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John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to assist (a) workless households with children under five years of age and (b) families in relative poverty with children under five years of age; and if he will make a statement. 
Kitty Ussher: To help children, we must help their families. For most families, paid work is the most important route out of poverty. Accordingly, we have a support package of pre-employment and in-work support measures to help lone parents and couple parents move into work, make work pay, and help sustainability and progression in work. This includes the new deal for lone parents, the new deal for partners and the Governments 10-year Childcare Strategy.
Budget 2008 announced £125 million for pilots to test out new and innovative ways of tackling child poverty, over the next three years. The pilots will explore pioneering approaches to tackling child poverty, identifying those that deliver the best results and the most sustainable long-term impacts.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many and what proportion of three-to five-year olds were living in relative poverty in Leeds West constituency in each year since 1997; 
Kitty Ussher: Our child poverty statistics, published in the Households Below Average Income series, allow a breakdown of child poverty by Government office region. Information on the number and proportion of three to five-year-olds living in relative poverty is not available below the level of Government office region.
Data on the proportion of three to five-year-olds living in workless households are estimated using the Annual Population Survey (APS). As with any sample survey, estimates from the APS are subject to a margin of uncertainty as different samples give different results. As the group in question is very specific, the estimates are based on very small sample sizes. Therefore, the margin of uncertainty is very large for these estimates and they are deemed unreliable for practical purposes. It is not possible to provide estimates from 1997 to 2003.
The following tables show the number and proportion of children aged three to five living in workless working age households in the Leeds, West constituency for the period January to December in each year since 2004.
Accompanying each estimate is a confidence interval which means that from all samples possible there would be 95 per cent. certainty that the true estimate would lie within the lower and upper bounds.
|Number of children aged three to five in workless households in Leeds, West constituency, calendar years January to December in each year|
|Estimate||Lower bound||Upper bound|
|Percentage of children aged three to five in workless households in Leeds, West constituency, calendar years January to December in each year|
|Estimate||Lower bound||Upper bound|
| Notes: 1. Figures for households are based on working age households. A working age household is a household that includes at least one person of working agethat is a woman aged 16 to 59 or a man aged 16 to 64. Source: Annual Population Survey Household Datasets.|
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people who wish to work beyond retirement age in (a) Leeds West constituency, (b) the Leeds City area and (c) Yorkshire and Humberside region in each year since 1997. 
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what estimate has been made of the number of people who wish to work beyond retirement age in (a) Leeds West, (b) the Leeds City area and (c) Yorkshire and Humberside region in each year since 1997. I am replying in her absence. (228292)
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles employment statistics for local areas from the Annual Population Survey (APS) and its predecessor the annual Labour Force Survey (LFS) following International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions.
Estimates are provided for the number of people over statutory pension age (males aged 65 and over, females aged 60 and over) who stated they were available to work when surveyed. A respondent is classified as being available to work if they are unemployed and available to work, or employed.
Table 1, attached, shows the number of persons in employment and unemployment over statutory pension age in Leeds West, Leeds and the Yorkshire and the Humber region.
The estimates from 1998 to 2004 are for the 12 month period ending February that year and taken from the annual LFS. Figures for 2005 to 2008 are for the 12 month period ending March that year and taken from the APS.
As these estimates are for a subset of the population in small geographical areas, they are based on small sample sizes, and are therefore subject to large margins of uncertainty. A guide to the quality of the estimates is given in Table 1.
|Table 1: Number of people who are available to work( 1) beyond statutory pension age in (a) Leeds West, (b) Leeds and (c) Yorkshire and the Humber in each year since 1997.|
|12 months ending||Leeds West||Leeds||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|(1 )The number of people available to work is defined as those who responded either as being in employment or unemployed.|
(2 )Data are not available.
(3) Coefficients of variation have been calculated for the latest period as an indication of the quality of the estimates. See (4 )as follows.
(4 ) Guide to Quality:
The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of an estimate, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CVfor example, for an estimate of 200 with a CV of 5 per cent. we would expect the population total to be within the range 180-220.
Key Coefficient of Variation (CV) (%) Statistical Robustness
* 0 = CV < 5 Estimates are considered precise
** 5 = CV < 10 Estimates are considered reasonably precise
*** 10 = CV < 20 Estimates are considered acceptable
**** CV 20 Estimates are considered too unreliable for practical purposes.
Labour Force Survey and Annual Population Survey.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many callers were unable to speak to an operator about a Social Fund application in (a) the last quarter and (b) the last year for which figures are available. 
Kitty Ussher [holding answer 23 October 2008]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus. 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 how many callers were unable to speak to an operator about a Social Fund application in (a) the last quarter and (b) the last year for which figures are available. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
The information requested is not available. The current telephony management data does not tell us how many customers do not get through to an officer.
Jobcentre Plus are rolling out an advanced telephony system which will be completed at the end of April 2009 at which time we will look at producing telephony reports that provide this information.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the reasons why applications for Social Fund (a) community care grants decreased by 9.2 per cent. and (b) budgeting loans decreased by 11.3 per cent. between 2007 and 2008; and if he will make a statement. 
Kitty Ussher: No assessment has been made of the reasons for the decreases in applications for Social Fund community care grants and budgeting loans. Applications for community care grants and budgeting Loans vary from year to year. Numbers have decreased previously and subsequently risen.
|Number of individuals in receipt of state pension|
1. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Some additional disclosure control has also been applied.
2. Figures are taken at February for each year.
DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases of pensioners potentially entitled to lump sum payments of backdated retirement pension through payment of Class 3
National Insurance contributions his Department has identified to date in the special exercise that is underway; how much has been paid out in such lump sums to date; to how many people; when he expects to complete this exercise; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 27 October 2008]: The special exercise is due to be completed in December 2009. To date 4,917 pensioners have been identified with the potential to benefit from paying class 3 national insurance contributions. A further 1,580 pensioners have been identified who could potentially benefit from paying class 3 national insurance contributions and from home responsibilities protection. These pensioners are being contacted and given the option of whether to pay class 3 national insurance contributions. There are also 771 pensioners identified who could benefit from home responsibilities protection only. So far arrears of £13,650.28 state pension have been paid to nine pensioners who benefited from home responsibilities protection.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department plans to extend the right of women to buy retrospective national insurance contributions in order to qualify for a state pension. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government have considered a range of options to help individuals who have gaps in their National Insurance contribution records to purchase additional voluntary Class 3 National Insurance contributions. We propose to allow individuals who are eligible to purchase voluntary Class 3 National Insurance contributions to buy an additional six years over and above those permitted under the current time limits. The time limited proposal will apply to those who reach State Pension age between 6 April 2008 and 5 April 2015 and who already have 20 qualifying years (taking into account Home Responsibilities Protection) on their National Insurance record.
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