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These figures are derived from the Departments central system, and it is possible that some engagement of agency staff (who are not employees) may not be recorded where arrangements have been made locally.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Lewes of 3 November 2008, Official Report, column 71W, on USA: military alliances, on what date and at which location the next Stocktake meeting between the Government and the US administration under the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement will take place. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: We received no representations from the Welsh Language Board during the public consultation on the Welsh Language Scheme. However, during the process of updating the scheme, officials from MOD and the Welsh Language Board met on several occasions as well as having regular exchanges of correspondence.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 13 June 2008, Official Report, column 616W, on apprentices, what progress his Department has made towards meeting its share of the Government's commitment to employ over 1,000 apprentices in central Government departments and agencies in 2008-09; and how many apprentices his Department now employs. 
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what checks he requires to be made on the validity of documentation supplied by non-UK EU citizens in the course of child benefit claims; 
Any person making a claim for child benefit must provide documentary evidence of the child being claimed for, such as an original birth certificate, adoption certificate or passport. HMRC checks the validity of this document upon receipt. All claims for child benefit are subject to a wide range of checks throughout the life of each claim and it would be inappropriate to disclose a complete list of such checks as to do so may provide assistance to those attempting to defraud the system. Claims by EU migrant workers to family benefits in the UK (child benefit and child tax credit) are subject to additional checks between HMRC and the competent authorities of the other member state on the composition of the worker's family resident in that other state and whether family benefits are in payment there.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Angus of 27 March 2006, Official Report, column 740W, on public relations companies, what payments have been made to the communications consultancy, Clear, since March 2006; for what projects; and at what cost. 
These arrangements make it possible for staff to purchase a cycle and the necessary safety equipment through a salary advance scheme. This arrangement can provide an interest-free advance of their salary so they can purchase the cycle and safety equipment of their choice. In addition staff can also use the Departments staff benefits scheme, which provides the opportunity for staff to purchase the cycle and safety equipment at a significant discount from a choice of three retail outlets.
These arrangements are comparable to Cycle to Work schemes being operated in a number of organisations and are also viewed as being of better value in support of the Departments staff who wish to cycle to work.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what mileage allowance (a) his Department, (b) its executive agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies pays per mile to its staff. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 13 March 2009]: There are a range of mileage allowances available to staff in DWP, its executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) who undertake business travel. The rate of mileage allowance payable will depend on the type of vehicle being used and whether the vehicle is privately owned or provided by the Department. The rates are based on the rates set by HMRC under the Approved Mileage Allowance Payments.
|Mileage rates paid by DWP and all associated NDPBs|
|£ per mile|
Ian Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department's budget for scientific advice and research is in 2008-09; for what purposes the equivalent budget for 2007-08 was used; and how many people employed in his Department have a science or engineering degree. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Department does not undertake research into science, technology, engineering or mathematics as usually defined. The only advice which partly requires scientific input comes from the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council. Its budget for 2008-09 was £70,932; it has been similarly funded by DWP and predecessor Departments since its creation in 1948. The secretariat includes one post for which a scientific degree qualification is required. No information is held on other people employed in the Department with a science or engineering degree as it is not a requirement for holding other posts.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 27 January 2009, Official Report, column 436W, on discrimination: disabled, which stakeholders he held meetings with; when each meeting was held; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the minutes of each meeting. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 9 February 2009]: I met with a number of stakeholders at the largest consultation event, which was held in London on 11 December. I provided an introduction to the event and answered questions from the floor.
My officials held four consultation events, three in London and one in Edinburgh. The London events were held on 4, 11 and 15 December; the Edinburgh event was held on 9 December. Stakeholders were invited to attend and the consultation events were also publicised through the Office for Disability Issues website, the Office for Disability Issues newsletter (which reaches approximately 2,000 people), and via charities who raised the profile of the consultation through their own emails and websites. Following is a list which gives a selection of organisations which attendees came from. Notes were taken at each event and a summary will be included in the Government's response to the consultation, which is currently being prepared. A copy of the response will be placed in the Library on publication.
Informal meetings between officials and stakeholder groups have also taken place. Those stakeholder organisations with which informal discussions were held included the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Disabilities Charity Consortium (DCC). The DCC is an informal coalition of charities made up of Leonard Cheshire Disability, Mencap, Mind, RNIB, RNID, RADAR, Scope, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and Sense. Minutes of these meetings were not taken due to their informal nature.
British Dyslexia Association
Disability Voice Bromley
Equality and Human Rights Commission
Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
Leonard Cheshire Disability
London borough of Ealing
London borough of Hounslow
National AIDS Trust
National Deaf Children's Society
National Housing Federation
Public and Commercial Services Union
Spinal Injuries Association
Trade Union Disability Alliance
Unite The Union
IDS Employment Law Brief
Discrimination Law Association
Russell Jones and Walker
Wandsworth and Merton Law Centre
Coventry Law Centre
The Law Society
Disability Law Service
One Essex Court Chambers
Birmingham Law Centre
KPMG UK LLP
Goldsmiths, University of London
National Landlords Association
Employers' Forum on Disability
Disability Forward Limited
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has had with the Secretaries of State for Health, Children Schools and Families and Innovation, Universities and Skills on workforce planning for the allied health professions. 
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in each constituency have received housing benefit based on local reference rents in each of the last four years. 
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have claimed incapacity benefit in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK in each year since 1997. 
|Number of incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claimants in each year since August 1997|
|Great Britain||North East Government office region||South Tyneside local authority||Jarrow parliamentary constituency|
| Note: 100 per cent. figures are rounded to the nearest 10, 5 per cent. figures are rounded to the nearest 100 and have been uprated to be consistent with Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study data. Source: Data pre-1999: Department for Work and Pensions, Information Directorate, 5 per cent. sample and Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study data. Data from 1999 onwards: Department for Work and Pensions Information Directorate 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.|
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