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21 Jan 2010 : Column 424W—continued

Contributory factors reflect the police officer's opinion at the time of reporting, and where some factors may have contributed to the cause of an accident it may be difficult for a police officer attending the scene after the accident to identify them, so these factors may be under-reported. Not all reported road accidents are included in the contributory factor analysis, only those where a police officer attended the scene and at least one contributory factor was reported.

Rolling Stock: Procurement

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer of 6 January 2010, Official Report, column 336W, on rolling stock, how many vehicles were offered to the Department where the purchase option was not pursued and the vehicles were subsequently exported. [311166]

Chris Mole: Although sale of the vehicles is a matter for the rolling stock leasing companies I am aware that:

Work and Pensions

Departmental Consultants

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much her Department has spent on behavioural research consultants in the last five financial years. [310976]

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Jim Knight: The information requested could not be provided within the disproportionate costs threshold.

Departmental Manpower

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many jobs in her Department she plans to outsource in the next five years. [310975]

Jim Knight: My Department's policy is to rigorously and continuously examine all of our activities and to apply our "contestability" policy which offers the opportunity to use external provision, using competition, to create incentives for continuous improvement in the cost and quality of services and to provide customers with greater choice.

Plans to determine the most efficient delivery model for the Department and its constituent agencies are therefore subject to this continuous review and the optimum balance of in-house provision and outsourced providers is sought.

Departmental Records

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate she has made of the number of paper files held in her Department and its agencies; what the annual cost to each of monitoring a paper filing system is; what consideration she has given to alternative filing arrangements; and whether any changes to present practices are planned. [307037]

Jim Knight: A full record storage and retrieval service is currently delivered to DWP by Capita plc. The current file-holding is in the region of 58 million files and the annual contract cost for 2008-09 was £21.2 million. In the main these paper documents form the legal basis on which applications to benefit are determined and must be retained for audit, review, appeal and other business related functions while the claim to benefit is current and for a period after termination of claim.

DWP is actively engaged in a range of initiatives to reduce paper e.g. a scanning solution for documents received from clients. These scanned images will be stored in and retrieved from a single Departmental Document Repository System.

Jobcentre Plus has also set up a Paper Reduction Programme to consider opportunities to reduce the amount of paper that is used and moved around its business.

Employment and Support Allowance

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will consider the merits of automatically placing individuals with (a) Huntington's disease and (b) certain other conditions on employment support allowance. [312484]

Jonathan Shaw: Entitlement to employment and support allowance does not depend on an individual's diagnosis or condition, but on how severely a condition impacts on an individual's ability to function. This is in recognition of the fact that individuals with the same condition can experience varying functional effects. Accordingly, the assessment for benefit entitlement accurately identifies individuals for the most appropriate benefit and support, by focusing on the functional effects of a condition.

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Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the criteria are for qualification for employment support allowances. [312485]

Jonathan Shaw: The basic qualification conditions for employment and support allowance are that the customer:

There are additional conditions to determine if a customer is entitled to contributory and/or income-related employment and support allowance.

Employment Schemes: Older Workers

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to her Department's White Paper on Building Britain's Recovery, whether people currently on (a) incapacity benefit and (b) employment and support allowance will be eligible for the new specialist back to work support for the over 50s; and when she expects that support to be available. [312241]

Jonathan Shaw: The White Paper announced five new back-to-work measures for the over 50s, principally designed for those on jobseekers allowance (JSA). However, early access (day one of a claim) to work trials will extend equally to customers on incapacity benefits and employment and support allowance. The new specialist contracted support for over 50s will be delivered as part of the Jobcentre Plus Support Contract (JCPSC), which is an important tool for advisers and an integral part of the JSA customer journey.

The new JCPSC provision for over 50s will be open to people claiming JSA and New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP), New Deal for Partners (NDP) and Work Focused Support for Carers (WFSC) participants. People in receipt of IB will be able to access the JCPSC provision where they meet the eligibility criteria as a NDLP participant. Partners of customers in receipt of ESA/IB will be able to access the JCPSC provision where they meet the eligibility criteria as a NDP participant.

We are working to introduce the over 50s measures in spring this year.

Employment Services

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent steps her Department has taken to develop the profiling tool for jobseekers referred to on page 108 of her Department's White Paper, Building Britain's Recovery; when she expects trials of that tool to start; where such trials will be undertaken; and recipients of what benefits will be included in those trials. [312239]

Jim Knight: We are currently conducting a trial that builds upon the Jobseekers Classification Instrument which is a questionnaire used in Australia to determine the level of service a jobseeker needs in order to find work. The trial has already started, is taking place
21 Jan 2010 : Column 427W
across Great Britain via telephone interview and will cover 5,000 people making a new jobseeker's allowance claim.

Future Jobs Fund

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many young people were employed in each area where the Future Jobs Fund is operating in each month since its introduction. [311721]

Jim Knight: Information on Future Jobs Fund starts is not currently available, but will be made available from spring 2010 through a statistical release that is planned to cover the whole of the Young Person's Guarantee. This is normal practice for DWP employment programmes and it allows time for input from the UK Statistics Authority and for the information to be collected, understood, verified and reported.

Income Support: Disabled

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what her most recent estimate is of the number of people in receipt of income support on the ground of disability. [312240]

Jonathan Shaw: The information is not available in the format requested.

Pension Credit

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will make it her policy to increase pension credit payment levels to compensate for the effects of lower interest rates on the income of pensioners. [309699]

Angela Eagle: From November 2009 the amount of capital completely ignored in the calculation of pension credit was increased from £6,000 to £10,000. This change was made in response to the impact of falling interest rates on pensioners and means that around 88 per cent. of pension credit recipients have all of their capital ignored.

From April 2010 the standard minimum guarantee in pension credit is due to increase by 2 per cent. This means that, from April, no single pensioner need live on less than £132.60 a week and no couple on less than £202.40 a week. The above earnings increase in the pension credit guarantee underlines the Government's ongoing commitment to tackling pensioner poverty.

We have a good track record of reducing pensioner poverty. In 2007-08 there were 900,000 fewer pensioners in relative poverty than in 1998-99 (measured as below 60 per cent. of contemporary median household income after housing costs). Pensioners are less likely to be living in poverty, as measured by relative low income after housing costs, than the population as a whole.

Pensioners: Disabled

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate she has made of the average income of a recipient of (a) attendance allowance and (b) disability living allowance who is over 65 years or over. [309336]

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Jonathan Shaw: In 2007-08 the median income of individuals in receipt of attendance allowance was £12,900 per year and the median income of disability living allowance recipients aged 65 years or over was £12,200 per year. However, to look at the living standards of recipients of disability living allowance and attendance allowance, it is more appropriate to use equivalised household incomes (where household incomes are adjusted for household size and composition) as presented in the Department for Work and Pensions Households Below Average Income report. Results on this basis are given in the following table:

Median equivalised annual household incomes of household containing recipients of attendance allowance and disability living allowance who are aged 65 or over
Median annual household income (£)
Group Before housing costs After housing costs

Recipients of attendance allowance



Recipients of disability living allowance



All households with someone aged 65 or over



Notes: 1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest £100. 2. The Family Resources Survey is a nationally representative sample of approximately 26,000 households. Since 2002-03, the Family Resources Survey has covered the whole of the United Kingdom. The Households Below Average Income series is sourced from the Family Resources Survey. 3. Data for 2007-08 were collected between April 2007 and March 2008. 4. The Family Resources Survey is known to under-record both incomes and benefit receipt so the estimates presented should be treated with caution. 5. The figures are based on a sample of households which have been adjusted for non-response using multi-purpose grossing factors which align the Family Resources Survey to Government office region population by age and sex. Estimates are subject to sampling error and remaining non-response error. 6. Attendance allowance and disability living allowance amounts have been included as income. 7. The Households Below Average Income series uses disposable household income, adjusted (or 'equivalised') for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living. For the Households Below Average Income series, incomes have been equivalised using Organisations for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) equivalisation factors. Sources: 1. The Family Resources Survey 2007-08. 2. Households Below Average Income report 2007-08.

Social Security Benefits

Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in (a) England, (b) Essex and (c) Braintree constituency are in receipt of each type of benefit administered by her Department. [312079]

Jim Knight [holding answer 20 January 2010]: The information requested is in the following table.

21 Jan 2010 : Column 429W
Recipients of benefits in the Braintree parliamentary constituency, the county of Essex and England by statistical group: May 2009

England Essex Braintree





ESA and incapacity benefits




Lone parents








Others on income related benefit












Receiving state pension only








1. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest ten; some additional disclosure control has also been applied.
2. Totals may not sum due to rounding.
3. Caseload figures for attendance allowance, carers allowance, and disability living allowance include those cases with entitlement but where payment is currently suspended (for example, because of an extended stay in hospital or an overlapping benefit).
4. The statistical group is a hierarchical variable. A person who fits into more than one category will only appear in the top-most one for which they are eligible. For example a claimant of disability living allowance and jobseeker's allowance would appear in "Jobseekers", not in "Disabled".
5. From November 2008 the "incapacity benefits group" includes employment and support allowance (ESA). ESA replaced incapacity benefit and income support paid on the grounds of incapacity for new claims from 27 October 2008. Prior to this the "incapacity benefits group" referred to claimants of incapacity benefit (including credits only) or severe disablement allowance including people claiming income support on the grounds of incapacity.
6. May 2009 are the most recent data available.
DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.

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