Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on visits by its staff to Brussels in 2007-08; and how many such visits were made by (a) air and (b) rail. 
|Return trips to BrusselsApril 2007 to March 2008
Jonathan Shaw: The Family Resources Survey does not define full-time and part-time carers. However, it does collect information on the number of hours people provide care. Information about the percentage of adult carers providing care for 35 hours or more and less than 35 hours who are also in receipt of benefits is in the following table.
|Percentages of carers who receive benefits
|Total hours providing care
|Not in receipt of any benefits
|In receipt of benefits
1. Carers are defined as people involved in the provision of any regular service or help to someone in or outside their household who is sick, disabled or elderly.
2. This only covers adult carers. Adults are all individuals aged 16 and over, unless defined as a dependent child. A dependent child is defined as those aged under 16 and those aged 16 to 19 providing they are: not married nor in a civil partnership, living with their parents and either in full time non-advance education or unwaged Government training.
3. 35 hours is the minimum hours of care that need to be supplied to qualify for Carers Allowance.
4. The Family Resources Survey collects information on the incomes and circumstances of private households in the United Kingdom. The Family Resources Survey is a nationally representative sample, covering approximately 26,000 households in 2006-07, the latest survey year.
5. The estimates are based on sample counts that have been adjusted for non-response using multi-purpose grossing factors which align the Family Resources Survey to Government Office Region populations by age and sex. Estimates are subject to sampling error and remaining non-response error.
Family Resources Survey, 2006-07
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of the letter from the Chair of the Health and Safety Commission to local authority chief executives in 2004 on memorial safety. 
Jonathan Shaw: The letter sent from the Chair of the Health and Safety Commission to local authority chief executives on 1 June 2004 has been placed in the Library. The Health and Safety Executive continues to stress the need for a sensible, proportionate and risk-based approach to managing memorial safety. The Health and Safety Executive is supporting the Ministry of Justice and representatives from across the burial industry in finalising guidance on how to manage the risk associated with unstable memorials. It is expected that the advice will be published and circulated in the next few weeks.
Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff in the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission are employed in its face-to-face service; and what training they have received. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will break down by (a) parliamentary constituency and (b) local authority the debt owed to the Child Support Agency in each of the last five years. 
Kitty Ussher: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested and arrange for a copy of the table to be placed in the Library.
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will break down by (a) parliamentary constituency and (b) local authority the debt owed to the Child Support Agency in each of the last five years. 
Such information as is available is included in the tables which have been placed in the Library, which show the total debt owed by non-resident parents by Parliamentary Constituency and Local Authority for cases held on the CS2 computer system. This information is not available for cases held on the CS2 computer system prior to 2007 and is not available for any of the cases held on the CSCS computer system.
Child maintenance debt is owed by non-resident parents as a result of their failure to meet their financial responsibilities to their children. Some non-resident parents do their utmost to avoid these responsibilities, for example by moving house or changing jobs whenever the Child Support Agency tries to collect maintenance. Over its 15 year life, the Agency has collected and arranged over £7.5 billion in child maintenance with over £1 bn collected in the last year alone.
The Agency has been successful in slowing significantly the rate at which debt accrues. In the twelve months to March 2008, debt grew by an average of £10 million per month half the rate of accrual for the year to March 2006.
The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act strengthens the range of enforcement and debt management powers available to the new Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission. These will enable the Commission to recoup more effectively outstanding debt.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of Child Support Agency payments have been paid (a) incorrectly and (b) late in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) parents with care and (b) non-resident parents the Child Maintenance Option Service contact centre has assisted with (i) benefit cases and (ii) other cases since July 2008. 
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department has taken to improve its arrangements for co-ordination with other Government Departments of policy affecting coastal towns in the last two years. 
The Department for Work and Pensions works closely with a range of other Departments on policy affecting people in coastal towns. This includes working in partnership with the regional development
agencies coastal towns network to improve analysis and evidence on the challenges and opportunities facing coastal towns as well as exploring the scope of local area agreements, and possibly multi-area agreements, as strategic mechanisms for improving coastal town regeneration outcomes. The Department is also closely involved in work examining employment and skill levels and what can be done to improve outcomes in these areas.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the rate of staff (a) absence and (b) sickness absence was in (i) his Department and (ii) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies in each year since its inception; what the target rates set for his Department are in each case; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies spent on external consultancy in each year since its inception; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: Details of the Department's total expenditure on external consultancy for each year from ifs inception in 2001-02 is provided in the following table. Separate figures of expenditure by agency are not available. The Department's non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) procure consultancy separately via their own de-centralised procurement functions and related details of expenditure are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|DWP external management and IT consultancy spend from 2001-02 (inclusive of VAT)
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many employees in his Department took early retirement in each of the last five financial years; and at what total cost. 
|Staff taking early retirement
Figures for 2003-04 do not include The Rent Service.
Information on total cost of early retirements could only be provided by checking individual staff records as the Department's accounting systems do not differentiate between the costs of early retirements (staff aged over 50) and early severances (staff aged under 50). This would be possible only at a disproportionate cost.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) memory sticks, (b) laptop computers, (c) desktop computers, (d) hard drives and (e) mobile telephones were (i) lost and (ii) stolen from his Department in each year since 1997. 
Kitty Ussher: The following table shows the number of (a) memory sticks, (b) laptop computers, (c) desktop computers, (d) hard drives and (e) mobile telephones which were recorded as lost or stolen, together with the average number of employees of the Department in each of the relevant years to 31 December. Information is not available for the years prior to 2001, and such details could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
|(a) Memory sticks
|(b) Laptop computers
|(c) Desktop computers
|(d) Hard drives
|(e) Mobile telephones
|(1) Figure relates to the former Department of Social Security only.