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Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Vale of York of 26 July 2007, Official Report, columns 1519-20W, on floods: housing, what progress has been made on the Environment Agencys flood defence schemes announced in the 2005 medium term plan with a construction start in 2006-07 and with a construction spend in 2006-07 of greater than £250,000; and what the status of each scheme is. 
Joan Ruddock: Under the powers included in the Climate Change Bill, up to five local authorities in England will be granted permission to pilot incentive schemes for people to reduce, reuse and recycle waste.
The councils will be able to come forward with schemes to fit local circumstances, but they must be approved by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and follow clear guidelines set out in legislationincluding having checks and balances in place for residents. As part of these schemes, those throwing away the least would receive a rebate and those throwing away the most could pay more. Local authorities will have to pay back to residents overall any money they collect from them as part of the pilots.
To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has received since June 2007 from the leaders of political parties in Northern Ireland (a)
supporting and (b) opposing the extension of the Abortion Act 1967 to Northern Ireland; what response was given to those representations; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: The views of the leaders of the political parties in Northern Ireland are a matter for them. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the right hon. Member for North Antrim (Rev. Ian Paisley) at Prime Minister's Questions on 26 March 2008, Official Report, column 183.
Mrs. May: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality pursuant to the answer of 6 May 2008, Official Report, column 806W, on departmental responsibilities, when the Government plan to issue a formal response to the consultation on the equality Bill's proposals. 
Barbara Follett: The Government have been developing policy in light of the responses to consultation on the equality Bill's proposals. A formal response to the consultation will be issued as soon as policy proposals have been finalised and agreed.
Barbara Follett: Views on multiple discrimination were received in response to the Government's consultation on proposals for the equality Bill. These are currently being considered and will be included in the Government's response to the consultation which will be issued in due course.
Mrs. May: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality with reference to the answer of 13 September 2004, Official Report, columns 1022-23W, on the Department of Trade and Industry, what progress has been made in meeting the Government's target for 45 per cent. of large organisations to undertake pay reviews by April 2008; and if she will make a statement. 
Barbara Follett: In 2005 the Equal Opportunities Commission found that 34 per cent. of large employers had carried out equal pay reviews. Its successor body, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has recently commissioned a similar survey the findings of which will enable the Government Equalities Office to assess progress towards he 45 per cent. target. Closing the pay gap is a high priority for this Government and is one of the indicators in the new Equality Public Service Agreement (PSA 15).
Mrs. May: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what steps the Government Equalities Office has taken with the Office of the Mayor of London to address equality issues concerning London. 
Barbara Follett: The Government Equalities Office (GEO) works with the Office of the Mayor of London, other local authorities and the Government Office Network on a range of equality matters. For example, the GEO held a number of meetings with the Greater London Authority as part of the Equality Bill consultation process and the Minister for Women and Equality spoke to them about 'Women in London's Economy' on 28 February 2008.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how much his Department paid in housing benefit to (a) working age households and (b) working age households in receipt of out-of-work benefits in each year since 1997, broken down by (i) constituency, (ii) local authority and (iii) Government Office region; 
(2) how much his Department paid in council tax benefit to (a) working age households and (b) working age households in receipt of out-of-work benefits in each year since 1997, broken down by (i) constituency, (ii) local authority and (iii) Government Office region; 
(3) how much his Department paid in out-of-work benefits plus housing benefit and council tax benefit to working age households in receipt of out-of-work benefits in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) parliamentary constituency, (b) local authority and (c) Government Office region. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average length of a repayment schedule agreed by the Child Support Agency was in the last period for which figures are available. [Official Report, 30 June 2008, Vol. 478, c. 5MC.] 
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive. As the Chief Executive is currently on annual leave, I am responding, with his authority, on his behalf.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average length of a repayment schedule agreed with the Child Support Agency is. 
Robust information on the length of arrears repayment schedules is not held centrally and to obtain it would involve additional examination of all relevant cases. The information required to answer this question cannot therefore be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.
The Agency has introduced tougher enforcement measures through its Operational Improvement Plan, launched in April 2006. If the Agency cannot secure immediate repayment in full from the non-resident parent, it aims to reach agreements that will see arrears paid back within two years wherever possible.
The Agency collected or arranged more than £1 billion in maintenance in the twelve months to March 2008, of which £126m was arrears. This is almost twice the £68 million of arrears collected in the year to March 2006 before the full introduction of the Operational Improvement Plan.
People applying for pension credit by telephone can access CTB (and housing benefit) at the same time, using a shortened three-page claim form which is completed for them during the phone call. Customers only have to provide information once. The income and savings information supplied for the pension credit application is used for the CTB claim.
From October 2008, we will dispense with even the short claim form for claims made in this way. The Pension, Disability and Carers Service will collect the CTB claim information and pass it direct to the local authority for assessment.
The Department for Work and Pensions has also run promotional campaigns in each of the last five years to increase awareness of CTB. In March 2008, regional press advertising was used to promote uptake of CTB, with greater focus in areas where our data suggests take up may be low. We also provided marketing materials promoting CTB to local authorities to be included in council tax bills.
Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10 and some additional disclosure control has also been applied.
DWP Information Directorate 100 per cent. WPLS
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking which Local Authorities have been consulted on proposed Jobcentre Plus office closures. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Jobcentre Plus has undergone significant transformation over the last 5 years. During this transformation our approach to closure of a customer-facing Jobcentre Plus office has been to take into account, for example, the impact closure may have on customer service, whether the work and staff can be relocated and what the savings might be in relation to the costs of closure. Consultation with local stakeholders is an integral part of the planning process and we are committed to full consultation with our customers, partner organisations, Local Authorities, Trade Unions and staff, and local Members of Parliament in advance of implementing site closures.
I attach a list of Jobcentre Plus offices that received ministerial approval for closure following consultation and a copy has been placed in the Library. The list includes the relevant Local Authorities consulted.
I am also gathering information on offices that are either currently undergoing consultation on proposed closure or have recently completed a closure consultation exercise and will send you a further response with these details by the end of May 2008. These details will also be placed in the Library.
Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to reply to the letter of 30 April from the hon. Member for Walsall North regarding a constituent and the Child Support Agency. 
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much revenue was (a) generated by Remploy from the sale of goods and services and (b) generated by sales from each Remploy factory, in each of the company's last 10 financial years. 
|Revenue generated by Remploy from the sale of goods and services (annual turnover)||Grant in aid paid to Remploy by sponsoring Government Departments|
Remploy annual report and accounts
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