|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) whether the provision of additional flexibilities in the Social Security (Lone Parents and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2008 for those lone parents who face circumstances that need special consideration will include those who home educate out of necessity rather than choice; 
(2) what provision has been made in the Social Security (Lone Parents and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2008 for those lone parents who home educate their children out of necessity rather than choice; what estimate he has made of the number of children who are home educated out of (a) necessity and (b) choice; and if he will make a statement. 
Kitty Ussher: The proposed Regulation changes will not apply to lone parents who: are in receipt of Carer's Allowance; have a child for whom they are receiving the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance; foster children. These lone parents will be exempt and continue to be eligible for Income Support.
Lone parents in these circumstances who are also home educators are included in this group. Those lone parents who do not qualify for exemption and are capable of work will have to claim Jobseeker's Allowance, where they will be required to actively seek and be available for work of at least 16 hours a week.
However, it is recognised that lone parents who home educate may face unique and varied circumstances. Therefore we are ensuring that Jobcentre Plus Personal Advisers will have the appropriate training and guidance to deal with home educators when they make a claim for Jobseeker's Allowance. This will include making use of the proposed additional flexibilities to the Jobseeker's Allowance regime where the individual circumstances of home educators make this necessary. In addition home educators, like all other lone parents, will not be penalised if they have good cause for not taking up a job and the availability and suitability of childcare will be central to such a decision.
As there is no requirement for parents to register as home educators there are no official statistics on the number of children who are being home educated. Therefore, it is not possible to provide any breakdown of lone parents who home educate whether through necessity or choice. Research carried out by York Consulting in 2006 estimated that around 20,000 children from all types of families were then registered with their local authority as being educated at home. We recognise that the figure could be substantially higher.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of Jobcentre Plus's capacity to implement the reforms outlined in the Social Security (Lone Parents and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2008; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: We have made a comprehensive assessment of Jobcentre Plus's capacity to implement the changes and are satisfied that the plans Jobcentre Plus has in place will enable the organisation to manage the change. Plans include: additional resources to manage the move of lone parents from Income Support on to other benefits; supporting lone parents in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance; communicating with staff; and learning and development for staff.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what procedures he has put in place to ensure Jobcentre Plus considers individual circumstances on a case by case basis, with particular reference to cases of lone parents seeking special consideration under the Social Security (Lone Parents and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2008. 
Mr. McNulty: Lone parents impacted by these changes will be invited to an interview, six weeks before they are due to lose their income support, where they will be provided with specific advice and support to move into work or claim another benefit. Those who subsequently claim jobseekers allowance will have a further meeting with an adviser to agree a Jobseekers Agreement, which sets out the sort of work they will look for, their hours of availability and when they need to attend the Jobcentre to confirm they have been available for and actively seeking work. At this meeting the individual circumstances of each lone parent will be considered. Those who claim employment and support allowance will have a series of six work-focused interviews to help them focus on what work they are able to do.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of (a) incapacity benefit claimants and (b) long-term unemployed who are actively seeking work; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average income was of farms in (a) Ribble Valley, (b) Lancashire and (c) England in each of the last 10 years. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 13 November 2008]: Farm income figures are not available for the Ribble Valley. The following table shows average farm business income per farm in (a) Lancashire and (b) England for 2003-04 to 2007-08, the years for which it can be calculated. To provide a longer time series the earlier income measure of net farm income, which adjusts all farms to a tenanted basis, is shown for the last 10 years.
|Average net farm income||Average farm business income|
Farm Business Survey
Farm business income represents the financial return to all unpaid labour (farmers and spouses, directors(1), non-principal partners and their spouses and family workers) and on all their capital invested in the farm business, including land and buildings.
(1) Paid directors are treated in the same way as unpaid labour, i.e. their wages are not deducted in the derivation of FBI.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a)
lowest, (b) highest, (c) median and (d) mean time taken to process claims made under the 2007 Single Payment Scheme was. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 10 November 2008]: While some preliminary checks on claims under the Single Payments Scheme (SPS) can be completed in advance, the full range of processing checks can only be undertaken once all applications have been received following the closure of the SPS application window on 9 June. The regulatory payment window then opens on 1 December and during 2007 RPA made the first payments to farmers on 10th December. This period between 9 June and 10 December therefore represents the shortest period within which applications were processed to completion during the 2007 SPS scheme year.
Each SPS case is individual and validated as soon as possible. Some will take longer than others, for example if they involve businesses that transfer land and entitlements every year, or have energy crops which require confirmation of processing before payment can be made, and which may not become available until February or March. There are still a number of 2007 payments outstanding for legal reasons, predominantly involving the settlement of probate.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) lowest, (b) highest, (c) median and (d) mean monetary value of claims under the 2007 Single Payment Scheme was. 
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many single farm payment claims under 250 euros he expects to receive in respect of the years (a) 2008, (b) 2009, (c) 2010, (d) 2011 and (e) 2012. 
Jane Kennedy: The number of single payment scheme (SPS) claims under 250 euros for the SPS years 2008 to 2012 will depend on the number of claims submitted and fully validated within that payment category.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on the consultation process on new codes of practice on the welfare of (a) cats, (b) dogs and (c) equines. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 11 November 2008]: The total cost of DEFRA's consultation exercise on the three codes of practice is estimated to be in the region of £10,000. This covers pay and administration costs.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on research for the consultation on (a) The Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats, (b) The Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs and (c) The Code of Practice for the Welfare of Equines. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many badger re-location licences have been (a) granted and (b) rejected by each of his Department's offices in each of the last three years. 
Although some applicants choose to specify what action they wish to take in their licence application, the actual licensed action is often different following careful discussion with Natural England of the circumstances of the case and the available management options. For this reason, statistical records relating to the applicants initial proposed solutions are not kept.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the existence of rabies in the live bat population; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: European bat lyssaviruses (EBLVs) 1 and 2, commonly referred to as bat rabies, are two strains of rabies-related lyssaviruses found in bats across northern Europe. Since 1986 DEFRA has tested over 9,000 dead bats for EBLV and to date only eight infections with EBLV type 2 have been confirmed in bats in the UK.
Combined data from studies undertaken in 2003-2006, indicate that the overall prevalence of antibodies to EBLV-2 in Daubenton's bats in England is estimated to be about 2 per cent. The presence of antibodies indicates that they have been exposed to the rabies virus at some time during their lives.
Jane Kennedy: Detailed information is not held centrally. As estimated from the impact assessment (carried out in 2007 as part of the consultation exercise for the transposition of the Batteries Directive) 900 tonnes of portable batteries are recycled. There are no figures available with regard to portable batteries for preceding years.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|