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Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what his Department's projections of the number of jobseeker's allowance claimants are for each month of the next three years; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what his Department's latest projections are for (a) unemployment and (b) claimant count in each month in each of the next three years, (i) in total and (ii) broken down by the lowest possible geographical area for which projections are available. 
Mr. McNulty: The Government do not publish forecasts of unemployment, on either an ILO or jobseeker's allowance claimant count basis, but the jobseeker's allowance expenditure forecast is based on the planning assumption published by HM Treasury in the pre-Budget report.
1. The figures quoted in the pre-Budget report are seasonally adjusted UK Claimant unemployment. This is a cautious assumption based on the average of external forecasts and is not the Treasury's economic forecast.
2. The pre-Budget report 2008 assumption can also be found at:
(p188. Table B1).
3. The planning assumption is used for budgetary planning at a national level, and is not disaggregated into sub-national areas.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (a) how much was spent on working-age recipients of jobseeker's allowance and (b) income support in each of the last 10 years. 
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many unprocessed jobseeker's allowance claims there were in each of the last six months, broken down by (a) region and (b) Jobcentre Plus district; what the average claim processing time was in each case; and if he will make a statement. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking how many unprocessed Jobseeker's Allowance claims there were in each of the last six months, broken down by region and Jobcentre Plus district and what the average claim processing time was in each case. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Jobcentre Plus calculates the number of unprocessed Jobseeker's Allowance claims on a monthly basis by carrying out a count across the benefit processing system on the last working day of the month. On any given day a small number of claims will be in transit between offices, so the count will slightly understate the total number of unprocessed claims.
The target for Jobseeker's Allowance Average Actual Clearance Time (AACT) is 11.5 days. This is calculated from the customer's initial date of contact to the date a decision is made on their claim. Our benefit processing system calculates the AACT by taking each claim's clearance time using the dates as described and calculates an average across the volume of claims processed.
A copy of the latest available information has been placed in the Library. Data is available to Benefit Delivery Centre level and I have also given a national figure. This data has not been available by Jobcentre Plus district level since April 2006.
Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) on how many occasions the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) took action (a) against insurance companies who failed to report settlement of personal injury claims to the CRU and (b) to recover benefits from insurance companies in (i) 2005, (ii) 2006 and (iii) 2007; 
(2) in how many personal injury cases the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) identified that insurance companies had failed to report settlement of a claim to the CRU in (a) 2005, (b) 2006 and (c) 2007; 
(3) what steps the Compensation Recovery Unit has taken to ensure that insurance companies report promptly all personal injury claims which are settled (a) out of court, (b) in court by negotiation and (c) by judgment. 
Kitty Ussher: The Compensation Recovery Unit have not identified any cases where insurance companies failed to report settlement of a claim. The Social Security Administration Act 1992 Section 110, gives DWP inspectors the right to examine the records of compensators and employers to verify that they are complying fully with the provisions of the Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997. We work closely with the Association of British Insurers and other insurance associations and we scrutinise claims. There has been nothing to date to indicate enforcement action is required on compliance, although we continue to monitor the position.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his latest estimate is of the cost to his Department of reimbursing participants in the Post Office Card Account tendering process for their reasonable bid costs. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research his Department has (a) undertaken and (b) evaluated on the number of cancer patients in poverty; and if he will make a statement. 
Our poverty statistics, published in the Households Below Average Income series, do not allow for a breakdown by illness type. Information is therefore not available for the number of cancer patients living in low income.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department's latest estimate is of the number of disabled children living below the poverty line in (a) the UK, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) England in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Figures for Scotland and Wales are not available due to sample size volatility, while data for the United Kingdom are only available from 2002-03. Figures for Great Britain are available for earlier years and have been provided.
|Number (million) of disabled children living in households below 60 per cent. of contemporary median household income (Before housing costs)|
| n/a = Not available.|
1. These statistics are based on households below average income data which is sourced from the Family Resources Survey.
2. Small differences should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response.
3. The reference period for households below average Income figures is single financial years.
4. 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' 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. Median incomes are used as the national average in the publication.
5. The figures are based on OECD equivalisation factors.
6. Figures have been presented on a before housing costs basis. For before housing costs, housing costs (such as rent, water rates, mortgage interest payments, structural insurance payments and ground rent and service charges) are not deducted from income, while for after housing costs they are.
7. Numbers of disabled children in low-income households have been rounded to the nearest 100,000 children.
8. The disability definition up to 2001-02 defines disability as having a long-term illness, disability or infirmity that limits the activity of the individual in some way. This definition changed from 2002-03 to be more in line with the Disability Discrimination Act's definition of disability which defines disability as having a long-term illness, disability or infirmity that leads to a significant difficulty with one or more areas of the individual's life. The change in the definition has only a very minor impact on the statistics.
Households Below Average Income.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question concerning what advice, support and assistance he is providing to people in Essex who are facing redundancy. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
We offer a wide range of support for people facing redundancy. This includes helping support employers to retain their staff through retraining; and encouraging staff to gain vocational qualifications to prepare for the economic recovery rather than having to make staff redundant. We work with partners such as Business Link (who have reduced many of their fees for Small and Medium Enterprises) and directing employers to Train to Gain for a business check-up and funding for training.
We also offer advice on how employees can claim benefits and support employers where they need to go into short time or temporary stop working and we are tailoring our advice to meet the their needs. We will also visit employees facing redundancy at their place of work to explain the support and benefits available to them. Employees can also access the vacancies we hold nationally by visiting our website at www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk or by telephoning us on 0845 6060 234 and by using the jobpoints at their local Jobcentre.
A strengthened Rapid Response Service was launched on 12 November, doubling national funding from £3 million to £6 million. The service is being promoted through relevant press and online. The pre-Budget report announced a further doubling of Rapid Response Service funding£12 million will be available in 2009-10.
Through the Rapid Response Service, Jobcentre Plus has access to funds to enable those individuals made redundant to receive the necessary help to get them back into work. Such measures could include:
Skills Transfer Analysis (to help identify an individuals transferable skills and training needs relevant to the local labour market);
Job-Focussed Training (to assist individuals with appropriate training and certification linked to employment or self-employment linked to the needs of the local labour market).
We work with partners such as Response to Redundancy who have access to funding via the East of England Development Agency to assist employees with re-training and CV writing. We can also arrange for a Business Link representative to advise staff on self-employment.
We have recently decided that our customers in Essex can have access to CV writing, Jobsearch advice and support through our Programme Centres immediately rather than waiting six months. We have also produced a leaflet for employers and partner organisations such as Business Link and local authority Economic Development Officers to ensure they are aware of the support we can provide.
In November we contacted 13 businesses to offer our assistance and support following notification of possible redundancies. Eleven accepted our assistance while two had already made provision for their staff to be redeployed within their own companies. Our staff visited and talked to five of these businesses and we sent copies of our Job Kits to the remaining six companies. Our Job Kit provides practical help and advice to employees when applying for jobs. We also issue employees with a leaflet that describes how to claim benefits, find work and re-train.
I have asked Neil Brettell, the District Manager for Essex, to meet with you to discuss the range of provision available in the Essex area.
Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assistance his Department plans to provide to the Woolworths workforce; and if he will take steps to ensure that Woolworths observes its statutory obligations with regard to its workforce. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what assistance his Department plans to provide to the Woolworths workforce; and if he will take steps to ensure that Woolworths observes its statutory obligations with regard to its workforce. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
When Woolworths went into administration Jobcentre Plus made contact immediately with the administrators and Woolworths management to prepare the Rapid Response Service support for any redundancies.
The key components of the Rapid Response Service are Skills Transfer Analysis, Job-Focused Training and the Action Fund. Jobcentre Plus will embark upon a Skills Transfer Analysis with former Woolworths employees to identify those with transferable skills and training needs relevant to their own local labour market. Where necessary, Job-Focused Training will be put in place for those requiring training or certification. Finally, should an individual have a personal barrier preventing them from taking up employment or training the Action Fund will be used to overcome that.
Jobcentre Plus has also ensured that each and every Woolworths employee will receive appropriate literature within their personal redundancy pack. This literature will provide advice on navigating the benefits system and introduce the various Jobcentre Plus services that will enable them to find alternative employment.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question concerning what the cost of processing (a) Jobseeker's Allowance and (b) Income Support benefits was in (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Information on the staff costs of processing new claims for each benefit is provided in the table below.
Jobcentre Plus Activity Based Management systems.
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