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Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many and what proportion of claimants on the New Deal for Partners Programme in each (a) region and (b) Jobcentre Plus district entered immediately into sustainable employment on leaving the programme in each month since May 2007; 
(2) how many and what proportion of leavers from the New Deal for Partners Programme in each (a) region and (b) Jobcentre Plus district entered immediately into sustainable employment on leaving the programme in each month since May 2007; and if he will make a statement. 
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost of the New Deal for Partners Programme was in each (a) region and (b) Jobcentre Plus district in each year since it was established; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: Data are currently collected centrally on the performance of Pathways to Work providers but as this is classified as Commercial in Confidence this information is not published. A full evaluation of Provider Led Pathways to Work is due to commence in 2009 and these results will be published.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on what legal justification his Department based its decision to (a) terminate the tender process for the Post Office card account and (b) award the contract for the Post Office card account to the Post Office. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 11 December 2008]: The decision to end the tender process and to award a contract to the Post Office was taken in accordance with domestic and European Union law including the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 and EU Directive 2004/18/EC.
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many and what percentage of children in each age group in (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency and (b) the London Borough of Bexley were living in absolute poverty in each year since 1997; 
(2) what his Department's latest estimate is of the number of disabled children living below the poverty line in (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford and (b) the London Borough of Bexley in each of the last 10 years. 
Our child poverty statistics, published in the Households Below Average Income series, only allow a breakdown of the number of children in relative or absolute poverty at Government office region level or for inner or outer London. Information is therefore not available at parliamentary constituency or local authority level.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many unprocessed applications for (a) crisis loans, (b) budgeting loans, (c) community care grants, (d) disability living allowance and (e) severe disability living allowance there were at the end of each quarter of the last five years (i) in total and (ii) in each of the smallest geographical areas for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
|Crisis loan gross expenditure in Great Britain|
Figures include gross expenditure made after review.
Annual reports by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the Social Fund.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average processing time for (a) jobseeker's allowance, (b) housing benefit, (c) crisis loan, (d) community care grant and (e) budgeting loan applications was in (i) each of the smallest geographical areas for which information is available and (ii) nationwide in each quarter of each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will review the tariff incomes schedule in means-tested benefits and pension credit following the recent reductions in base interest rates. 
Although the capital limits that apply when calculating tariff income are kept under continual review they can be increased only when priorities and resources allow. The tariff income rules are not intended to represent any rate of return that could be obtained from investing capital. They provide a simple method of calculating the weekly contribution that people with
capital in excess of £6,000 (or £10,000 if in a care home) are expected to make from those resources to help meet their normal living expenses. As there is no link with actual market rates, deductions remained unaltered throughout the period of rising interest rates, just as they have done more recently, when interest rates have been lower.
Jonathan Shaw: The Medical Services Referral System is the IT system used to manage referrals for work capability assessments (WCAs), while the logic integrated medical assessment is a tool developed to support health care professionals carrying out WCAs. It uses rules derived from evidence-based medical protocols to guide healthcare professionals into making logical decisions.
The WCA is made up of the limited capability for work, limited capability for work related activity (LCW/LCWRA) and the work focused health related assessment (WFHRA). The LCW/LCWRA assessment will take on average approximately 43 minutes to complete and the WFHRA, where required, will take on average 30 minutes. However, both are independent medical assessments and the time taken will vary according to individual customer needs.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to increase awareness of the potential benefits of appointeeship among people with mental illness and their carers. 
Jonathan Shaw: Appointees only apply in a limited number of cases. The Department has a range of procedures in place to make customers and their carers aware of the provisions which allow the Secretary of State to appoint a person to act on behalf of another. For example, the employment support allowance information leaflet and claim form gives clear advice on appointeeship. Where claims are taken over the phone by the Pension Service systems are in place to identify those customers who have difficulty managing their own affairs. Local service staff would consider appointeeship at all visits where it appeared appropriate.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the conclusions of his Department's consideration of the European Court of Justice's ruling on exportable disability benefits were; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: People who are already receiving disability benefitsdisability living allowance care component, attendance allowance or carer's allowancewhen they leave the UK to live in another European Economic Area state or in Switzerland can continue to receive the benefits, subject to certain conditions. The rules are set out on the Directgov website at:
We are still considering the implications of the European Court's decision for people who are UK citizens but who live in another European Economic Area state or in Switzerland and who wish to claim a disability benefit. We will publish the criteria for awarding the benefits on the Directgov website as soon as the details have been finalised.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many expatriate UK citizens have sought payment of exportable benefits following the ruling of the European Court of Justice on 18 December 2007. 
Jonathan Shaw: Since the date of the judgement we have received around 1,700 requests for payment of disability living allowance (care component), attendance allowance and carer's allowance from people who previously lived in the United Kingdom and are now living in another European Economic Area state or Switzerland.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of bids for services from the rapid response service were (a) accepted and (b) rejected in each region in each year since the service was established; what proportion of those rejected were rejected as a result of (i) funding constraint and (ii) employers and employees not meeting eligibility criteria in each such (A) region and (B) year; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for which charities his Department has provided funding of more than £100,000 in each of the last three years; and how much was given to each. 
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of households in (a) Cheadle constituency and (b) Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council area which will be eligible for cold weather payments if the temperature falls below the level which triggers payment of the allowance in 2008-09. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 11 December 2008]: The estimated number of households eligible for cold weather payments is not available by local authority or parliamentary constituency, but only by weather station.
The Government welcomes the progress that Azerbaijan is making towards meeting the conditions for joining the WTO. Following on from the bilateral negotiations between Azerbaijan and WTO members and the meeting of the Azerbaijan WTO accession working party in Geneva in the week beginning 8 December, the Government looks forward to further substantial progress to allow WTO accession to happen as soon as possible.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the US administration on behalf of Mr. Binyam Mohamed in respect of his detention in Guantanamo Bay. 
Bill Rammell: Following the Governments request for Mr. Mohameds release and return in August 2007 we have actively pursued his case with all levels of the US Government. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has discussed Mr. Mohameds case with Secretary of State Rice on a number of occasions and senior officialsincluding our ambassador in Washingtonhave had regular discussions with their counterparts in the Departments of State and Defence and the National Security Council to take forward the request for his release and return.
In addition to our ongoing efforts to secure Mr. Mohameds release and return from Guantanamo Bay, these engagements have included representations on his welfare, his allegations of mistreatment, and strenuous efforts to ensure that his lawyers were able to access the information they sought via judicial review in the English courts through the US legal system. UK officials also conducted a welfare visit to Mr. Mohamed in Guantanamo Bay in July.
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