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6 Oct 2008 : Column 67W—continued

Jobseekers Allowance

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what assistance is available to a person claiming jobseekers allowance with (a) a mental health condition and (b) a drug or alcohol addiction; [203270]

(2) what assessment he has made of (a) the availability and (b) the ability actively to seek work of jobseekers allowance claimants who have (i) a mental health condition and (ii) an alcohol or drug addiction; [203271]

(3) what mandatory requirements there are for a person with (a) a drug addiction or (b) an alcohol addiction claiming jobseekers allowance to seek treatment as a condition of receiving benefit; [203273]

(4) what mandatory treatment programmes there were for a person with (a) a drug addiction or (b) an alcohol addiction claiming jobseeker’s allowance. [203274]

Mrs. McGuire: A person must be available for and actively seeking work in order to be eligible for jobseeker’s allowance. A person can restrict his or her availability for work on grounds of a medical condition. This restriction could, for example, relate to the type of work or the hours they are available, but active search for employment must continue. When, as the result of a
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health problem, someone cannot meet these conditions, their claim for jobseeker’s allowance cannot continue and he or she would normally claim incapacity benefit instead, or other benefits appropriate to their individual circumstances.

Jobcentre Plus Disability Employment Advisers work with customers who need more extensive support because of their health condition. They can offer help in finding work and advise customers about a range of specialised support available such as Workstep, Work preparation and Residential Training colleges and Access to Work.

Jobseeker’s allowance customers with a history of drug and alcohol misuse can volunteer for early access to the new deal gateway in order to take advantage of the more intensive support on offer. Under the flexible new deal, which will replace the mandatory new deals from October 2009, service providers can decide to offer condition management programmes as part of the tailored back to work action plans drawn up for longer term jobseeker’s allowance customers.

We do not currently require drug or alcohol abusers to seek treatment as a condition of receiving benefit.

In our Welfare Reform Green Paper “No-one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility” (column 7363) we announced that we will explore the case for introducing a new regime for problem drug users which provides more tailored and personalised support than is currently provided by the existing incapacity benefit or jobseeker’s allowance regimes. In return for benefit payments, claimants will have a responsibility to move successfully through treatment and into employment.

Currently people with a drug addiction have access to support through the “progress2work” initiative which is a national programme for those on any working-age benefit recovering from drugs misuse. Participants are helped with the range of their problems, such as debt, housing or family breakdown. For alcohol misusers we offer “progress2work linkup” in about half of Jobcentre Plus districts.

Jobseekers Allowance: Young People

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether any children under the age of 16 years received jobseeker's allowance payments in each year since 1997. [221688]

Mr. Plaskitt: No. Children under the age of 16 are not entitled to receive jobseeker's allowance in their own right.

Motability: Finance

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the budget for the Motability scheme was in each year since 1997. [224090]

Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 17 September 2008]: Motability is an independent charitable company which is responsible for the Motability scheme. The Government do not provide any direct funding to the scheme.

Motability also administers the Specialised Vehicles Fund on behalf of the Government. This provides grants towards the cost of specially adapted vehicles for
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disabled people. My Department will contribute £19.996 million this year towards the cost of adaptations and administration costs.

Motability: Fraud

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many cases of fraud or misuse of the Motability scheme (a) were recorded and (b) led to cancellation of car hire contracts in each year since 1997; [224089]

(2) how many people used the Motability scheme in each year since 1997. [224091]

Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 17 September 2008]: Motability is an independent charitable company and is responsible for the administration of the Motability scheme.

The information in the following table has been provided by Motability.

Number of customers using the scheme Allegations of fraud or misuse recorded and investigated Contracts cancelled as a result of fraud or misuse



Not available

Not available



Not available

Not available





































2008 (forecast)




1. Consistent and reliable records of the numbers of cases of possible fraud or misuse being recorded and investigated, and of the resulting numbers of customer contracts cancelled, are only available from 1999 onwards, after Motability established a centralised team to handle such matters in 1998.
2. The fall in the number of contracts cancelled as a result of misuse between 2003 and 2005 resulted from an increase in the standard mileage allowance in 2003 (hence fewer customer contracts being cancelled for unpaid excess mileage bills) and from an improved approach to “fair wear and tear” standards, especially for damage associated with mobility aids (fewer contracts being cancelled for cars falling outside of the condition standards).
3. The increase in customer contracts being cancelled since 2005 has resulted from a stronger focus on appropriate sanctions for customers using cars in any criminal activity or using cars outside of the insurance rules (e.g. allowing uninsured drivers).

Pathways to Work

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 16 June 2008, Official Report, column 733W, on employment and support allowance, how many benefit recipients have found work following participation in Pathways to Work; what the average expenditure under the programme per job for each such participant has been since inception; and what forecast he has made of the number of people expected to find work as a result of planned spending on Pathways to Work for each of the next three years. [216776]

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Mr. Timms: At the end of April 2007, 94,230 individuals were recorded as having participated in Pathways to Work and subsequently entering work. This number relates to job entries from both mandatory and voluntary customers. The historical cost per job in Pathways to Work is around £2,500.

Planned spending is £300 million in 2008-09, £390 million in 2009-10 and £400 million in 2010-11. Figures provided, particularly for 2009-10 and 2010-11, are indicative allocations based on current assumptions and are subject to change.

We do not formally forecast Pathways jobs, which depend on a range of factors including macroeconomic conditions and other policy changes.

Pension Credit

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of pensioners eligible for the savings pension credit who have not claimed their entitlement. [222522]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Latest estimates of the take-up rates, the number of pensioners who were entitled to but not claiming pension credit and the amount of pension credit unclaimed in Great Britain were published in the “Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up in 2006-07” report. A copy of this report is available in the Library.

Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Cleethorpes constituency received pension credit in each year since 2003. [222786]

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

N umber of households recipients and individual beneficiaries of pension credit in Cleethorpes parliamentary constituency
November Household recipients Individual beneficiaries
















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.
DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent data

Pensioners: Council Tax

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell of 24 June 2008, Official Report, column 188W, on pensioners: council tax, how many pensioners living in poverty were liable to pay council tax at the full rate in 1997. [222971]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The information is not available in the form requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

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Pensions: Councillors

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether, under the terms of personal accounts, local authorities will be required to contribute to councillors’ pensions in those areas which do not offer access to the Local Government Pension Scheme and in those cases where the councillor has not opted out of the scheme. [222988]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: As elected officials rather than employees of a local authority, councillors will not fall within the definition of worker that underpins the definition of jobholder. Councillors will therefore be beyond the scope of the forthcoming workplace pension reform.

Post Office Card Account

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether a person who has a bank account is permitted to open a Post Office card account; and if he will make a statement. [223743]

Mr. Plaskitt: Yes, they are.


Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what arrangements have been made for the continued employment of the Remploy workers whose work contracts at the Wirral Unilever plant have been lost; and if he will make a statement. [224474]

James Purnell: 31 employees have lost their contracts at Wirral Unilever. All employees will be offered help and support to find alternative employment through Remploy's Employment Services. Information about the outcomes of the employees is in the table.

Remploy Wirral Unilever workers outcomes
Number of workers Outcome


Applied for Voluntary Redundancy. Will have support from Remploy Employment Services in finding alternative employment if they wish to.


On Annual Leave (it is believed the employee wants to take Voluntary Redundancy)


Transferred to a position with Remploy Employment Services


Returning to Remploy Birkenhead factory


Supported by Employment Services to find alternative employment. Will conduct intensive job searching activity over the next three months.



Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of any materials his Department has distributed to schools in the last three years. [222551]

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Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions has not distributed any materials to schools during the last three years.

The DWP primarily delivers benefits and services to citizens of working age and of state pension age. While we do have early school leavers of 16 and 17 years who may be eligible for social security benefits, these individuals approach the Department direct.

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