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Mr. Timms [holding answer 15 September 2008]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the reasons that Maternity Allowance work has been centralised into four Benefit Delivery Centres. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
The decision to centralise Maternity Allowance (MA) formed part of the wider agenda to centralise processing of all benefits in order to improve their delivery and realise efficiencies.
For the benefits with larger caseloads, Incapacity Benefit, Jobseekers Allowance, and Income Support, it was possible to centralise this work in 78 sites across Great Britain. But because of smaller number of recipients we needed fewer sites if the benefits of economies of scale and consistency were to be realised in the centralisation of MA. We also decided that in order to avoid the need for redundancies we would use the centralisation of MA and other benefits to locate work in potential redundancy hotspots.
This resulted in the centralisation of MA into the four Benefit Delivery Centres of Yeovil, Wrexham, Hanley and Bury St Edmunds in the spring.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the Written Ministerial Statement of 9 May 2008, Official Report, column 44WS, on national insurance numbers, what estimate he has made of (a) the number of national insurance numbers held by partners of legitimate benefit claimants who do not have a right to be in the UK and (b) how many such partners have obtained benefits themselves; and what steps he is taking to revoke the national insurance numbers held by such partners. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 16 May 2008]: The information needed to make an estimate of the number of national insurance numbers held by partners of legitimate benefit claimants who do not have a right to be in the UK is not available.
The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 excludes persons subject to immigration control from income-related and other non-contributory social security benefits. Foreign nationals who do not have a right to be in the UK are subject to immigration control and therefore do not qualify for those benefits in their own right.
A national insurance number does not itself confer any rights to benefits or access to services and the current practice is for a national insurance number, once allocated, not to be revoked except in specified circumstances.
Mr. Plaskitt: The Department undertakes rigorous checks on the identity of all adult national insurance number applicants and only when it is satisfied with the identity of an individual will a number be allocated.
|Occasions when an individual has initially been issued more than one national insurance number|
|Number of cases|
1. Source data is Management Information.
2. Figures relate to calendar years.
3. Figures for 2008 relate to the period 1 January to 30 June 2008.
4. Figures relate to the year the NINO was cancelled from the DWP IT records.
5. The figure for 2007 is disproportionately high as it reflects an IT problem which occurred during the transfer of NINO accounts from the former Departmental Central Index (DCI) to the improved Customer Information System (CIS). The problem was immediately rectified. The figure for 2007 (excluding these IT problem cases) is 562.
As mentioned in PQ/08/206330, we also identified earlier this year as part of the Security Industry Authority NINO checks that a small number of NINOs (25) had been incorrectly issued to individuals who did not have the right to work. However, this was due to a temporary misunderstanding and quickly rectified.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have been enrolled on the New Deal for Disabled People since its inception (a) nationally and (b) in West Lancashire. 
Mr. Timms: Since the inception of new deal for disabled people in July 2001, 293,770 individuals have started it nationally and 550 people have started it in West Lancashire parliamentary constituency.
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. The latest data are to February 2008.
Department for Work and Pensions, Information Directorate.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to develop skills training for parents participating in the New Deal for Lone Parents; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: Lone parents who participate in new deal for lone parents can voluntarily access work-related training which is tailored to their individual requirements and takes into account their previous experiences, skills and the type of work they are looking for.
In our Green Paper No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility (Cm 7363), published on 21 July 2008, we set out options to support more lone parents to develop their skills and move into employment. These included requiring lone parents to take part in a skills health check when their youngest child turns five, pilots to evaluate mandating them to relevant skills training to address any identified skills gaps as well as encouraging lone parents with younger children to voluntarily develop the skills they need to find work.
From late 2010, lone parents with a youngest child aged seven or more will no longer be eligible for income support. They will instead be able to apply for jobseeker's allowance (JSA) or employment and support allowance if they have a disability or health condition. Those who receive JSA for six months or more will be able to take part in full-time employment-related training for up to eight weeks while receiving a training allowance. Lone parents will still be able to access new deal for lone parents for the first 12 months of their JSA claim.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 24 April 2007, Official Report, columns 1095-6W, on New Deal schemes, if he will provide equivalent figures for (a) the New Deal for Disabled People and (b) each other New Deal programme for each month since August 2006. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 25 June 2008]: Since its launch in 1998 the New Deal has led a major transformation in employment support for people in Britain. Since its introduction New Deal has helped 1.97 million people into work. 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.
Information on the number of current participants on New Deal 50 plus and New Deal for Disabled People is not currently available. These statistics have been suspended while a review of the method for compiling current participant figures is carried out.
Current participant figures for New Deal for Lone Parents are available to March 2007. Figures for the period from April 2007 are not currently available as a result of the identification of a problem with the data which are used to compile the statistics. Figures for the period after April 2007 will be released as soon as possible.
|New Deal Participants (individuals)( 1)|
|Month||New Deal for Young People||New Deal 25 Plus||New Deal for Lone Parents( 2)||New Deal for Partners|
|n/a = Not available.|
(1) Latest data are to November 2007.
(2) Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
Information Directorate, Department for Work and Pensions.
|Number of participants who have participated more than once||Number of participants who have gained a job( 1)|
|(1) Latest information on number of individuals who have gained a job is up to November 2007.|
(2) Latest data are to February 2008, except for New Deal for Lone Parents number of participants to participate more than once where information is as of March 2007.
(3) Information for New Deal for Disabled People on number of times a person participates and number of individuals who have gained a job is available from July 2001.
(4) Information for New Deal 50 Plus on number of times a person participates is available from January 2004; number of individuals who have gained a job is available from April 2003.
(5) Information for New Deal for Partners on number of times a person participates and number of individuals who have gained a job is available from April 2004.
Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
Information Directorate, Department for Work and Pensions.
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