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Mr. Plaskitt: One of the conditions for claiming income support is that claimants must not be working for 16 or more hours a week. Therefore all the people claiming income support worked for fewer than 16 hours per week in each year since 1997.
|Number of income support (IS) claimants (excluding minimum income guarantee1) working less than 16 hours a week|
|Period ending||Number||As percentage of total IS claims|
1. Data exclude minimum income guarantee (MIG) data to provide a consistent time series for income support claimants. In October 2003, pension credit replaced MIG (income support for people aged 60 or over/with partner aged 60 or over).
2. Figures are uprated to Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study totals and rounded to the nearest 100.
DWP Information Directorate five per cent. sample
Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what training is planned for Jobcentre Plus staff on the implementation of (a) local housing allowance, (b) employment and support allowance, (c) changes in liaison with the Child Support Agency for income support claimants and (d) changes to lone parents eligibility for income support; and what additional resources have been allocated for such training. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what training is planned for Jobcentre Plus staff on the implementation of (a) local Housing Allowance, (b) Employment and Support Allowance, (c) changes in liaison with the Child Support Agency for Income Support claimants and (d) changes to lone parents eligibility for Income Support; and what additional resources have been allocated for training. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Existing learning products are being amended to reflect the introduction of local housing allowance and the consequent changes to our IT systems. In addition communications have been published to increase awareness among Jobcentre Plus staff.
Learning and Development for people in Jobcentre Plus is central to the successful delivery of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). We are putting in place a comprehensive package of learning and development products to fully equip Jobcentre Plus staff to deliver ESA. Detailed learning routeways are being developed for each of the roles affected. In addition,
communications are being planned to ensure all Jobcentre Plus staff are aware of ESA as a new benefit and new regime to assist customers into work.
All Jobcentre Plus staff will receive information to raise awareness of the changes to the child maintenance arrangements being introduced in July 2008 and October 2008. In addition specific learning products are being developed for staff whose roles are being directly impacted by the changes.
A full learning needs analysis is currently being conducted to assess what learning staff need as a result of the forthcoming changes to lone parents eligibility for Income Support. All staff are likely to require some communication to raise their awareness. More detailed information will be focused on those whose roles are more directly affected. In particular advisers will be given clear advice on the existing and new flexibilities that are applicable to lone parents claiming Jobseekers Allowance.
The development and delivery of the training for staff on local Housing Allowance, child maintenance and lone parents eligibility for Income Support are being contained within core Jobcentre Plus Learning and Development resources which exist to support the implementation of change. Detailed planning for the ESA learning and development is currently underway, which will enable an assessment of what can be absorbed within current capacity and whether any additional resource is required.
I hope this is helpful.
It is generally accepted that low income is central to any poverty measurement. Definitions of low income households are set out in the annual National Statistics publication Households Below Average Income. This reports numbers of individuals in households below or persistently below 50 per cent., 60 per cent. and 70 per cent. of median household income before and after deducting housing costs.
Statisticians have made a number of methodological improvements since 1997 in line with international best practice, following full consultation with users and National Statistics protocols. Improvements have been explained in the relevant publications. HBAI presents a consistent time series reflecting all changes that have been made.
As no single measure captures all aspects of poverty, the new public service agreement Tackle poverty and promote greater independence and wellbeing in later life includes a range of indicators related to low income for pensioners. These are relative low income (below 50 and 60 per cent. contemporary median household income), and absolute low income (below
60 per cent. of 1998-99 median income uprated in line with prices). Further information is given in the Governments PSA Delivery Agreement 17, which is available in the Library.
The public service agreement (PSA) to halve child poverty sets out indicators of child poverty. These are relative low income (below 60 per cent. of contemporary median household income) absolute low income (below 60 per cent. of 1998-99 median income uprated in line with prices), and combined low income and material deprivation (based on below 70 per cent. of contemporary median household income). The three indicators of child poverty reflect that income is a key aspect of child poverty. The combined low income and material deprivation indicator provides a wider measure of families living standards. Further information is given in the conclusions document of the Departments Measuring Child Poverty consultation, which is available in the Library.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of individuals who have been issued with (a) two, (b) three and (c) four or more national insurance numbers. 
Mr. Plaskitt: In 2007, there were 1,517 instances where an individual was found to be using more than one national insurance number (NINO). A further breakdown by number of NINOs used by an individual is not available.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was spent on (a) the new deal and (b) the new deal self-employment option in each year since their establishment; and what the planned budget for each is in each year of the spending review period. 
Mr. Timms: Self-employment support is available to new deal participants through new deal for young people, new deal 25-plus, new deal for lone parents and new deal for partners. Self-employment support offers an initial awareness session for potential entrepreneurs followed by a period of supported business planning with a business expert and a period of test trading. During test trading, participants start their business while continuing to receive their benefit, an allowance or working tax credits, depending on their circumstances, to help them over any initial transitional hurdles. This period can last up to a maximum of 26 weeks.
Information on the planned budget for each year of the Spending Review period is not yet available. The forecast figures for 2008-09 will be included in the departmental report 2008 which will be published in May 2008.
|New deal spend|
|Financial year||Total new deal spend||Of which, on the self-employment option|
1. Figures up to and including 2006-07 are confirmed spend.
2. Figures for 2007-08 are planned expenditure.
3. Figures include all new deal programme costs; start-up costs; staff costs, and allowances paid to participants apart from the 50-plus element of the working tax credit, which is the responsibility of HMRC.
4. Figures are rounded to the nearest million and may not sum to spend figures on each individual new deal published in the departmental report due to rounding.
5. Figures include central estimates of administration costs.
DWP departmental reports 2005-06
Jobcentre Plus accounts 2006-07
DWP departmental report 2007-08 and DWP finance division.
Mr. Plaskitt: In March 2007 Dame Carol Black was commissioned to carry out a review of the health of the working age population. The review, which will contain recommendations for Government and stakeholders, will help us to better understand the impact of ill-health in working age people and how best we can tackle this and support people to stay in work. It will help steer the Governments strategy for the coming years.
To help her in taking forward her review, Dame Carol launched a Call for Evidence which ran until 30 November 2007. There has been a significant and very positive response, with over 260 submissions received and a number of very successful stakeholder events held across the country.
In addition to the salary costs of a small team of civil servants supporting her work, the stakeholder events cost approximately £75,000. The review will also be informed by a number of pieces of external research which Dame Carol has commissioned in partnership with the Governments Health Work and Well-being Strategy. The cost of this research to date is around £250,000 and is ultimately expected to total around £300,000. As well as informing Dame Carols review, this research will be published separately and support the ongoing development of the Health, Work and Well-being Strategy.
The Pension Service and the disability and carers service are major occupiers of 44 sites nationwide (the Pension Service: 29 and the disability and carers service: 15). In addition, the Pension Services current local service outlets and some other disability and carers service functions operate out of approximately a further 200 sites.
Mrs. McGuire: This is a matter which falls within the responsibility of the acting chief executive of the Disability and Carers Service, Mrs. Vivien Hopkins. She will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much building and developing the new Pension, Disability and Carers Service Agency will cost.
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