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The total spend figures are the total paid to agencies for the supply of interim personnel (agency workers). This includes the fees paid directly to the interim personnel and also the fees paid to the agencies for their supply. The agency payments are normally based on a percentage mark-up and are variable depending on the agency and the category of personnel supplied. The average margin for all supply categories utilising the Department's primary supply vehicle, the CIPHER framework agreement, is 15 per cent.
The total spend figures have been obtained from a number of sources including the Department's Financial and Resource Management systems and it should be noted that the figures are based on current account codes and category descriptors and may include some miscellaneous non-interim personnel expenditure because of the difficulty in categorising. The figures for 2007-08 have only recently been extracted and are subject to further validation.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Communities and Local Government on the effect of the proposed reduction in backdating facilities for housing benefit on (a) eviction levels and (b) homelessness. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The Department for Work and Pensions works closely with the Department for Communities and Local Government on a wide range of issues, including the impact of housing benefit policy on people who are homeless or at risk of
The Department for Communities and Local Government is aware of the proposed reduction in backdating timescales for housing benefit and council tax benefit claims and has seen a copy of the impact assessment. Officials from both Departments are working together to mitigate any impacts by undertaking an awareness-raising campaign among landlords, local authorities, customers and welfare rights agencies. Work on this is well under way and it is clear that a high proportion of stakeholders are already aware of the planned changes.
David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether (a) addresses and (b) rental values were used by the Rent Service to determine the median rent for the Broad Market Rental Area in which Cambridge lies. 
The information is gathered from a variety of sources and is as representative of the market as possible, and to ensure that the lettings information is current the database is limited to the past 12 month period. The information held is sufficient both to confirm its validity and identify the size of the premises.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people made a successful claim to receive (a) housing benefit, (b) council tax benefit and (c) pension credit backdated
for (i) three months, (ii) six months, (iii) nine months and (iv) 12 months in each the last five years. 
As part of the Equality Impact Assessment covering changes to the time for claiming housing benefit and council tax benefit for pensioners and a change to the backdating period allowed within housing benefit and council tax benefit for working age customers, which is available on the DWP website, an estimate of the proportion of housing benefit and council tax benefit caseloads affected by the proposals is provided. There are, however, important caveats to these estimates which must be noted.
Figures on the number of claims that are successfully backdated are derived from the single housing benefit extract (HBSD-IAD scan). The backdating variable in the single housing benefit extract was introduced relatively recently (April 2007) and accordingly we have no means of corroborating how robust the data are against historical data. Furthermore, given that the data only go back six months, there is an insufficient pool of evidence to derive reliable figures from the data. These concerns should be allayed with time as the scan data improves.
Based on the first six months of data available, it is estimated that approximately 0.2 per cent. of new housing benefit and council tax benefit claims would be affected. In absolute terms, this is approximately 3,000 housing benefit and 3,000 council tax benefit claims per year (in Great Britain). These figures may be subject to revision as more data become available and raw figures should be treated with caution given the nature of the data.
The information is not available in the format requested. Precise information on the time customers take to claim pension credit (known as backdating) is not routinely collected. The information in the following table estimates the possible maximum extent of backdating by examining the difference between the date of first payment and date at which entitlement begins. In some cases where payment starts after entitlement the delay will be due to processing times, evidence gathering and verification work which routinely accompanies claims for pension credit.
|Estimates of the number of claims for pension credit by backdating period between 2003 and 2006|
|Months of backdating||October 2003 to March 2004||April 2004 to March 2005||April 2005 to March 2006||April 2006 to March 2007|
1. Estimates of the number of claims by length of backdating period have been rounded to the nearest 10,000 cases
2. Care should be taken when interpreting the table. The Department does not routinely collect information on backdating periods and these have been estimated by comparing information on the date entitlement starts and the date pension credit is put into payment. Estimated backdating periods therefore include unknown periods of time that are due to processing, evidence gathering and verification work which routinely accompany every claim for pension credit.
3. Due to rounding the numbers of successful claims by period of backdating may not sum to the total number of successful claims.
4. There will be people flowing on to pension credit that will have zero backdating. These cases will be captured in the 0-3 month group.
Experimental statistics of pension credit on flows.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received in relation to the capacity, funding and equipment of the armed forces; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne [holding answer 9 May 2008]: I regularly receive representations concerning the capacity, funding and equipment of the armed forces. Ensuring that our armed forces have the capabilities they need to achieve the tasks we ask of them as safely and successfully as possible is my highest priority.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of the (a) armed forces, (b) Army, (c) Royal Navy and (d) Royal Air Force (i) are preparing to deploy on operations and (ii) have recently returned from operations. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Given the rotational nature of operational deployments, the proportion of RAF and Army personnel preparing to deploy on operations is broadly the same as the proportion that has recently returned from operations. For the RAF this is approximately 7 per cent. For the Army this is approximately 9 per cent. These figures include both Regular and Reserve personnel. Equivalent data for the Royal Navy could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of the (a) Army, (b) Royal Air Force, (c) Royal Navy and (d) Royal Marines were in breach of the guidelines on individual separated service at the end of the 2007-08 financial year. 
Less than 1 per cent. of RN/RM personnel were in breach of the single service guidelines.
10.3 per cent. of the Army were in breach of separated service guidelines. (This is a year on year improvement from 14.5 per cent. in 2005-06 and 13.4 per cent. in 2006-07.) The Army continues to monitor separated service with due diligence utilising directed recruitment and retention initiatives targeted at pinch point trades in particular.
9.2 per cent. of RAF personnel breached the single service guideline. This is a decrease of 0.8 per cent. on the previous quarter. There has been an increase over the past year due to changes in the reporting procedures that have brought the RAF into line with the RN and Army rather than an increase in commitments.
Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many military personnel had rehabilitation treatment at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court in each of the last five years; 
(2) how many service personnel had rehabilitation treatment at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court after their return from (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan in each of the last five years. 
Derek Twigg: Headley Court records the total number of patient episodes, i.e. the number of reviews (of which there may be many) of individual patients, as well as new patient referrals. The total numbers of such episodes over the last five financial years are shown in the following table:
These statistics require further explanation. Patient referrals cover a wide range of injuries. Furthermore, as well as serving as the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (its core task), Headley Court is also the Regional Rehabilitation Unit for London and Overseas.
Over the period covered by these statistics, there has been an increase in military operational tempo. This has led to an increase in patient activity overall and a more complex patient group requiring repeat admission to Headley Court. There have been changes in the balance between the numbers of patients requiring a ward bed and those who do not, including an increase in specialist clinics such as consultant-led visiting clinics and prosthetic clinics.
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