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Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what facilities jobcentres offer to deaf people who arrive to make enquiries (a) with and (b) without an appointment; and how many front-line jobcentre staff have qualifications in British Sign Language. 
The Secretary of State has asked Lesley Strathie to reply to your question asking what facilities Jobcentres offer to deaf people who arrive to make enquiries (a) with and (b) without an appointment; and how many front line jobcentre staff have qualifications in British Sign Language. I am replying on behalf of Lesley Strathie as acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Within Jobcentre Plus we recognise the diverse range of customers we serve and we are fully committed to providing equally accessible and available services to all customers.
Customers who are hearing impaired can obtain support from Jobcentre Plus in the following ways:
if a customer is able to use a hearing loop, we provide integrated and portable hearing loop facilities in each Jobcentre;
where customers prefer to have a qualified British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter present, the Jobcentre will arrange for an external interpreter to be present at the interview. We currently have four contracted providers that provide BSL interpreters nationally, or staff can use local qualified interpreters, lip speakers, or deaf blind interpreters; or
alternatively, customers can choose to bring friends, relatives or intermediaries to act as interpreting agents for them. If a customer provides their own professional qualified interpreter they can be reimbursed with reasonable costs.
We do not hold a central national database of staff who are qualified in BSL and this information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
Jobcentre Plus is committed to providing a first-class service and ensuring we fully support all our customers.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of recipients of backdated housing benefit had incomes below 60 per cent. of median income before housing costs (a) before and (b) after receiving backdated housing benefit in the most recent period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
|Housing benefit expenditure in Great Britain|
|Outturn (£ million)|
|Nominal terms||Real terms 2008-09 prices|
1. Information sourced from local authority claims for housing revenue account subsidy and housing benefit subsidy.
2. Figures to 2005-06 are taken from the final audited subsidy claims submitted to the Department by each local authority.
3. Figures for 2006-07 are not yet audited, and represent provisional outturn for the year.
4. Figures exclude asylum seekers from April 1999, since when the National Asylum Support Service has reimbursed DWP for benefits paid to asylum seekers.
DWP expenditure tables.
Benefit expenditure information is available online at
Local authority expenditure information is available online at
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what effects on his Departments costs are expected to arise from the changes to the eligibility criteria for income support taking effect in (a) October 2008 and (b) October 2009; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what effects on his Departments costs are expected to arise from the changes to the eligibility criteria for income support taking effect in October 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The estimated costs for implementing these changes are £9.2 million in 2008-09, £26.1 million in 2009-10 and £38.9 million in 2010-11, and will be met from the Departments spending settlement.
The impact on recurrent departmental costs of the changes to the eligibility criteria for income support are currently expected to be £2.8 million in 2008-09, £20.6 million in 2009-10 and £36.5 million in 2010-11. These costs are the current estimates and will be continually reviewed during implementation.
The Secretary of State has asked Lesley Strathie to reply to your question seeking details of how many Jobcentres have closed, in each region, in each of the last four years. I am replying on behalf of Lesley Strathie as acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Jobcentre Plus was created in April 2002 by the merger of the former Employment Service and Benefits Agency and has continued to refocus and transform the way it delivers its services. It now provides access to a wide range of services by telephone through Benefit Delivery and Contact Centres and provides face to face access for customers through a network of modernised Jobcentres.
The following table provides details of the customer facing Jobcentre Plus offices which were closed between 2004 and 2007.
|Customer facing Jobcentres closed since January 2004|
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of national insurance numbers issued to migrant workers in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: The most recent data available on national insurance numbers registered to adult foreign nationals are for the financial year 2006-07. Information on these registrations can be found in the report National Insurance Number Allocations to Overseas Nationals Entering the UK 2006-07 which has been placed in the Library and is available online at:
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 15 May 2007, Official Report, columns 643-44W, on the New Deal 50 plus, how many participants there were on the New Deal 50 Plus in each month since September 2006; how many participants there have been on each other New Deal programme since the inception of each; and how many of these were completing each course for the (a) first, (b) second, (c) third and (d) fourth or more time. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 25 June 2008]: Information on the number of current participants on New Deal 50 plus is not available. These statistics have been suspended while a review of the method for compiling New Deal 50 plus current participant figures is carried out.
Participants on New Deal for Young People and New Deal 25 plus who are claiming jobseeker's allowance are expected to follow a structured route through these mandatory New Deal programmes in order to continue receiving benefit. However, there is no strict definition of completing New Deal programmes as people can leave benefits and thus leave New Deal at any point.
Benefit recipients participating in New Deal more than once are more likely to enter employment from their second spell on the programme than their first, and from their third spell than their second. Each period on New Deal moves participants closer to the labour market.
|New DealNumber of individuals starting|
|Number of times individual participates|
|Number of individuals starting||First time||Second time||Third time||Fourth time or more|
|(1 )Information on starters and current participants for New Deal for Lone Parents are currently available to March 2007 only. Statistics after this period have temporarily been withdrawn pending a review of data that feeds into the statistics.|
(2 )Indicates nil or negligible.
1. Information on number of times people participate on New Deal 50 Plus is only available from January 2004.
2. Latest data are to February 2008, except for Lone Parents (March 2007see (1))
3. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
Information Directorate, Department for Work and Pensions
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