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11 May 2009 : Column 578W—continued


Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people (a) received a caution and (b) were convicted in respect of an offence of benefit fraud in each quarter of the last year for which figures are available; and how many of those convicted were dealt with by way of (i) a discharge, (ii) a fine, (iii) a community sentence, (iv) a suspended sentence and (v) a custodial sentence. [259127]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 2 March 2009]: The available information for DWP administered benefits is in the following table:

Cautions Convictions Discharges Fines Community service Suspended senten ce Custodial sentence

2007-08

Q1

3,853

1,772

528

236

656

193

97

Q2

3,914

2,200

557

238

742

257

105

Q3

3,454

1,606

470

230

642

202

107

Q4

1,600

2,167

652

257

740

309

213

Total

12,821

7,745

2,207

961

2,780

961

522

Note:
2007-08 discharges, fines, community service, suspended sentence and custodial sentence data from DWP/DH Legal Group.
Source s :
1. Conviction data for England and Wales from DWP/DH Legal Group.
2. Conviction data for Scotland from FIBS and FRAIMS.
3. Cautions data from FIBS and FRAIMS.

The available information for housing benefit is provided in the following table:

Fraud investigations Cautions Admin penalties Prosecutions Guilty verdicts

2007-08

Q1

43,473

2,956

2,065

1,483

1,563

Q2

46,606

3,627

2,392

1,767

1,673

Q3

38,417

3,029

2,029

1,554

1,575

Q4

32,278

2,957

1,930

1,807

1,682

Source:
Housing benefit operational database (HOBOD) based on the local authority administrative return called ‘Stats 124’.

11 May 2009 : Column 579W

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were investigated for benefit fraud in each of the last three years; how many were subsequently (a) cautioned and (b) prosecuted and convicted; and how many of those convicted in each such year received (i) a custodial sentence, (ii) a community sentence and (iii) a discharge. [260986]


11 May 2009 : Column 580W

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 5 March 2009]: The available information for DWP administered benefits is in the following table.

Total number of investigation Cautions Number of prosecuted Convictions Custodial sentence Community sentence Discharges

2005-06

408,062

10,543

10,262

8,740

919

2,927

2,441

2006-07

128,443

11,976

8,964

6,861

616

2,415

1,734

2007-08

86,909

12,821

10,274

7,745

522

2,780

2,207

Notes:
1. In April 2006 Jobcentre Plus reorganised its counter fraud resources into two new services. The Fraud Investigation Service was established, focussing on high value cases with a view to securing criminal sanctions including prosecutions. At the same time a customer compliance approach was deployed to deal with less serious cases more speedily with an emphasis on benefit correction, recovery of overpayments and warning customers on their future conduct.
2. The figures for 2006-07 reflect this with the number of investigations shown relating to criminal investigations only from this point. The number of customer compliance activities completed in 2006-07 and 2007-08 were 290,476 and 371,592 respectively.
Sources:
Prosecution and Conviction data for England and Wales from DWP/DH Legal Group
Prosecution and Conviction data for Scotland from FIBS and FRAIMS
Investigations, Cautions, Discharges, Community Service and Custodial Sentence data:
2005-07 from FIBS and FRAIMS
Discharges, Community Service and Custodial Sentence data for 2007-08 from DWP/DH Legal Group.

The available information for housing benefit is provided in the following table

Fraud investigations Cautions Admin penalties Prosecutions Guilty verdicts.

2005-06

194,062

9,708

6,199

6,041

6,234

2006-07

172,429

10,662

6,742

6,023

5,860

2007-08

160,774

12,569

8,416

6,611

6,493

Source:
Housing Benefit Operational Database (HOBOD) based on the local authority administrative return called 'Stats 124'

State Retirement Pensions

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of adults are in receipt of a state retirement pension. [272474]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We estimate that 23 per cent. of all adults in Great Britain in 2008 are in receipt of a state pension.

Of those who are at state pension age or above, 95 per cent. are estimated to be in receipt of a state pension.

Unemployed: Social Security Benefits

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to page 92 of the Pre-Budget Report 2008, to what areas the £1.3 billion funding to deliver support for the unemployed has been allocated; and if he will make a statement. [260089]

Mr. McNulty: The pre-Budget report allocated an additional £1.3 billion over CSR07 to help to deliver effective support to unemployed people. This provides additional money to Jobcentre Plus, contracted employment providers and local authorities.

This money is providing 6,000 additional staff in Jobcentre Plus in 2009-10, and is also being used to implement the additional measures that were announced in the pre-Budget report, the expansion of Local Employer Partnerships and the further expansion of Jobcentre Plus’ Rapid Response Service, and to provide a new package of support aimed at jobseekers that have recently become unemployed and have no recent experience of current job search channels.

Unemployment Benefits

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he plans to use the broad definition of work-related activity contained in the Gregg review in regulations to be made under the Welfare Reform Bill if enacted. [268768]

Mr. McNulty: We are not planning to define the term ‘work-related activity’ in regulations under the Welfare Reform Bill. We are keen to ensure that the term work-related activity can be interpreted flexibly so it can be tailored to an individual's needs. This will allow the customer in conjunction with their personal adviser to agree activities that are tailored to their individual circumstances and will best help them move closer to work. As Professor Gregg suggested, work-related activity could include training, skills and job-related support as well as wider measures such as volunteering, undertaking parenting programmes or visiting a debt adviser.


11 May 2009 : Column 581W

We will be using this wide concept of work-related activity as a basis for producing guidance for personal advisers to help them decide which activities will best assist their customers to move closer to the labour market. We will continue to involve stakeholders in the design of the Progression to Work Pathfinders.

Vacancies

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of vacancies of positions offering 30 hours or more employment a week notified to jobcentres in each of the last 12 months. [269469]

Mr. McNulty: Information is not held on the number of vacancies offering 30 hours or more a week, notified to Jobcentre Plus offices in the last 12 months.

Information is available on the number of vacancies offering 16 hours or more a week, notified to Jobcentre Plus offices in the last 12 months and is shown in the following table.

Vacancies, 16 hours or more a week, in Great Britain, notified to Jobcentre Plus offices, April 2008 to March 2009

Notified vacancies

April 2008

269,080

May 2008

261,398

June 2008

315,535

July 2008

239,939

August 2008

307,295

September 2008

264,471

October 2008

265,085

November 2008

269,955

December 2008

170,535

January 2009

85,486

February 2009

219,302

March 2009

170,403

Notes:
1. Data are unrounded.
2. These are not whole economy figures. Coverage relates just to vacancies notified to Jobcentre Plus and as such the figures represent a market share of vacancies throughout the whole economy. This proportion varies over time, according to the occupation of the vacancy and industry of the employer, and by local area. Comprehensive estimates of all job vacancies (not just those notified to Jobcentre Plus) are available from the monthly ONS Vacancy Survey since April 2001, based on a sample of some 6,000 enterprises. However, the ONS survey is currently designed to provide national estimates only.
3. These figures are published at www.nomisweb.co.uk.
Source:
Jobcentre Plus Labour Market System.

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