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Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many non-resident parents who owed child maintenance (a) received prison sentences, (b) received suspended prison sentences, (c) had their driving licences removed and (d) had their houses or other assets sequestered in the last year for which figures are available. 
Kitty Ussher [holding answer 12 May 2009]: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have therefore asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested.
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many non-resident parents who owed child maintenance (a) received prison sentences, (b) received suspended prison sentences, (c) had their driving licences removed and (d) had their houses or other assets sequestered in the last year for which figures are available. 274723
In the 12 months to the end of January 2009, 30 non-resident parents received prison sentences, 510 received suspended prison sentences, 30 non-resident parents received suspended driving licence disqualification and 5 were disqualified from driving. In the same period the Child Support Agency referred 106 cases for Order for Sale action of which 45 hearings have concluded, with 27 orders being granted and a further 29 awaiting a hearing. The Agency took possession of 3 properties and in a further 14 cases are awaiting payment prior to possession being taken.
The Child Support Agency has also increased the number of enforcement actions targeted at assets including capital, available to non-resident parents. A total of 18,320 cases were referred to Bailiffs (including 'attachments' in Scotland) who can seize assets to recover debt. A total of 5,785, third party debt orders or arrestments in Scotland as well as charging orders were taken out enabling the Child Support Agency to access funds held by third parties such as banks or building societies, or to place a charge on the equity in property. Finally in Scotland alone 1,760 Bills of Inhibition were taken out, this is a personal prohibition preventing heritable property being transferred, alienated or disposed of by the non-resident parent.
Table 21 of the March 2009 Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary of Statistics (QSS) gives information on the total volume of different enforcement actions undertaken by the Agency. The QSS is available in the House of Commons library or online at:
I hope you find this answer helpful.
Kitty Ussher: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have therefore asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested.
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner as the Child Support Agency is now the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much debt is owed to the Child Support Agency. .
Information on the amount of child maintenance arrears owed by non-resident parents is routinely published in both the Child Support Agency Annual Report and Accounts and the Quarterly Summary of Statistics, both of which provide the latest audited estimate of child maintenance arrears to the end of March 2008.
As at March 2009, the amount of Child Maintenance Arrears owed by non-resident parents to parents with care or the Secretary of State is £3.8 billion. This figure is un-audited.
The Agency is collecting more arrears than it has ever done before and in March 2009 collected £13.8 million in maintenance arrears alone. A total of £158m has been collected in arrears in the year ending March 2009, an increase of £31.7m from the previous 12 months.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of his Department's potential gross (a) costs and (b) savings arising from its climate change adaptation measures in the next three years. 
Jonathan Shaw: The high level review, undertaken by the Met Office and delivered in January 2008, of the impacts of climate on the policies and operations of DWP did not seek to identify any costs or savings associated with adaptation. The more detailed review, which will be commissioned when the 2009 UK Climate Impact Projections are published, will further explore the key business, customer and operational issues and begin to estimate the costs and savings associated with climate change and adaptation.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 20 April 2009, Official Report, column 107W, on council tax benefits, if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of altering personal allowances for council tax benefit to provide for households where no individual earns more than £10,000 per annum, including personal tax allowance, to receive full council tax benefit, regardless of the amount of capital held; and if he will make an estimate of the number of households which would pay a reduced rate or no council tax as a result of such a change. 
Kitty Ussher [holding answer 20 May 2009]: The following table shows the estimated cost and number of council tax benefit (CTB) beneficiaries if full CTB was awarded to all households where no individual earns more than £10,000 per annum, regardless of the amount of capital held.
|Full CTB if no individual earns more than £10,000|
|Number of beneficiaries||Cost in annually managed expenditure (£ million per year)|
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 Departments 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.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department has spent on hotel accommodation for officials in (a) the last 12 months and (b) each of the last three years. 
Kitty Ussher: The Department has in place policies that ensure when any officials are required, as a result of their duties, to stay in hotels they are provided with accommodation that is safe, secure and of an acceptable standard.
The table shows the Departments expenditure on hotel accommodation for officials in each of the last three years. The figures need to be seen against the background of a Department with over 100,000 staff whose responsibilities cover the whole of Great Britain.
|Hotel spend||£ million|
Kitty Ussher: The Departments Commercial Directorate reviews the level of expenditure on hotel accommodation on a monthly basis to ensure best value is being obtained from its contractual arrangements.
Jonathan Shaw: Government policies and programmes affect the lives of millions of people and in order for them to work they must be communicated effectively. However, this has also to be done with cost efficiency in mind and there are strict rules to ensure value for money on Government advertising.
Much Government advertising aims to alert people to things that can save livesand we make no apologies for campaigns like thissuch as wearing seat belts, not drinking and driving, quitting smoking and what to do in an emergency. We also use our communications work to protect public funds, for example through our work to drive down benefit fraud.
The channels used for advertising in the media are firstly via the advertising and media buying roster of the Central Office of Information for campaign and editorial requirements and, secondly, via local and national newspapers for recruitment and low value, low complexity adverts on behalf of DWP agencies.
|Central Office of InformationMay 2009|
|April to March each year||Dailies||Weeklies||Total|
These data apply to all regional publications and are split by dailies and weeklies.
|April to March each year||Local||National||Total|
1. All non-COI advertising is via local and national newspaper publications.
2. Data for 2004-05 and 2005-06 are not available as they were not held centrally at that time. The Department would incur disproportionate cost to try and obtain these data.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) BlackBerry devices and (b) mobile telephones have been lost by (i) Ministers, (ii) special advisers and (iii) civil servants in his Department in each year since 2005. 
Jonathan Shaw: The information is not available in the format requested, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The information that is available is given in the following table. This records items reported as lost or stolen.
|BlackBerry devices||Mobile telephones|
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have claimed disability living allowance in circumstances where the main disabling condition was recorded as obesity in each of the last 10 years. 
It is important to note that, where someone has more than one diagnosis or disabling condition, only the predominant one is currently recorded. In light of this, the information provided cannot be taken as a robust indication of the underlying condition that results in entitlement to incapacity benefits.
Entitlement to disability living allowance is not dependent on a diagnosis or condition but relies instead on the care and/or mobility needs arising. In the case of someone with obesity, people with this recorded diagnosis may have other underlying physical or mental complications that have caused/exacerbated their obesity.
For a person to qualify for incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance, they have to undertake a medical assessment of incapacity for work which is called the personal capability assessment. Entitlement for a customer claiming incapacity benefit on the grounds of obesity would be based on their ability to carry out the range of activities in the personal capability assessment.
The available information for incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance is in the table. Some of those people who claim incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance will also claim income support on grounds of incapacity.
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