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18 Jun 2008 : Column 971W—continued

Departmental Vocational Training

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what proportion of its staff his Department has provided vocational training in the last three years. [209429]


18 Jun 2008 : Column 972W

Mrs. McGuire: The information requested in relation to what proportion of its Department has provided vocational training is the last three years is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Disabled

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research his Department has conducted to estimate the number and proportion of the UK population who will have a disability in the future. [210149]

Mrs. McGuire: Research is currently under way within the Office for Disability Issues to forecast the number and proportion of the UK population who will have a long-standing illness, impairment or disability in the future. This is a complex issue which involves making assumptions about the ageing population, medical innovation and other technical advances which all could potentially affect the estimate in the future.

Fairtrade Initiative

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 20 February 2008, Official Report, column 749W, on the Fairtrade initiative, (1) what fairtrade products are (a) available for purchase at his Department's staff catering facilities and (b) offered at official departmental meetings and engagements; [209009]

(2) what the value was of fairtrade products purchased at his Department’s staff catering facilities in each of the last three financial years; and what proportion of revenue this represented. [209010]

Mrs. McGuire: In line with Government policy, the Department is committed to fairtrade and ethical supply routes.

The Department's facilities management partner, Land Securities Trillium (LST) provides in house catering services where premises allow. Ethical procurement practices are a key factor in the contract.

Where practicable, LST purchases sustainable produce for sale on departmental premises. LST is actively working with the Fairtrade Foundation to develop its fairtrade product offer and support the marketing of fairtrade products.

The following fairtrade products are generally available for purchase at the Department's staff catering facilities:

Fairtrade tea and coffee is standard for official receptions and meetings.

The total value and proportion of revenue this represents, in respect of fairtrade products purchased at the Department's staff catering facilities for each of the last three financial years is shown in the following table:


18 Jun 2008 : Column 973W
Period covered (April to March) Total value of fairtrade product sales (£) Proportion of revenue (Percentage)

2005-06

200,500.00

2.3

2006-07

366,102.00

4.4

2007-08

650,858.75

8.8


Harrington Scheme

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what arrangements his Department has made for the availability of funding to the Harrington scheme in Hornsey and Wood Green constituency following the transfer of the relevant budget to local authority control; and if he will make a statement. [208263]

Kevin Brennan: I have been asked to reply.

The Department’s White Paper “Raising Expectations: Enabling the System to Deliver” laid out plans for transfer of funding for learning for 16 to 19-year-olds from the Learning and Skills Council to local authorities from September 2010.

As with the current system, under the new arrangement providers such as the Harrington scheme would continue to receive funding for young people to attend their provision whether or not they are resident in the local authority area where the provision is based.

National Insurance

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the longest period of time between application for and the issuing of a national insurance number has been in 2008 to date. [206096]

Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 16 May 2008]: The longest period of time between application for and the issuing of a national insurance number in 2008 to date is 96 working days.

Pension Credit: Leeds

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people received pensioners credit in Leeds West constituency in each year since the inception of the benefit. [209207]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The information requested is in the following table.


18 Jun 2008 : Column 974W
Number of households recipients and individual beneficiaries of pension credit in Leeds, West parliamentary constituency
November each year Household recipients Individual beneficiaries

2003

3,630

4,230

2004

4,480

5,330

2005

4,590

5,470

2006

4,670

5,580

2007

4,630

5,530

Notes:
1. The number of households in receipt are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Household recipients are those people who claim pension credit either for themselves only or on behalf of a household.
3. Individual beneficiaries includes both claimants and their partners.
Source:
DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent. data

Pension Disability and Carers Service: Finance

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was spent on the (a) creation and (b) branding of the Pension, Disability and Carers Service. [211131]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: There was no additional cost. The direct cost of creating Pension, Disability and Carers Service was £0.2 million, met from the combined pre-merger operating budgets of The Pension Service and the Disability and Carers Service. This cost represents 0.003 per cent. of the new Agency's annual operating budget. To date there has been no formal branding of the Pension, Disability and Carers Service as the two former agencies have retained their separate identities for providing their service to customers.

Social Security Benefits

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the Answer of 10 January 2008, Official Report, column 727W, on social security benefits, of those of working age and claiming incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance, how many initiated their claim (a) before and (b) in or after 1997, broken down by (i) region and (ii) parliamentary constituency. [198777]

Mrs. McGuire: The available information has been placed in the Library. In addition our analysis shows that only around 11 per cent. of those flowing on in 1997 are still claiming incapacity benefits today.

Social Security Benefits: Overpayments

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pension, (1) how much benefit overpayment resulting from (a) customer and (b) official error there has been in each year since 1997; what proportion of such payments related to 9i) income support, (ii) jobseeker’s allowance, (iii) income support and jobseeker’s allowance combined, (iv) pension credit and (v) housing benefit in each year; and what proportion of total payments of each benefit such overpayments represented in each year; [207301]

(2) how much overpaid benefit was subsequently recovered in each year since 1997, broken down by benefit. [207302]


18 Jun 2008 : Column 975W

Mr. Plaskitt: The information is only available in the requested format for those benefits administered by the Department for Work and Pensions. Housing Benefit is administered by local authorities and is not available in the same format.

The information is only available from 2001, and the data is rounded to the nearest £1 million where appropriate.

Overpayments in category (iii) above, Income support and Jobseeker's Allowance combined, are not recorded as a separate entity and data relating to those overpayments will be included in the benefit specific data.

Prior to April 2006, not all overpayments arising due to official error were formally calculated and recorded. Under an agreement with HM Treasury, known as Easements, these, along with small value overpayments not considered cost effective to pursue, were recorded separately on the basis of estimated values. The value recorded in the easements initiative in shown for each year—although this is not broken down by benefit.


18 Jun 2008 : Column 976W

Prior to 2005-06 overpayments identified by the Recovery from Estates Unit were recorded separately. (The unit is responsible for the recovery of overpaid means tested benefits identified after death following check of probate records.) Unfortunately, these cannot be broken down by benefit.

Otherwise, the data supplied is based on actual values of official error and customer error detected and recorded by the Department.

The Department also publishes estimates of overpayments in the Resource Account and in National Statistics publications.

Copies of two recent such reports: Fraud and Error in the Benefit System from April 2006 to March 2007, and Fraud and Error in the Benefit System from October 2006 to September 2007 have been placed in the House of Commons Library. These are based on detailed examination of a random sample of benefit claims and are an estimate of all error, whether it was detected by normal departmental processes or not. The differences in definition mean that the two sets of figures are not comparable.

2001-02
Customer Error Official Error
Value of overpayments ( £ million ) Percentage of total overpaid Percentage of total of each benefit paid Value of overpayments ( £ million ) Percentage of total overpaid Percentage of total of each benefit paid All overpayments as percentage of total each benefit paid

IS

190

64

1.3

6

23

0.04

1.4

JSA(C)

0.7

0.24

0.15

0.01

0.04

0.002

0.15

JSA(IB)

22

7

1

0.3

1

0.012

1

Other benefits

83

28

0.1

19

75

0.024

0.13

Total

296

(1)25

Note:
Amounts not captured:
(1)Estimated amount recorded in easements; £96 million
Recorded by the Recoveries from Estates team; £17 million.
Total overpayments recorded; £434 million.

2002-03
Customer Error Official Error
Value of overpayments ( £ million ) Percentage of total overpaid Percentage of total of each benefit paid Value of overpayments ( £ million ) Percentage of total overpaid Percentage of total of each benefit paid All overpayments as percentage of total each benefit paid

IS

175

64

1.2

5

26

0.03

1.3

JSA(C)

0.8

0.3

0.15

0.017

0.1

0.003

0.15

JSA(IB)

22

8

1

0.25

1

0.01

1

Other benefits

78

28

0.09

14

73

0.01

0.11

Total

275

(1)19

Note:
Amounts not captured:
(1)( )Estimated amount recorded in easements; £105 million.
Recorded by the Recoveries from Estates team; £19 million.
Total overpayments recorded; £418 million.

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