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10 Nov 2008 : Column 908Wcontinued
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much council tax benefit subsidy was paid to local authorities in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Scotland in each year since 1999. 
Kitty Ussher: The information is in the table.
|Council tax benefit subsidy paid to local authorities: Great Britain|
|£ million (nominal terms)|
1. Information sourced from local authority claims for council tax benefit subsidy.
2. Figures for 2006-07 and 2007-08 are not yet fully audited, and represent provisional out-turn for the year.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what speaking engagements (a) he and his predecessor and (b) Ministers in his Department have attended in the last 12 months; and at whose invitation. 
James Purnell: This information requested is not readily available and could be supplied only at a disproportionate cost to this Department. Attendance at speaking engagements by Ministers is undertaken in line with the guidance and principles set out in the ministerial code.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of those receiving the mobility component of disability living allowance and declaring (a) Parkinson's disease, (b) renal disorders, (c) skin diseases, (d) stroke-related conditions and (e) other debilitating conditions have had their awards reassessed in the last 12 months. 
Jonathan Shaw: The information is not available.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington on 20 October 2008, Official Report, columns 6-7, how many of the additional staff recruited to administer the employment and support allowance will be customer-facing; how many will work on a (a) full-time and (b) part-time basis; how many will be on (i) fixed term and (ii) permanent contracts; in which offices they will work; and from what regions they have been recruited. 
Mr. McNulty: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the acting chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Mel Groves. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington on 20th October 2008, Official Report, columns 6-7, how many of the additional staff recruited to administer the employment and support allowance will be customer-facing; how many will work on an (a) full-time and (b) part-time basis; how many will be on (i) fixed term and (ii) permanent contracts; in which offices they will be working; and from what regions they have been recruited. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Jobcentre Plus has not recruited additional staff specifically to administer Employment and Support Allowance. We have, however, recruited additional customer facing staff so that experienced staff could be released to undertake the training required to deliver Employment and Support Allowance. In total 2125 people were recruited. This breaks down into:
Jobcentre Plus offices: 818
Contact Centres: 325
Benefit processing: 982
Information broken down in to full and part-time or contract type could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
A breakdown by Region/Country is included the table below.
|Contact centres||Benefit processing||Jobcentre plus offices|
All Employment and Support Allowance claims will be taken in one of the six Contact Centres that will handle Employment and Support Allowance customers claims. This accounts for Wales, South East and London showing 0 for Employment and Support Allowance Contact Centres.
I hope this information is helpful.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the Government plans to publish its response to Dame Carol Blacks review of the health of the working population; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: We are not yet in a position to confirm the publication date of the Governments response to Dame Carol Blacks review of the health of the working age population.
We expect to publish the response by the end of the year.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was paid in housing benefit in respect of tenants of local authority-owned properties in each month in 2007-08; and how much has been paid in each month in 2008-09 to date. 
Kitty Ussher: Monthly housing benefit expenditure information in respect of local authority tenants is not available.
The provisional out-turn for 2007-08 housing benefit expenditure in respect of local authority tenants is £5,452 million. The provisional out-turn for the total housing benefit expenditure for the same period is £15,732 million.
Information for 2008-09 is currently not available.
1. Information sourced from local authority claims for housing revenue account subsidy and housing benefit subsidy.
2. Figures are not yet audited, and represent provisional out-turn for the year.
3. Figures are total amounts paid to beneficiaries, irrespective of the source of funding, and include benefit spending reimbursed by DWP, spending on rent rebates financed within local authorities housing revenue accounts, and benefit spending financed from local authorities general funds.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the national average number of days taken by local authorities to process new housing benefit claims was in the latest period for which figures are available; and which 10 local authorities took the (a) most and (b) least average time to process such claims. 
Kitty Ussher: The national average number of calendar days taken by local authorities to process new housing benefit claims was 27 days in 2007-08.
The 10 local authorities that took the most time to process such claims in 2007-08 were: Weymouth and Portland, Newcastle upon Tyne, London borough of Hounslow, Blyth Valley, Blackpool, London borough of Ealing, East Devon, Rother, Luton, and Isle of Anglesey.
The 10 local authorities that took the least time to process such claims in 2007-08 were: St Albans, South Norfolk, Maidstone, Crawley, Tendring, South Lanarkshire, Fenland, Sedgemoor, Chiltern, and Cannock Chase.
1. Housing benefit claim processing times are measured in calendar days from the day a claim is received to the date a decision is made.
2. Claim processing performance data are supplied to DWP by local authorities and is un-audited.
3. Not all local authorities provide all four quarters worth of datawhere a local authority has not provided data in a particular quarter, the data they have provided are multiplied to cover the appropriate period; this is then used to calculate the national average.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of non-means tested awards of incapacity benefit had a duration of (a) less than 13 weeks, (b) between 13 weeks and 28 weeks, (c) between 28 weeks and one year, (d) between one and two years, (e) between two and three years and (f) more than three years in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Jonathan Shaw: Incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance are wholly non-means tested benefits. The available information is in the following table.
|Proportions of incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claims by duration|
|February 2008 (percentage)|
1. Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.
2. Durations refer to the latest award only.
DWP Information Directorate100 per cent. WPLS
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what alternative financial support will be available to drug users who have had their access to out-of-work benefits restricted for failing to complete drug treatment under the terms of the Government's Drug Strategy 2008 to 2011. 
Mr. McNulty: The 2008 drug strategy Drugs: protecting families and communities published in February, gave a commitment to explore the case for introducing a new regime which provides more tailored and personalised support than that which is currently provided by the existing incapacity benefit and jobseeker's allowance regime and that in return for benefits payments, claimants will have a responsibility to move successfully through treatment and into employment.
A new regime for problem drug users was proposed in the welfare reform Green PaperNo one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility, Cm 7363, which was published in July.
The public consultation has recently closed and we are currently considering representations received. We will respond to the consultation in due course.
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