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Mrs. McGuire: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet Office, my hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich, East (Mr. Watson), on 19 February 2008, Official Report, column 688W.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what percentage of staff in his Department were making additional voluntary contributions to their pensions in each of the last two years. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 1 October 2007, Official Report, columns 2367-8W, on departments: public participation, how many citizens' juries his Department has held in the last six months; and for what purposes they were held. 
Mrs. McGuire: DWP has not yet facilitated any citizens' juries. We do however conduct a wide range of citizen engagement activities across the Department; these are designed to ensure that citizens' needs are placed at the forefront of improving service delivery and in policy development.
Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps the Government take to monitor compliance with equal opportunities legislation in the employment of disabled people by television and broadcasting companies and makers of television programmes. 
My Department undertakes regular research on how employers and service providers are meeting their duties under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The latest research report, ("Organisations' Responses to the Disability Discrimination Act" - DWP Research Report 410(1)), which was published in 2007, provided data on whether organisations had employed disabled people; broken down by the size of employer and whether the
organisations were from the public, private or voluntary sector. It did not, however, monitor specific types of industry, such as television and broadcasting. The research shows that, overall, 47 per cent. of all the establishments surveyed reported having employed at least one disabled member of staff within the past 10 years, and 34 per cent. said that they employed at least one disabled person at the time of the survey.
The Labour Force Survey provides quarterly statistics on the employment rates of disabled people, and provides a breakdown by industry sector. For example, the survey for the period October to December 2007 shows that, of disabled people in work, 7.64 per cent. were employed in the Transport, Storage and Communication sector. However, data for this sector cannot be broken down further by individual types of communication, such as television and broadcasting.
The broadcasting regulatory regime includes obligations on radio and television broadcasters to promote equal opportunities in employment on the basis of gender, race and disability. The broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, monitors and reports on broadcasters' compliance with the obligations.
(1) This report may be accessed at:
Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the target employment rates of (a) women and (b) older workers were for each year since 1997; and whether these targets were met. 
Mr. Timms: We do not have a target employment rate for women. However, we do know that female employment is over 70 per cent. and the trend has been upwards for some time. As a result the UK has already exceeded the EU target for getting female employment above 60 per cent. by 2010.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) does not set numerical targets for the employment rate of older people. The public service agreement (PSA) targets set in the 2002 and 2004 comprehensive spending reviews were, taking account of the economic cycle, to increase the employment rate of people aged 50 and over, and significantly reduce the difference between their employment rate and the overall rate.
|Employment rates for people aged 50 to state pension age and 16 to state pension age spring 2003 to spring 2006 (2002 PSA)|
|Employment rate 50 to state pension age||Employment rate 16 to state pension age|
Labour Force Survey
|Employment rates for people aged 50 to 69 and 16 to state pension age quarter 2 2005 to quarter 2 2008 (2004 PSA)|
|Employment rate 50 to 69||Employment rate 16 to State Pension Age|
Labour Force Survey
In addition, the European Council has agreed a target for increasing the average EU employment rate for older men and women (aged 55 to 64) to 50 per cent. by 2010. The UK has already met this target with an employment rate of 57.4 per cent. for this age group in 2006.
Mr. Plaskitt: We have no plans to abolish the single room rent, which is designed to ensure that the level of housing benefit for single young people is based on the size and type of accommodation that they would typically occupy and, importantly, be able to afford.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what average length of time elapsed between the date of application and date of determination of applications for incapacity benefit in Dorset in each of the last three years; 
Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 29 February 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 for Work and Pensions has asked me to reply to your questions about the average length of time between the date of application and date of determination for Incapacity Benefit claims in Dorset in each of the last three years and the average length of time Dorset residents in receipt of Incapacity Benefit have had to wait before being able to receive a Personal Capability Assessment in the last three years. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
The figures for the Average Actual Clearance Time (AACT), for Incapacity Benefit claims in Dorset for the last three years are in the table.
|Dorset Incapacity Benefit AACT|
We are unable to provide information about the average length of time Dorset residents in receipt of Incapacity Benefit have had to wait before receiving a Personal Capability Assessment in the last three years because Personal Capability Assessments are triggered at different times during the life of an Incapacity Benefit claim depending on the nature of the person's incapacity.
I hope you find this useful.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions asking how many incidents of Jobcentre 0845 telephone system failure have occurred in the last 12 months and what mechanisms are in place to inform callers of contact alternatives when a jobcentre's telephony service fails to connect to an operator. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
There have been no failures of the 0845 telephone system in the last 12 months. On limited occasions we have experienced minor technical problems causing telephony difficulties. These are problems that impact on one site and not the whole network.
Jobcentre Plus Contact Centres are currently answering over 94% of calls offered and are consistently delivering a good level of service to customers.
Customers calling a standalone Contact Centre (i.e. not operating within a virtual environment) whose call can not be connected would hear an emergency message which informs them that there is a problem, and asks them to call back later. Our Network Management Team is immediately notified and they ensure that calls are re-routed from the Contact Centre with the temporary problem to other Contact Centres. When the customer calls again the call would be answered.
From June 2008 all Contact Centre sites will be operating within a Virtual Environment. In the event of any telephony problems calls are automatically diverted and answered by another site.
Customers who need to call a Benefit Delivery Centre, instead of a Contact Centre, and are not connected to an operator will receive a message advising them that all our lines are busy and asking them to call back later. The message goes on to give the switchboard opening times.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the distribution by household income quintile of the expenditure arising from pension credit in each year since its introduction. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Information on the expenditure on pension credit by equivalised income quintile on an after-housing cost basis is set out in the following table for available years. These figures are rounded to the nearest £50 million.
|Expenditure on pension credit by equivalised income quintile across all individuals, 2004-05 to 2005-06|
|£ million, after housing costs|
|Bottom quintile||Second quintile||Middle quintile||Fourth quintile||Top quintile||Total|
| Notes: 1. Pension credit was introduced in October 2003. This means data is available only for 2004-05 and 2005-06. 2. All figures are shown in nominal terms (i.e. not adjusted for inflation). 3. The information shown is for Great Britain. 4. Shares of benefit expenditure by quintile according to the Family Resources Survey have been applied to administrative data to derive a split by quintile. Administrative data totals are available to the nearest million pounds, while information based on survey data is presented rounded to the nearest £50 million. 5. The Family Resources Survey is known to undercount receipt of certain benefits. This methodology assumes that this undercount is spread proportionally across quintiles. For example, if 30 per cent. of expenditure is in a certain quintile, this assumes 30 per cent. of any undercount is also in that quintile. 6. 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 series. 7. The quintiles are derived using OECD equivalisation factors.|
The relatively low level of expenditure in the bottom quintile is partly explained by the low proportion of pensioners in that quintile, with only 15 per cent. of pensioners in the bottom quintile of incomes across all individuals. Many pensioners are moved out of this quintile by pension credit and other benefits, so expenditure in the lowest quintile is expected to be relatively low.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners lived in the United Kingdom in the latest period for which figures are available, broken down by income quintile. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Information regarding the income distribution of individuals is available in Households Below Average Income 1994/95-2005/06 (Revised), a copy of which is available in the Library.
|Number of pensioners in each quintile of the income distribution, measured after housing costs|
|Number ( m illion)|
1. 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.
2. The Family Resources Survey does not include pensioners living in communal establishments, such as care homes and nursing homes.
3. A pensioner is defined as an individual over state pension age.
4. The figures are based on OECD equivalisation factors.
5. The Table shows numbers in millions rounded to the nearest 100,000.
Family Resources Survey 2005/06.
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