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Mr. McNulty: All jobseekers in phase 1 areas who have claimed Jobseeker's Allowance for 12 months will be referred to the Flexible New Deal. Customers in our priority groups will be referred to the Flexible New Deal after six months. Phase 1 of the Flexible New Deal will cover 28 out of a total of 48 Jobcentre Plus Districts.
The Department does not forecast levels of long-term unemployment or the future number of claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance. However, for planning purposes the Department does make use of the HM Treasury unemployment assumption, which is based on an average of a number of independent unemployment forecasts. These figures are planning assumptions only and do not reflect an official view of numbers of unemployed people or the duration of unemployment. An update to this assumption will be published in the Budget.
The Department has not issued revised estimates of the number of starts to the Flexible New Deal. The Department has however asked bidders for Flexible New Deal contracts to draw up plans that are capable of supporting a wide range of customer referral volumes reflecting a range of possible labour market scenarios over the next three to five years.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of the latest version of the (a) provision specification and (b) supporting information for phase one of the flexible New Deal (fND) including (i) estimates of the number of starts to the fND, (ii) budgets and (iii) payment models. 
Mr. McNulty: The provision specification and supporting information for Phase One of Flexible New Deal were published in the Invitation to Tender (ITT) in July 2008. A copy of the ITT and the letters issued in February inviting supplementary information from shortlisted suppliers has been placed in the Library.
The Department has not issued revised estimates of the number of starts to Flexible New Deal. The Department has however asked bidders for Flexible New Deal contracts to draw up plans that are capable of supporting a wide range of customer referral volumes reflecting a range of possible labour market scenarios over the next three to five years.
The budget for Flexible New Deal is being finalised following the Budget. However the Government are committed to ensuring that all who are out of work receive support that will offer them the best chance to get back into sustained employment, in line with the White Paper Raising expectations and increasing support: reforming welfare for the future'(Cm7506) published in December 2008.
The Department will retain a performance and payment regime based largely on outcomes, providing suppliers with the opportunity to develop innovative, individually tailored solutions. In the initial phase of the contract (first 18 months), we will consider alternative models based on a higher service fee element. After the initial phase of the contract we anticipate that the funding model will be based on 80 per cent. (outcome) and 20 per cent. (fee based) as originally announced. This is described in the material to be placed the Library.
Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has made an assessment of the effectiveness of the voluntary drug rehabilitation scheme for benefit claimants; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: Progress2work, the Departments voluntary employment programme for recovering drug users was reviewed in 2008 by the Policy Studies Institute. The report Progress2work and Progress2work linkup: an exploratory study to assess evaluation possibilities, DWP research report 464, has been placed in the Library and is available on the DWP website:
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households were in receipt of (a) income support, (b) incapacity benefit and (c) employment support allowance in each London (i) borough and (ii) constituency at (A) 31 March 2005 and (B) 31 December 2008. 
Mr. McNulty: Information about households in receipt of income support or incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance is not available at borough or constituency level. DWP will be publishing National Statistics on employment and support allowance in summer 2009. The available information has been placed in the Library.
Dr. Alasdair McDonnell:
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to his oral evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights on 18 November 2008, HC397, Q65-71, what advice he received on the concurrence of the devolved administrations
with the Government's proposed reservation to the UK's ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and what discussions he has had with the Northern Ireland Executive on the proposed reservation on education. 
Jonathan Shaw: The devolved Administrations have been fully consulted throughout our work towards ratification of the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. They advised that they were content. This process has included consultation with the Northern Ireland Executive on the proposed reservation in respect of education.
(2) for what reason families in receipt of both child tax credit and disability living allowance for their children experienced difficulties in receiving cold weather payments after the recent period of below-freezing temperatures; and how many families were so affected. 
Kitty Ussher: The vast majority of customers who qualify for a cold weather payment are paid automatically following a spell of cold weather. Customers in receipt of a qualifying benefit who are eligible to receive a cold weather payment because they have a disabled child aged five or over in the family and receive support for that child via child tax credit are paid clerically. Families entitled to receive a payment in these circumstances are identified by scans of the relevant computer systems which means they will not receive payments as quickly as those customers who can be identified and paid automatically.
For the most recent period of cold weather, approximately 33,000 cold weather payments have been or will be issued clerically to these customers. The number of such customers (as opposed to the number of payments) is not available. For the same period we estimate that over 5 million payments have been issued automatically to eligible customers.
Mr. Ian Taylor: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many fines Companies House has imposed on small and medium-sized companies for late submission of accounts in the last (a) six and (b) 12 months. 
As provided for in section 242A of the Companies Act 1985 and section 453 of the Companies Act 2006, all accounts which are delivered late to the
Registrar of Companies are subject to a late filing penalty. Over the past six months, 137,029 sets of accounts were delivered late. Over the past 12 months, 255,012 sets of accounts were delivered late. This reflects the fact that, of the 1,903,595 sets of accounts delivered to the Registrar over the last 12 months, 87 per cent. were delivered on time.
The Companies Act does not require a company to identify itself as large, medium or small. It is not therefore possible to say how many of these penalties were incurred by small or medium-sized companies.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how long he expects the (a) Enterprise Finance Guarantee and (b) Working Capital scheme to operate. 
By guaranteeing portfolios of working capital facilities, this will release regulatory capital held by the banks against these portfolios. The banks have agreed they will make commitments to re-deploy this capital in order to increase all types of lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-sized corporates above their current base line. The scheme runs until 31 March 2011.
Adam Afriyie: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many publicly-funded business support schemes there are in the Business Support Simplification Programme; what the cost of these schemes was in the last year for which figures are available; how many publicly-funded business support schemes he expects there to be once the programme is complete; what estimate he has made of their total cost; and what estimate he has made of the cost of the programme in (a) 2008-09 and (b) subsequent years. 
Ian Pearson [ holding answer 25 February 2009]: The Government announced Solutions for Business, their streamlined portfolio of business support products, in October 2008 with 30 schemes to be in place by March 2009, all other schemes will have closed, or been given notice to close by March 2010. Business Link will be the main access channel to this support.
Solutions for Business is flexible to changing economic circumstances and business need. The Government have committed to keep the streamlined portfolio at less than 100 products in total, covering all of the £2.5 billion spend on business support announced at the beginning of the programme.
The Impact Assessment published December 2007 estimated the cost of the programme to be £5 million, of which £l million was estimated for 2008-09. These costs represent the time/opportunity costs of staff
implementing the change programme. Costs in the future will change through transition, however, BERR does not account for other departmental and delivery partner costs.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many loans were guaranteed under the small firms loan guarantee scheme (a) in the UK, (b) in each region and (c) in each county in each year from 2004-05 to 2007-08; and what the value of loans guaranteed in each area in each of those years was. 
|Number of SFLG loans|
|Value of SFLG|
|(1) Represents a brace.|
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