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12 Mar 2009 : Column 688Wcontinued
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much expenditure was incurred in respect of overseas visits which (a) he, (b) other Ministers in his Department and (c) his Departments senior officials undertook in 2008. 
Jonathan Shaw: Since 1999, the Government have published a list of all overseas travel by Cabinet Ministers costing over £500. Information for the financial year 2007-08 was published on 22 July 2008, Official Report, column 102WS and for the first time, included details of overseas visits undertaken by all Ministers. All travel by Ministers is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code.
The information regarding senior officials could be provided only at disproportionate costs. All travel is undertaken in guidance with the Civil Service Management Code with the requirement to make efficient and cost effective travel arrangements.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what costs relating to the introduction of the employment and support allowance were incurred by the Ministry of Justice with reference to the budget transfer of £1.45 million from the Department for Work and Pensions as announced in the written ministerial statement of 12 February 2009, Official Report, columns 116-9WS, on department expenditure limits. 
Mr. McNulty: The Department of Work and Pensions is not able to provide information on costs incurred by the Ministry of Justice.
The Department of Work and Pensions transferred £1,455,000 to the Ministry of Justice as part of the Spring Supplementary Estimate 2008-09 (HC221). The funding was provided to support operating costs incurred by the Ministry of Justice resulting from the introduction of Employment Support Allowance (ESA).
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the contribution of the Minister of State of 12 February 2009, Official Report, column 1567, when he plans to write to the hon. Member for South-West Bedfordshire on the National Insurance Fund; and if he will place a copy of the letter in the Library. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [ holding answer 27 February 2009 ]: The letter was sent to the hon. Member, and arrangements made to place a copy in the Library, on 9 March 2009.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what research his Department has undertaken into the amount of interest pensioners (a) are able to earn and (b) are earning on their savings; 
(2) what research his Department has undertaken on the effects of the economic downturn, on pensioners income from savings. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Departments main source of information on the incomes received by pensioners is the Pensioners Incomes Series, based on Family Resources Survey data. This includes analyses of income from savings and its contribution to total income. Latest information relates to 2006-07.
The Government remain committed to supporting pensioners during these difficult times. The key changes the Government have recently made to support pensioners are as follows:
The Government are providing support through increasing the basic state pension, against a backdrop of falling inflation, in line with the highest level of inflation last year. It will increase by 5 per cent. or £4.55 a week, to £95.25 per week from this April.
In 2008-09, the Government provided extra help to pensioners through additional payments of £50 for households with someone aged 60-79 years and £100 for those with someone aged 80 or over made alongside the winter fuel payment.
The Government also provided extra help to pensioners through a one-off boost of £60 to the Christmas bonus.
Furthermore, the Government have increased cold weather payments from £8.50 to £25 for each week of cold weather in winter 2008-09.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have taken out a stakeholder pension. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not available in the form requested. Such information as is available, is as follows.
Figures published by the Association of British Insurers for the quarter ending December 2008 show the total number of stakeholder pension policies sold since their inception in 2001 as being 4.9 million. This figure includes people buying a new stakeholder pension, plus those transferring funds from another pension arrangement. The Association of British Insurers cannot provide a breakdown of this figure.
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has held discussions with European Union counterparts on sun tanning equipment safety issues in the last two years; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: There have been no such discussions.
Derek Conway: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the length of the 24-month supported-employment period for people with some types of disabilities within the Workstep programme; 
(2) what recent representations he has received in favour of the extension of the Workstep programme beyond 24 months for people with certain categories of disability. 
Jonathan Shaw: Currently there is no 24-month supported employment period for any disabilities within the Workstep programme. The length of support for each individual is tailored to their particular needs. Therefore no consideration has been given to extending this period.
Derek Conway: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many representations he has received on the effectiveness of the Workstep programme. 
Jonathan Shaw: Between 2005 and 2006, we conducted two pieces of research. The first, in July 2005 considered user and provider views, and involved 57 customers of Workstep and 49 provider staff from 31 provider organisations. The second, in March 2006 was a case study of 17 Workstep provider organisations exploring the design, delivery and performance of the Workstep programme.
In addition, from December 2007 to March 2008 we ran an extensive consultation exercise on proposals to introduce a new programme to replace Workstep and other programmes. This attracted over 450 responses. One of the questions covered in the consultation exercise related to replacing Workstep with a single new specialist disability employment programme. Several public reports have also been published over the last few years identifying the need for improvements to existing disability employment provision.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to answer Question 249132,
on answers to parliamentary Questions, tabled on 14 January 2009. 
Jonathan Shaw: I replied to the hon. Members question on 4 March 2009. Official Report, column 1613W.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding his Department has allocated to support for (a) food aid programmes in developing countries in Africa in each of the last 10 years and (b) the development of agriculture in such countries in each such year. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Spending on (a) food aid programmes and (b) for agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa for the years 1998-99 to 2007-08 is set out in the two following tables:
|(a) Food aid to sub-Saharan Africa|
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