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### Departmental Pay

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of recipients of the Christmas bonus will get the additional £60 between (a) 1 and 15 January, (b) 16 and 31 January, (c) 1 and 15 February, (d) 16 and 28 February, (e) 1 and 15 March and (f) 16 and 31 March 2009; and if he will make a statement. [247209]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The answer is in the following table:

 Actual and forecast volumes for additional £60 payment 2009 Volume payments to be made Percentage of forecasted total 1 to 15 January 12,175,120 81.94 16 to 31 January 41,630 00.28 1 to 15 February 49,390 00.33 16 to 28 February 1,302,100 08.76 1 to 15 March 1,289,700 08.69 16 to 31 March (1)0 0 (1) Exceptionally some payments may be issued clerically after 15 March 2009. Notes: 1. All payment figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. As of 9 February 2009 DWP have issued 12,231,904 payments. 3. The total volume of payments forecast to be made is 14,857,929. Source: Special Payment Programme weekly review document 11 February 2009.

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of recipients of the Christmas bonus received their additional £60 by the end of January; how many of the remaining payments he estimates will have been paid by (a) the end of February and (b) the end of March; and if he will make a statement. [259118]

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Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 26 February 2009]: The answer is in the following table.

 Actual and forecast volumes for additional £60 payment Volume payments to be made Percentage of forecasted total 1 January 2009 to 31 January 2009 12,216,750 79.63 1 February 2009 to 28 February 2009 1,433,420 9.34 1 March 2009 to 31 March 2009 (1)1,692,590 11.03 (1) Some additional payments may be issued clerically during March 2009. Notes: 1. All payment figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. The total volume of payments to be made is 15,342,751. Source: Special Payment Programme Weekly Review document 4 March 2009.

### Council Tax Benefits

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the expenditure required from the public purse to alter personal allowances for council tax benefit to provide that households where no individual is eligible to pay income tax receive full council tax benefit (a) regardless of the amount of capital held and (b) while maintaining the current capital limits; and if he will estimate the number of households which would pay a reduced rate of or no council tax as a result of such a change. [268899]

Kitty Ussher: The following table shows estimates of the cost and number of council tax benefit (CTB) beneficiaries of (a) awarding full CTB where no individual is paying income tax, and regardless of any capital held and (b) awarding full CTB where no individual is paying income tax and capital held is within the current capital limits.

 Full council tax benefit where no one in the household pays income tax Full CTB where no one pays income tax, depending on capital Number of beneficiaries Cost in annually managed expenditure (£ million per year) No capital limit Working age 450,000 200 Pensioners 510,000 270 Total 950,000 470 Capital under £16,000 Working age 350,000 80 Pensioners 460,000 200 Total 800,000 290 Notes: 1. All figures are for Great Britain. 2. Beneficiaries are rounded to the nearest 10,000 and costs are rounded to the nearest £10 million. These estimates include customers who gain and those who become entitlement to the benefit. 3. Each beneficiary represents a benefit unit, which can be a single claimant or a couple. 4. The impact is estimated using the Department’s Policy Simulation Model for 2008-09, using data from the 2006-07 Family Resources Survey up-rated to 2008-09 prices, benefit rates and earnings levels, and is calibrated to latest published forecasts and policies. 5. Results are subject to sampling and reporting errors and estimation assumptions, and are therefore indicative only. No behavioural changes are assumed.

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the expenditure required from the public purse to (a) raise to £50,000 and (b) abolish the upper capital limit for council tax benefit; and if he will estimate the number of households which would pay a reduced rate of or no council tax as a result of such a change. [268900]

Kitty Ussher: The information is in the following table:

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 Increasing and abolishing the upper capital limit in council tax benefit Increase in upper capital limit Number of beneficiaries Cost in annually managed expenditure (£ million per year) £50,000 130,000 70 No limit 150,000 80 Notes: 1. All figures are for Great Britain. 2. Beneficiaries are rounded to the nearest 10,000 and costs are rounded to the nearest £10 million. These estimates include customers who gain and those who become entitled to the benefit. 3. Each beneficiary represents a benefit unit, which can be a single claimant or a couple. 4. The impact is estimated using the Department's Policy Simulation Model for 2008-09, using data from the 2006-07 Family Resources Survey up-rated to 2008-09 prices, benefit rates and earnings levels, and is calibrated to latest published forecasts and policies. 5. Results are subject to sampling and reporting errors and estimation assumptions, and are therefore indicative only. No behavioural changes are assumed.

### Crisis Loans

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to ensure that crisis loans customers can obtain a face-to-face assessment at their local Jobcentre with crisis loans officers; and if he will make a statement. [267899]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 31 March 2009]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Mel Groves. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Mel Groves:

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has asked me to respond to your question asking the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will take steps to ensure that crisis loans customers can obtain a face-to-face assessment at their local Jobcentre with crisis loans officers. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

Our preferred method of accessing Crisis Loans is by the telephone and this process works well for the majority of our customers as the service is more accessible without the need to visit a Jobcentre.

However, vulnerable customers who cannot use the telephone to access Crisis Loans do have the option of making an appointment for a face to face interview at their local Jobcentre. Processes are in place for the Jobcentre to immediately forward the application to a Crisis Loan Decision Maker to make the decision on the application and call the customer back with the outcome.

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many crisis loans officers there are operating the telephone helpline service for customers; and if he will make a statement. [267900]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 31 March 2009]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Mel Groves. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

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Letter from Mel Groves:

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has asked me to respond to your question on how many crisis loans officers there are operating the telephone helpline service for customers. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

When the service was set up initially Jobcentre Plus had 800 Crisis Loan Decision Makers answering telephones and making decisions in the 20 Crisis Loan Benefit Delivery Centres. Due to an unprecedented rise in Crisis Loan applications which has more than doubled since October 2006, taking us to an average of 220,000 applications per month, plans were put in place to deploy an extra 700 staff from our Contact Centre Directorate to take Crisis Loan calls. The conversion of these 700 Contact Centre staff to offer the full telephone application and decision making process for Crisis Loans is due for completion by April 2009.

This year we have seen further increases in applications to 275,000 for January and 272,000 for February 2009. Therefore, a decision has been made to increase our staff over the next year by an extra 300. This will take us to 1,800 Decision Makers overall.

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of (a) the number of calls made by customers for crisis loans which went through to a recorded message, (b) the average number of calls a customer made before being connected to speak directly to a crisis loans officer and (c) the number of complaints made by crisis loans customers on the inability to be connected to talk to a crisis loans officer via the telephone system in the latest period for which information is available. [267901]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 31 March 2009]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Mel Groves. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Mel Groves:

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has asked me to answer your question on what estimate he has made of (a) the number of calls made by customers for crisis loans which went through to a recorded message, (b) the average number of calls a customer made before being connected to speak directly to a crisis loans officer and (c) the number of complaints made by crisis loans customers on the inability to be connected to talk to a crisis loans officer via the telephone system in the latest period for which information is available. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

We do not have the information requested in this format.

However, latest information available for February 2009 shows we made 272,000 Crisis Loan decisions and the majority of these would have been made over the telephone where all customers would have gone through the Interactive Voice Response messaging service before the call was answered. Due to high demand, it is unfortunately taking longer than usual to get through to our Crisis Loans agents but I have no evidence that all customers wanting a Crisis Loan do not eventually get through to make their application.

I have received 49 complaints to me as Chief Executive about Crisis Loans in general from March 2008 to February 2009 compared to 2,774,032 Crisis Loan applications for the same period.

### Departmental Buildings

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of the (a) display energy certificates and (b) advisory
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reports for public buildings issued in respect of each property occupied by (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies. [256053]

Jonathan Shaw: Department for Work and Pensions Display Energy Certificates are in place in 375 buildings across England and Wales and in 45 buildings across Scotland. As disproportionate costs would be incurred to provide individual copies of the certificate and the accompanying advisory report, my officials are arranging for electronic copies of these documents to be prepared and placed in the Library.

### Departmental Data Protection

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) organisational process and (b) staff resources his Department uses to provide assurance on IT system security. [268938]

Jonathan Shaw: The Department's Information Security Committee (a sub-committee of the Department's Executive Team) is responsible for information security issues across the Department. Operational responsibility for security is assigned to respective chief executives and heads of businesses within the Department. Other senior staff in the Department's agencies have specific responsibilities for promoting data and IT system security and report to their respective chief executives.

Following the publication of the Cabinet Office's Review of Data Handling Procedures in Government, specific senior civil servants across the Department
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have been designated as Information Asset Owners who provide assurance to the Department's Senior Information Risk Owner that data assets are properly protected.

The Department also deploys a range of internal and external professional security resources and suppliers to both deliver and assure its IT Infrastructure and systems.

The Department is compliant with the security policies contained in the Government Security Policy Framework including those for information security, assurance and the encryption of data. Its arrangements to ensure compliance with these measures comprise a system of self-assessment, accreditation, assurance reporting, audit and review.

The Department does not publish details of the resources used to provide assurance over IT system security, staff or otherwise, as this could potentially threaten the security of information.

### Departmental Internet

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Welwyn, Hatfield of 9 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1636-38W, on the departmental internet, how many hits each of the websites maintained by his Department received in each of the last 12 months. [262779]

Jonathan Shaw: The tables outline the page impressions for each of the websites maintained by the Department for Work and Pensions.

 Table A: Websites operated by the Department for Work and Pensions where the Department is responsible for the content Department for Work and Pensions Jobcentre Plus The Pension Service Child Support Agency March 2008 4,438,340 250,206,608 2,885,226 653,089 April 2008 4,890,895 279,358,470 n/a 693,879 May 2008 4,632,534 250,206,608 n/a 623,741 June 2008 5,467,135 290,661,873 n/a 710,818 July 2008 5,481,316 302,481,658 2,792,047 703,331 August 2008 4,823,111 271,781,484 2,545,342 669,090 September 2008 5,255,207 308,875,532 2,815,695 753,074 October 2008 5,840,085 302,104,417 2,954,131 770,977 November 2008 5,675,631 266,874,017 3,155,462 721,481 December 2008 4,578,694 179,521,943 2,159,900 550,725 January 2009 7,693,486 350,647,463 3,820,139 901,912 February 2009 6,311,548 298,532,534 3,137,296 741,673