table.
|Most common (modal) length of time for clearing applications in November 2007 (working days)|
|Social fund benefit delivery centre by region||Community care grants||Crisis loans||Budgeting loans|
1. Insufficient data are available for Essex for Community Care Grants. This is because of a limitation of the Management Information System.
2. Numbers are based on applications cleared in November 2007, not on applications received during that month.
3. The two figures given are the most common clearance times (the same number of Community Care Grant applications were cleared in each number of working days).
BDC -Benefit Delivery Centre
SF - Social Fund
Y&H -Yorkshire and Humberside
DWP Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System
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