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25 Nov 2008 : Column 1390W—continued


Sixth decile Seventh decile Eight decile Ninth decile Top decile Median income

1996-99

230

270

319

396

606

212

2004-07

308

354

411

503

747

289

Notes:
1. The information shown is for the United Kingdom for 2004-07, and Great Britain for 1996-99.
2. The income measures used to derive the estimates shown employ the same methodology as the Department for Work and Pensions publication 'Households Below Average Income' (HBAI) series, which uses disposable household income, adjusted (or "equivalised") for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living.
3. The income distribution is based on pensioners only.
4. Based on survey data and as such subject to a degree of sampling and non sampling error.
5. This response includes incomes for the lowest deciles of the population. These figures are not national statistics and caution must be applied because those people stating the lowest incomes in the FRS may not actually have the lowest living standards.
6 The quintiles and deciles are derived using OECD equivalisation factors.
7. Weekly income amounts have been rounded to the nearest whole pound and are given in 2006-07 prices.

Poverty: Children

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children in Hemel Hempstead were living in absolute poverty in (a) 1997 and (b) 2008; and what percentage of all children living in absolute poverty this represented in each year. [238101]

Kitty Ussher: The information requested is not available.

Our child poverty statistics, published in the Households Below Average Income series, only allow a breakdown of the number of children in absolute poverty at Government office region level. Information is therefore not available at parliamentary constituency level.

Social Fund

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many grants of (a) crisis loans, (b) budgeting loans and (c) community care grants were made by Jobcentre Plus in each month of the last 10 years to applicants (i) of working age and in work, (ii) of working age and out of work and (iii) above state pension age. [226222]

Kitty Ussher: Information on initial awards to applicants of working age cannot be split into those in work and those out of work. The available information has been placed in the Library.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many applications for (a) crisis loans, (b) budgeting loans and (c) community care grants were made to Jobcentre Plus in each month of the last 10 years to applicants (i) of working age and in work, (ii) of working age and out of work and (iii) above state pension age. [226223]

Kitty Ussher: Information on applications processed from people of working age cannot be split into those in work and those out of work. The available information has been placed in the Library.


25 Nov 2008 : Column 1391W

Social Security Benefits

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) research and (b) analysis his Department has conducted on rates of (i) sickness and (ii) disability benefit claims in (A) coastal towns and (B) principal seaside towns in comparison with average rates for the UK; and if he will make a statement. [238297]

Jonathan Shaw: We have not conducted any research or analysis about the rates of sickness and disability benefit claims in coastal towns and principal seaside towns in comparison with rates for the rest of the UK.

Social Security Benefits: Reform

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the White Paper on welfare reform will be published. [237839]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 20 November 2008]: We are currently considering responses to the formal consultation on the Green Paper ‘No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility’. The consultation ended on 22 October and we will respond as soon as possible.

State Retirement Pensions

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the number of people who would be affected by an increase in the state pension age to 70 by 2020. [231830]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Anyone born after 5 April 1959 will be affected by the further increase in state pension age from 65 to 68 between 2024 and 2046. This increase is broadly in line with projected increases in average life expectancy and is a sensible response to the demographic challenge we face today. At the same time, it maintains at a roughly constant level the same proportion of adult life spent in retirement.

It would not be feasible to increase state pension age to 70 by 2020 without giving those affected sufficient notice, particularly those within 10 years of the equalised state pension age of 65. The number of people affected would depend on how and when the increase was to be implemented and the cohorts of future pensioners it was to apply to.

Vocational Training: South Yorkshire

Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which industries have been allocated employment training funding in (a) South Yorkshire, (b) Rotherham and (c) Barnsley in each of the last five years. [231318]

Mr. McNulty: The requested information is not available.

Written Questions: Government Responses

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he plans to answer question 229579 tabled by the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire on 23 October 2008, on restarting of child maintenance payments. [236054]


25 Nov 2008 : Column 1392W

Kitty Ussher [holding answer 17 November 2008]: I replied to the hon. Member's question on 13 November 2008, Official Report, column 1302W.

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Bankruptcy: Greater London

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 11 November 2008, Official Report, column 1122W, on bankruptcy: Greater London, if he will provide equivalent information for (a) 1979, (b) 1992, (c) 1997 and (d) each of the first two quarters of 2008. [237450]

Mr. McFadden: The information requested is not available. The number of bankrupt individuals broken down by age and separately by region is only available from 2000 to 2007, and equivalent figures for 2008 will be available in 2009.

Departmental Disciplinary Proceedings

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what sanctions are available in cases of departmental staff found to have committed disciplinary offences; and how many times each has been used in each of the last three years. [230199]

Mr. McFadden: The current sanctions available in cases of departmental staff found to have committed disciplinary offences are as follows:

The Department’s procedures were revised in June 2007. Prior to June 2007, as part of the disciplinary process, other sanctions were also available depending on circumstances.

The following table how many times each sanction was used in each of the last three years.

2006 2007 2008 to date

Formal/Final Warning

8

2

2

Dismissal

7

9

6

Other

14

24


Departmental Publications

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform for what reasons his Department’s annual report was published on the penultimate sitting day of Parliament before the summer recess. [223895]

Mr. McFadden: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform publishes a combined annual report and accounts. The deadline for publication of combined departmental annual reports and accounts is summer recess.


25 Nov 2008 : Column 1393W

Departmental Training

Mr. Hands: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the Answer of 11 November 2008, Official Report, column 1125W, on departmental training, what the (a) duration and (b) cost was of the training received by the Secretary of State. [238430]

Mr. McFadden: The training lasted under an hour and was delivered from within existing internal resources at marginal cost.

Energy Supply: Competition

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent discussions he has had with (a) Ofgem and (b) the Competition Commission on the operation of the energy market; and if he will make a statement. [224255]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 17 September 2008]: I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met with the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority on 22 May 2008. Furthermore, on 18 August 2008 he wrote to Ofgem asking for their views on the possibility of requiring the accounting separation of vertically integrated energy companies in order to improve transparency in the energy markets.

My right hon. Friend has had no recent meetings with the Competition Commission on the operation of the energy market.

Energy: Coatbridge

Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many people in Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill constituency are living in fuel poverty; and if he will make a statement. [225961]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: I have been asked to reply.

The Department does not hold this information. Fuel poverty is a devolved responsibility, and while we compile estimates of fuel poverty at an overall UK level, collection of statistics for each country is undertaken by each devolved office.

EU External Trade

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions the Secretary of State has had with the EU Commissioner for Trade since his appointment; and what matters were discussed. [235158]

Mr. McFadden: The Secretary of State met the EU Commissioner for Trade on 14 October 2008 for a general handover of the Trade Commissioner's portfolio and on 24 November 2008 for a general discussion of trade issues.

Fireworks: Children

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent steps the Government has taken to reduce the risk of children having access to fireworks. [234758]


25 Nov 2008 : Column 1394W

Mr. Thomas [holding answer 12 November 2008]: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) undertakes annual communication activity to promote firework safety.

This year’s campaign highlights the fact that it is illegal for under 18s to possess fireworks in a public place, and specifically targets shopkeepers reminding them that it is illegal to sell fireworks to under 18s.

Fireworks: Safety

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent steps the Government has taken to publicise the dangers of fireworks. [234757]

Mr. Thomas [holding answer 12 November 2008]: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) undertakes annual communication activity to promote firework safety. This year's activity comprised:

Fisheries: Compensation

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform when he expects to complete his review of cases in the Icelandic Fishermen’s Compensation Scheme; and when he expects to pay those people ruled by the Ombudsman to be eligible for payment but not yet paid. [225553]

Mr. McFadden: I have been looking in recent months at the eligibility criteria and rules of the trawlermen scheme, to see whether changes to the rules might better fulfil the policy intentions of the scheme. I hope to make a statement shortly.


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