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The total amount of salary paid during periods of sickness leave between 1 November 2008 and 31 October 2009 totalled £62 million. For comparative purposes the cost of salary paid for sickness absence between November 2008 and October 2009 was 2 per cent. of the total pay bill for 2008-09, the latest available figure.
The Department has cut sickness absence by nearly a day per full-time employee, on average, in the last year and by nearly two days in the last two years. Further reducing sickness absence and its associated cost remains a major departmental priority.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many miles (a) Ministers and (b) officials in her Department and its predecessors have travelled by taxi in the course of their official duties in each year since 1997; and at what cost to the public purse in each such year. 
Jim Knight: Information on mileage travelled by taxi is not available. Information on taxi travel expenditure is only available from 2005-06. Details of the separate payments made in respect of Ministers and officials could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Such information as is available is in the following table.
|Period||Expenditure (£ million)|
Expenditure by the Department on taxis needs to be seen in the context of a Department employing well over 100,000 people. An estimated 40 per cent. of the expenditure on taxis shown here is incurred to enable disabled members of staff to travel to and from work. This expenditure represents payment by the Department of costs which, in the case of other employers, could be claimed for under the "Access to Work" programme which Government Departments voluntarily forego.
Directgov has the potential to enable government to make substantial savings in shifting from traditional to digital channels. For those savings to be realised, it is
vital that the public are aware of and trust Directgov as the Government's official website. The aim of the campaign is to increase awareness so that Directgov is the first site people think of for Government information, and one which they both trust and recommend to others.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much her Department spent on the production of the directgov advertisement Go DirectGov; and how much it expects to spend on purchasing television airtime for the advertisement. 
Jim Knight: The cost of production and airtime purchased to date combined is £2.05 million. Unfortunately we cannot detail the specific costs of airtime and the production of the advertisement as this would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of Directgov by weakening our bargaining position with media suppliers and also weakening our position in a competitive environment by revealing market-sensitive information or information of potential usefulness to competitors.
Directgov has the potential to enable Government to make substantial savings in shifting from traditional to digital channels. For those savings to be realised, it is vital that the public are aware of and trust Directgov as the Government's official website. The aim of the campaign is to increase awareness so that Directgov is the first site people think of for government information, and one which they both trust and recommend to others.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of people have found work through (a) the day one offer, (b) the six month offer, (c) support for unemployed professionals and executives and (d) the flexible New Deal since that scheme was introduced. 
Jim Knight: Government have taken decisive action during the global recession to ensure that every individual has the help and support they need to get into work. Over £5 billion has been made available to put in place a substantial package of support to help job seekers back to work, with a particular focus on support for young people.
Our measures are working. Unemployment is much lower than in previous recessions, inactivity is below what it was in 1997 and there are 400,000 fewer people unemployed today than experts were predicting at Budget 2009.
The number and proportion of people who have found work through the day one offer, support for newly unemployed professionals and executives, the volunteering and work focused training elements of the Six Month Offer and the Flexible New Deal is not yet available.
On 14 October 2009, we released the first set of official statistics on the number of people taking up elements of the Six Month Offer. These early data covered the period from April 2009 to July 2009 and showed that 5,990 people had entered employment using the Recruitment Subsidy and 1,460 people had become self-employed and claimed the Self-Employment Credit. Furthermore, provisional data for August 2009 showed
that a further 1,500 people had used the Recruitment Subsidy and 920 people had taken up the Self Employment Credit.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of the lone parents who were moved from income support on to jobseeker's allowance as a result of changes to benefit rules in December 2008 are in employment; and if she will make a statement. 
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many compensation payments Jobcentre Plus have made through their Special Payment Scheme in (a) the UK, (b) Scotland, (c) the Highlands and (d) Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey in each of the last three years; and how much was paid out in each area in each of those years.  [Official Report, 1 March 2010, Vol. 506, c. 11MC.]
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking how many compensation payments Jobcentre Plus has made through their Special Payment Scheme in (a) the UK, (b) Scotland, (c) the Highlands and (d) Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey in each of the last three years; and how much was paid out in each area in each of those years. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
The Jobcentre Plus Special Payments Scheme is part of a wider scheme operated by the Department for Work and Pensions. Details are contained in the Financial Redress for Maladministration Guide, a copy of which can be found in the House of Commons Library.
(a) The number of compensation payments made across the UK and how much was paid out.
|UK special p ayments|
(b) The number of compensation payments made across Scotland and how much was paid out.
|Scotland special p ayments|
I am not in a position to provide a response to Questions (c) & (d). Details held on our database reflect the referring Benefit Delivery Centres and, in accordance with centralised processing, these offices cover large geographic areas beyond those specified in the question.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for how long a single person claiming jobseeker's allowance could work at the national minimum wage adult rate before that person's earnings attracted a 100 per cent. withdrawal of jobseeker's allowance in each year of the national minimum wage's existence. 
For a single customer with no children and no disabilities there is a £5 disregard each week for part-time earnings in jobseeker's allowance. Earnings above the disregard lead to a pound for pound (100 per cent.) reduction in jobseeker's allowance.
People moving into work of more than 16 hours a week lose entitlement to JSA. However, the effect of the national minimum wage and, where paid, tax credits mean that the overwhelming majority are better off in work than on benefit.
|Adult rate of national minimum wage (£ per hour)||Minutes worked per week before 100 per cent. withdrawal rate|
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average time taken to process a claim for (a) jobseeker's allowance and (b) income support was in Leeds in each of the last 10 years. 
Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of participants in the New Deal for Young People have left the benefits system without securing a job or receiving education or training in each of the last five years. 
Jim Knight: The information requested is not available in this exact format, as the reason for an individual leaving benefit is not always known. However the following table sets out the destinations, by percentage, of people who have left the new deal for young people, other than to benefits, in the last five years:
|Leavers to work||Other destination (including education or training) or destination unknown|
1. Immediate destination is measured within two weeks of leaving new deal, using information from the Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.
2. The year of leaving is the calendar year of leaving new deal.
3. Latest data for 2009 are to May.
Department for Work and Pensions, Information Directorate
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