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Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the effect on costs to the public purse has been of the operation of agencies within his Departments responsibilities in the last (a) five and (b) 10 years. 
Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 18 February 2008]: It has not been possible to quantify the effect on costs to the public purse of the operation of agencies. However information relating to DWP costs may be found in the Published Resource Account for DWP 2006/07. This is available using the following link.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many representatives of his Department were located abroad in each of the last 10 years, broken down by location; and at what cost. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department supports a small number of employees in posts abroad related to DWP business needs. The numbers, costs and locations vary from year to year. However, the details of representatives located abroad are not held centrally and could be provided only by incurring disproportionate costs.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) 0800, (b) 0845 and (c) 0870 telephone numbers for the public are used by (i) his Department and (ii) agencies which report to his Department. 
Mrs. McGuire: We are constantly working to improve our services to customers and that may include periodic changes to the numbers and number ranges we use. We publicise these changes to appropriate customer groups and key stakeholders. Neither my Department nor its agencies use 0870 numbers for customer contact.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what average hourly rate his Department paid to employment agencies for agency staff in each year since 1999, broken down by employment agency. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how his Department is monitoring the progress of the Employability Skills programme which his Department announced on 1st August 2007. 
Progress in implementing the Employability Skills Programme is currently reported into the Department of Innovation Universities and Skills (DIUS), Skills for Life programme Board. This Board will monitor reports from the Learning and Skills Council on progress against success criteria for the programme. Data will be made available on a quarterly basis via the data book.
The Employability Skills Programme is an LSC funded programme, £23 million is available to support learner's achievements in literacy, language and numeracy qualifications and to get a basic level employability qualification. DWP are further supporting learners with £14 million for Training Allowance.
Develop, set-up and support for 9 Pathfinders trials in each of the Government Office regions.
Develop and delivery of training for JCP advisers and Programme Providers.
Development and dissemination of information and promotional materials for JCP customers, advisers and programme providers.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people his Department estimates have found employment as a consequence of participating in the Employability Skills programme which his Department announced on 1st August 2007. 
Success in the Employability Skills Programme is measured in a number of ways, including achievement of literacy, language and numeracy qualifications, achievements of an employability certificate in addition to job outcomes.
We expect the LSC to report on the full range of success criteria including qualifications and job outcomes at quarterly reviews, the first set of data to end of February 2008 will be reported at the quarterly review in April 2008.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many families came off jobseekers allowance and income support to re-enter full-time employment in each of the last five years. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what disbursements have been made from the European Social Fund in each of the last three years in each (a) constituency and (b) local authority area. 
Mr. Plaskitt: This information is not available at constituency or local authority level. Most European Social Fund money is allocated at regional level. The following table shows disbursements made from the European Social Fund in England in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
|European social fund payments 2005, 2006 and 2007|
1. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Merseyside and South Yorkshire receive ring-fenced funding as Objective 1 areas.
2. The Department for Work and Pensions has responsibility for the European Social Fund in England. The devolved administrations have responsibility for the European Social Fund in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
European Social Fund Projects and Payments Database, February 2008
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimates he has made of the percentage of claimants subject to the local housing allowance who will experience a restriction in their rent as a consequence of the application of the allowance, broken down by local authority; 
(2) what estimates he has made of the percentage of claimants subject to the local housing allowance who will experience a restriction in their rent as a consequence of the application of the allowance, broken down by bedroom entitlement. 
The local housing allowance is being applied to new housing benefit claims in the deregulated private rented sector. Current claimants will not be moved to the new scheme unless they break their claim or change address.
We cannot estimate how many people will experience a restriction in their rent as a consequence of the local housing allowance because we do not know in advance what their accommodation choices and hence their contractual rent will be. Consequently, we do not know
how their rent will compare with the local housing allowance rate appropriate for them.
The allowance is a more transparent way to calculate housing benefit entitlement. As a result, claimants should find it easier to shop around to find a property which has a rent set at or below the appropriate local housing allowance rate. The extent to which they do this will determine the proportion of claimants who have their rent restricted. In the Pathfinder areas the percentage of claimants with a shortfall fell from 59 per cent. to 40 per cent.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people claimed incapacity benefit in each year since 1997; and how many claimants (a) reached retirement age and (b) died in each year. 
|Number claiming incapacity benefits and leaving incapacity benefits through death or moving to State Pension|
|As at February each year||Incapacity benefits commencements||Death||Stops claiming incapacity benefits and starts claiming State Pension|
1. Terminations figures are produced from 5 per cent sample data.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.
3. Totals may not sum due to rounding.
4. Earlier years have been updated to include late notified terminations.
DWP Information Directorate 5 per cent terminations dataset
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