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15 Jun 2009 : Column 48Wcontinued
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the reason was for the decision in Budget 2009 not to pay tenants the local housing allowance rate when their actual rent is less. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Government are committed to help people keep a decent roof over their heads but cannot afford in the current climate to pay people more than they need to do that. In the interests of fairness our priority is to target benefits where they are needed most. The removal of the £15 excess will mean that some people will receive less benefit but, importantly, this should not affect their ability to meet their rent.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate has been made of the number of landlords who have not accepted potential tenants who are on local housing allowance housing benefit on the grounds that the benefit is not paid directly to the landlord. 
Jonathan Shaw: This information is not available.
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was spent on benefits for New Deal participants in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Jim Knight: The information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether participants who have not finished their existing New Deal programme by the end of September 2009 will be referred to the flexible New Deal in those areas covered by phase 1 Flexible New Deal contracts. 
Mr. McNulty: In the 28 districts where Flexible New Deal is due to start from October 2009, DWP has agreed contractual changes with New Deal providers, including those in private sector-led New Deal areas and Employment Zones, to ensure that customers who are referred after April 2009 will be able to complete their provision by the end of September 2009.
Where it has not been possible for a jobseeker to complete existing New Deal provision by September 2009, provided there is no break in their Jobseeker's Allowance claim, the customer will enter the supported job-search stage of the new Jobseekers Regime to receive additional support from Jobcentre Plus personal advisers. The supported job-search stage usually lasts for six months, although in this instance the time spent with an existing New Deal provider would be taken into account. Should the jobseeker remain unemployed after the
supported job-search stage, they will be referred to the Flexible New Deal for up to 12 months of specialist, individually-tailored support.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what assessment she has made of the effect on the New Deal programme of the time taken to announce the preferred bidders for Flexible New Deal contracts; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) how many preferred bidders for Phase 1 Flexible New Deal contracts had been notified of the fact as at (a) 27 April, (b) 4 May, (c) 11 May and (d) 18 May 2009; and when she expects to notify the remaining preferred bidders. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 1 June 2009]: Jobcentre Plus introduced the refreshed Jobseekers Regime and a range of additional support measures for jobseekers from 6 April 2009. The New Deal contracts take account of these changes, with referrals continuing until the end of June 2009, thereby enabling providers to support customers until the end of September, with the Flexible New Deal contracts due to start in October 2009.
Between July and September, any customer who has received jobseeker's allowance for six months will have access to additional support and enter the supported Job Search stage of the refreshed regime, with referral to the Flexible New Deal provider six months later if they remain in receipt of jobseeker's allowance.
Preferred bidders were notified of results of the Flexible New Deal competition on 29 May and we expect to award contracts in good time to begin delivery in October 2009.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when she plans to answer Question 271324, tabled on 22 April 2009, on 0845 telephone numbers. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 15 May 2009]: The hon. Members question was answered on 4 June 2009. Official Report, columns 621-22W.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answers of (a) 20 April 2009, Official Report, column 117W, on incapacity benefit: voluntary work and (b) 5 May 2009, Offic ial Report, column 124W, on pathways to work, what the reasons were for the time taken to respond in each case; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: We need to ensure that answers given to Parliament are accurate and robust, and we endeavour to answer all questions as quickly as possible. I would like to apologise to my hon. Friend for the delay in answering her questions in these instances.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance Social Fund administrators offer to potential recipients of assistance from the fund on other potential sources of assistance. 
Jonathan Shaw: Social Fund administrators do not routinely refer customers to other potential sources of assistance. In October 2008 Jobcentre Plus introduced a policy to signpost those customers who were not eligible to receive support from the Social Fund to money advice. Having been successfully piloted in a number of areas, the initiative is being implemented nationally this year.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps she takes to ensure that the typical characteristics of benefit claimants are portrayed accurately in official publications and statements. 
Jonathan Shaw: In addition to information gathered as part of our ongoing contacts with our customers, DWP already carries out extensive research and testing exercises to ensure that our customers and their needs are fully understood, and to make sure that they are portrayed accurately and sensitively in our communications.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what recent steps have been taken to assist young people in finding work; 
(2) what recent steps have been taken to assist older people in finding work. 
Jim Knight: The Budget has made an additional £2.8 billion available to DWP, on top of the £1.3 billion announced in the pre-Budget report, which will ensure that over the next two years we can continue to expand our support to jobseekers through the economic downturn. Among other initiatives, this extra funding will enable us to guarantee a job or other meaningful activity to young people and certain disadvantaged groups from the 12-month point of their claim.
In addition, we are investing £0.5 billion over two years to support all jobseekers through an expanded range of work and training options to provide jobs through recruitment subsidies, support to start a business, work-related training and volunteering opportunities. This extra help was introduced on 6 April and is available to all those who have been out of work and claiming jobseeker's allowance for six months or more.
The introduction of the Flexible New Deal in phase one areas from October will establish a new, unified approach for longer-term jobseekers, whatever their age, skills or barriers to work. The Flexible New Deal will deliver work-focused support, tailored to each individual's needs and local labour market requirements.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will place in the Library a copy of each edition of her Departments monthly report summarising the performance of all welfare-to-work providers against agreed targets. 
Jim Knight: A copy of the most recent report, which includes the cumulative performance of contracted provision up to the end of February 2009, has been placed in the Library as requested.
The DWP is developing plans to make this information available on a monthly basis from later in 2009 via the DWP website.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when she plans to answer Question 274722, tabled on 12 May 2009, on child maintenance arrears. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 4 June 2009]: I replied to the hon. Members question on 3 June 2009, Official Report, columns 535-36W.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Prime Minister if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of the recent (a) Ministerial reshuffle and (b) changes to the machinery of government; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: The numbers of salaried Ministers is governed by the Ministerial and Other Salaries Act 1975. The cost of machinery of government changes will be met by relevant Departments within existing departmental budgets.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 11 May 2009, Official Report, column 495W, on intelligence services: publication, what facilities the security and intelligence agencies are authorised to afford to persons undertaking research for publications which are not official publications; at what level, and in what circumstances, members of the security and intelligence services are authorised to grant (a) interviews and (b) other assistance to such persons; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: Arrangements governing the release of information into the public domain by the security and intelligence services are in accordance with the requirements of the Security Service Act 1989 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994. Copies are available in the Libraries of the House.
Sir Robert Smith: To ask the Prime Minister what his engagements were between 3pm and 8pm on Wednesday 10 June. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for South-West Bedfordshire (Andrew Selous) at Prime Minister's questions on 10 June 2009, Official Report, column 784W.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what representations he has made to the French authorities on the representatives of the UK Government to be invited to the 65th anniversary commemorations of D-Day and the Normandy Campaign; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what representations the Government received on the level of official representation of the UK at the 65th anniversary commemoration of D-Day and the Normandy Campaign organised by the French government; when such representations were received; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) on what date the Government was first invited to send representatives to the 65th anniversary commemorations of D-Day and the Normandy Campaign organised by the French authorities; and what response was made; 
(4) on what date the Government was first informed by the French authorities of the proposed programme of events to commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day and the Normandy Campaign. 
The Prime Minister: I attended the 65th anniversary of the D-Day celebrations on 6 June, including a memorial service at Bayeux cathedral, and a ceremony with President Sarkozy, President Obama and Prime Minister Harper at the Colleville cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach. Prince Charles attended on behalf of the royal family. The palace have made clear that they were content with these arrangements.
Shona McIsaac: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many child trust fund vouchers have been issued to residents of Cleethorpes constituency in each year since their introduction; and how many accounts have been opened as a result. 
Ian Pearson: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) latest available estimates are that 940 child trust fund vouchers were issued in Cleethorpes to children born between 6 April 2006 and 5 April 2007 and that 670 child trust fund accounts were subsequently opened by the parents or guardians of those children. HMRC opens accounts on behalf of children if the parents or guardian do not.
HMRC does not hold constituency level data for previous years.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many notifications his Department made to the Information Commissioner in the year ended 30 April 2009 in respect of the loss or mishandling of personal information or data; what was notified in each such case; and how many individuals were the subjects of personal information or data in respect of which such notifications were made. 
Kitty Ussher: The Treasury reported no cases of loss or mishandling of personal information or data to the Information Commissioner during the year ended 30 April 2009.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) private meetings and (b) public engagements Ministers in his Department have attended at which representatives from the think-tank Demos were present in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Kitty Ussher: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Governments practice to provide details of all such meetings.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department spent on health and safety training for its staff in each of the last two years. 
Kitty Ussher: Estimated external expenditure on health and safety training was £36,500 in 2007-08 and £40,000 in 2008-09. Other information and training for officials is provided by our in-house health and safety team and costs cannot be identified separately from their other duties.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) when he plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire of 12 May 2009 on National Savings, PO reference: 1/72186/2009; 
(2) when he plans to reply to the email from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire of 7 May 2009 on interest rate reductions, PO reference: 1/71848/2009. 
Ian Pearson: I have replied to the hon. Member.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 11 May 2009, Official Report, column 539W, on public expenditure, if he will publish the forthcoming factual paper on the Barnett Formula before the summer adjournment. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 12 June 2009]: No decision has yet been made regarding the publication date of the factual paper on the Barnett Formula.
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