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16 July 2008 : Column 466W—continued


Table 2: Numbers on a full-time equivalent basis
Business area July 2006 May 2008 Reduction

Jobcentre Plus

71,048

65,607

5,441

The Pension Service

13,667

10,884

2,783

Disability and Carers Service

6,527

5,489

1,038

Pension Disability and Carers Service(1)

20,194

16,373

3,821

Child Support Agency

11,405

9,531

1,874

The Rent Service

650

563

87

The rest of DWP

10,794

9,613

1,181

DWP total(2)

114,092

101,688

12,404

(1) The Pension Service and Disability and Carers Service came together on 1 April 2008 to form a new agency called the Pension Disability and Carers Service. Figures for both elements of the new agency are included for completeness.
(2) Totals may not sum due to rounding of individual lines.

Departmental Official Cars

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which make and model of car he has chosen as his Ministerial car to be provided by the Government Car and Despatch Agency. [217766]

Mrs. McGuire: The Prime Minister sets the criteria for cars for use by Ministers. Currently, Cabinet Ministers may choose either a diesel powered Jaguar XJ or a Toyota Prius hybrid. Other Ministers may also choose from a Toyota Prius, a Honda Civic hybrid or any other suitable car with a CO2 emission of 185g/km or less.

The Secretary of State has chosen the Toyota Prius hybrid as his ministerial car.


16 July 2008 : Column 467W

Departmental Security

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many departmental identity cards or departmental passes have been reported lost or stolen by staff in (a) his Department and (b) each of its executive agencies in the last 24 months. [215612]

Mrs. McGuire: The arrangements for the issue and management of identity passes that give access to the Department's premises have been outsourced to a service provider. The Department and its agencies operate from several hundred premises across the UK, and no central records are held by the service provider or the Department of the numbers of passes which are reported lost or stolen, and it would be disproportionately expensive to obtain this information. Employees are required to report all lost or stolen passes to the Department immediately, and to the police where appropriate, so that local management can determine any increased vulnerability to security, and take the necessary action.

Departmental Sick Leave

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many working days have been lost due to sickness among employees for which his Department and its predecessor were responsible for each year since 1997. [218036]

Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was created in July 2001. The figures prior to this date relate to absence levels in the Department of Social Security (DSS) Group, the main predecessor to the DWP.

The available information is contained in the following table. The source of the information is the Cabinet Office's annual report titled ‘Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service’. Working days lost (WDL) due to sickness are available only for 2005, 2006 and 2007. We have therefore provided the average working days lost per staff year for each of the years from 1997 to 2007.

Total working days lost (WDL) Average working days lost (AWDL)

2007

1,094,018

10.3

2006-07(1)

1,361,196

11.1

2005

1,233,162

10.1

2004

9.6

2003

11.6

2002

10.8

2001

11.1

2000

11.0(2)

1999

10.9(2)

1998

10.8(2)

1997

12.2(2)

(1) Financial year 2006-07 all other years figures are shown in calendar years.
(2) DSS Group only.

Departmental Written Questions

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many days it took on average to answer written parliamentary questions tabled by each hon. Member for answer by him in the last six months. [201764]

Mrs. McGuire: The information requested has been placed in the Library.


16 July 2008 : Column 468W

Disadvantaged: Rural Areas

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many recommendations in the Commission for Rural Communities report, England's rural areas: steps to release their economic potential, within his Department's areas of responsibility his Department intends to implement; and if he will provide a timetable for implementation. [217702]

Mrs. McGuire: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer given to him by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Jonathan Shaw), on 7 July 2008, Official Report, column 1204W.

Early Retirement

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of (a) men and (b) women who were required to take early retirement in (i) Leeds West, (ii) Leeds Metropolitan District, (iii) Yorkshire and Humberside and (iv) England in each of the last 10 years. [215404]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: I regret that the Department for Work and Pensions does not possess the data in a form which enables me to answer this question.

Fuel Poverty

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent tackling fuel poverty among heating oil users in each of the last 10 years; and how much it plans to spend in the next 12 months. [217598]

Mr. Woolas: I have been asked to reply.

The following tables set out the number of heating jobs and associated spends for oil heating jobs in each scheme year carried out through the Warm Front scheme since this measure was incorporated into the scheme in June 2005.

It should be borne in mind that around 15 per cent. of allocated oil jobs do not progress to completion through unfulfilled client contribution requests.


16 July 2008 : Column 469W
Measure category Households Total cost (£) Average (£)

Scheme year 2005-06

Boiler replacement oil

57

192,926.80

3,384.68

Oil central heating

98

363,772.56

3,711.96

Heating repair oil

9

5,489.55

609.95

Total

164

562,188.91

3,427.98

Scheme year 2006-07

Boiler replacement oil

802

2,795,894.92

3,486.15

Oil central heating

705

2,735,750.73

3,880.50

Heating repair oil

56

54,436.45

972.08

Total

1,563

5,586,082.10

3,573.95

Scheme year 2007-08

Boiler replacement oil

1,206

4,400,894.12

3,649.17

Oil central heating

614

2,318,599.12

3,776.22

Heating repair oil

120

256,242.47

2,135.35

Total

1,940

6,975,735.71

3,595.74

Overall total

3,667

13,124,006.72

3,578.95

Scheme year 2008-09 (expected)

All jobs

2,400

9,158,400

3,816


Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on fuel poverty amongst heating oil users. [217600]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department for Work and Pensions works closely with a number of Government Departments, including the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, on a broad range of measures aimed at tackling fuel poverty. Regular meetings are held at both official and ministerial level.

Fuel Poverty: Part-time Employment

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assistance his Department is giving to people in part-time work to meet their fuel bill payments; and if he will make a statement. [215406]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: A person in part-time work may be eligible to receive winter fuel payments if they satisfy the qualifying conditions. Payments are made to most persons aged 60 or over and ordinarily resident in Great Britain to help with their fuel bills during the winter months. Payments are worth up to £200 for persons aged 60-79 and up to £300 for persons aged 80 or over. In winter 2008-09, we will make an additional payment alongside the winter fuel payment. Persons aged 60-79 will receive up to £50 and persons aged 80 or over up to £100.

Additionally, a person in part-time work may be eligible to receive cold weather payments if they satisfy the qualifying conditions when the temperature criteria are met for their postcode.

Housing: Low Incomes

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of how much and what proportion of private rented accommodation in (a) Southend-on-Sea local authority area, (b) Essex county council area and (c) Southend West constituency is available at or below the median rent established by the Rent Service for the relevant rental market area; and if he will make a statement. [217922]

Mr. Plaskitt: The requested information is not available.

The Rent Service publishes information about broad rental market areas and local housing allowance rates online at

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will make it his policy to publish information on the level of benefit reductions experienced by those local housing allowance claimants resident in (a) Southend-on-Sea and (b) Essex who move address; who he consulted before introducing this policy; and if he will make a statement; [217923]


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