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25 Jan 2010 : Column 571W—continued

Departmental Fines

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what powers (a) her Department and (b) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) have to impose administrative penalties; what the statutory basis is for each such power; and how much (i) her Department and its predecessor (ii) each of its agencies and NDPBs have recovered in administrative penalties in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [309269]

Jonathan Shaw: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and local authorities have the power to offer administrative penalties as an alternative to prosecution for benefit fraud. Section 115A of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 provides for an administrative penalty in respect of benefit fraudsters and section 115B provides for an administrative penalty for collusive employers.

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission have power to impose penalty payments on non-resident parents who are in arrears with payments of child support maintenance. The power is provided by section 41A of the Child Support Act 1991. No payment penalties have been imposed since the power was commenced in 2003.

The Pensions Regulator has a number of administrative penalties which it can impose. A full list of these penalties has been placed in the Library.

No Administrative penalties were issued by the Pensions Regulator between 2005 and 2009.

The figures in the following table present the amount collected for administrative penalties by the Pensions Regulator since 2005. Amounts collected represent collection of penalties imposed by the Pension Regulator's predecessor, the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (OPRA). Data on amount of penalties collected by OPRA are not available.

Administrative penalties collected by the Pensions Regulator each year










Note: Penalty amounts collected do not correspond to the particular year in which the penalty was issued. Source: Pensions Regulator Accounts.

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Information about other amounts of administrative penalties collected is not available.

Departmental Waste

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what volume of waste her Department and its predecessors generated in each of the last three years; what percentage of this was (a) paper, (b) plastic, (c) glass, (d) metal, (e) electrical goods and batteries and (f) food waste; and what percentage of her Department's waste was (i) disposed of securely, (ii) disposed of in landfill and (iii) recycled. [311837]

Jonathan Shaw: General office waste is managed for the Department for Work and Pensions by its PFI estate partner Telereal Trillium. Our largest waste stream is paper, and so efforts have been concentrated on increasing recycling of this paper across the whole estate. There is little scope for nationwide schemes to recycle further waste streams as the volumes generated in individual offices are too small to make a national system to segregate and recycle plastic, glass, metal or batteries either environmentally or economically viable. There are local schemes in operation run by Telereal Trillium or employees, but due to the administrative difficulties created by their small scale and informal nature, data are not collected.

Minimal food waste is generated within sites as the majority of food preparation is done off site, with ready to serve products delivered. Data on food waste have only been collected since last financial year and are detailed in the following table:

Food Waste






This is either disposed by way of maceration to the foul sewer or within the general waste stream and is included within the landfill figures.

Electrical and electronic equipment remains the property of our private sector partners, who manage and control the waste disposal. While duty of care is assured, we do not routinely collect management information on the volumes involved as it is not, strictly and legally, our waste.

Clean paper and cardboard waste is segregated and recycled securely, by cross shedding and pulping. All remaining office waste, often resulting from food and drink bought in by our employees, is disposed of to landfill. The following table provides information on the volumes of general office waste generated over the last three years:-

Total waste volume (tonnes) Recycled securely (paper/card) (%) Disposed landfill (%)













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Electronic Government: Publicity

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which (a) actors, (b) musicians and (c) other performers were used to support the directgov advertisement, Go DirectGov. [310199]

Jim Knight: The artists featured in the Directgov advertisement are Nick Moran, Honor Blackman, Janet Street Porter, Christopher Biggins, Kelly Brook and Graham McPherson (popularly known as 'Suggs'). Helen Mirren provided the voiceover. It should be noted that negotiations on the involvement of these artists in the project were conducted by the COI and all of the above agreed to participate in the project for a fraction of their normal commercial rate.

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.

Employment and Support Allowance

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 26 October 2009, Official Report, columns 151-52W, on employment and support allowance, what information her Department holds on the reasons for which claimants of employment and support allowance stopped claiming before their assessment was completed; and if she will make a statement. [312238]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 21 January 2010]: The information is not available.

Future Jobs Fund

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many of the 95,000 jobs announced through the Future Jobs Fund will start between October 2009 and March 2010. [304389]

Jim Knight: The Government have approved over 250 bids to the Future Jobs Fund, which will create up to 104,000 jobs. This is an ongoing, demand-led programme and we are working with successful bidders to ensure that as many jobs as possible are filled as quickly as possible. We expect that a significant proportion will start before March 2010 subject to job availability and recruitment processes.

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Future Jobs Fund jobs have been confirmed; and how many of them are guaranteed to (a) be permanent, (b) last for up to three months, (c) last for between three and six months, (d) last for between six and nine months, (e) last for between nine and 12 months, (f) last for more than one year and (g) last for more than two years. [312873]

Jim Knight: The first six bidding rounds will create up to 104,000 Future Jobs Fund jobs. While all Future Jobs Fund jobs must last a minimum of six months
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some bidders have decided to make their jobs last longer, however we do not have a breakdown of the expected durations.

Housing Benefit

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 116W, on housing benefit, what guidance her Department and its agencies has issued to rent officers on the assessment of the appropriate level of housing benefit on a caravan or mobile home site which does not have planning permission. [312019]

Helen Goodman: None; it is for the local authority to establish whether a liability for rent exists, a rent officer would make their usual determinations of reasonable rents on a tenancy referred to them.

Housing Benefit: Young People

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) men and (b) women under the age of 18 years were in receipt of housing benefit on the latest date for which figures are available. [312041]

Helen Goodman: As at October 2009, the most recent available information, there were 11,920 recipients of housing benefit in Great Britain who were under 18 years of age. The information is not available broken down by gender.

Members: Correspondence

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when she plans to respond to the letter of 18 August 2009 from the right hon. Member for Banff and Buchan on his constituent from Fraserburgh. [310727]

Jim Knight: I replied to the right hon. Member on 20 January 2010 and I apologise again for the time taken to do so. The delay was caused by an administrative oversight.

Pensioners: Council Tax Benefits

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the percentage take-up-rate of council tax benefit was amongst pensioners in (a) 1996-97 and (b) the most recent year for which figures are available. [312059]

Helen Goodman: The latest estimates of take-up of means-tested benefits in Great Britain, covering income support, pension credit, housing benefit, council tax benefit and jobseeker's allowance (income-based) are published in "Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up in 2007-08". Copies of this and past reports are available in the Library and online at:

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons the £200 payment
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to pensioners to assist with council tax bills made in March 2005 has not been repeated. [312856]

Angela Eagle: We always made it clear that the Government's commitment was to make the £200 payment to help with council tax bills for the year 2005-06 only.

Pensioners: Crisis Loans

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 9 December
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2009, Official Report, column 408W, on crisis loans, how many and what proportion of crisis loan alignment payments were made to pensioners in the same quarter; and if she will make a statement. [310747]

Helen Goodman: The available information is given in the table.

Alignment payment final awards in Great Britain by quarter for people in the pensioner client group
Quarter Number Proportion of total crisis loan alignment final awards (percentages)

January to March 2007



April to June 2007



July to September 2007



October to December 2007



January to March 2008



April to June 2008



July to September 2008



October to December 2008



January to March 2009



1. The information provided is management information. The preference is to answer all parliamentary questions using official/National Statistics but in this case only management information is available. It is not quality assured to the same extent as official/National Statistics and there are some issues with the data, for example, they do not include applications which were processed clerically and have not yet been entered on to the Social Fund computer system.
2. The alignment payment classification is based on the reason for the application, as opposed to the purpose of the award, which may be different.
3. Awards are final awards and include awards made on review (but only one award is counted for each application which is successful either initially and/or on review).
4. Numbers of alignment payment final awards have been rounded to the nearest 10.
DWP scans of the Social Fund Computer System.

Pensions: Temporary Employment

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment her Department made of the effects on competition in the temporary and agency work sector of the four-year staging period for implementation of the Pensions Act 2008. [312895]

Angela Eagle: The challenge of implementing these reforms is unprecedented with over a million employers and over 10 million people affected.

In order to deliver the workplace pension reforms successfully, we are intending to stage in the new employer duties over a four-year period, starting with large employers, medium and then small.

Inevitably, staging of employers by size, including the temporary and agency sector, can affect the ability of all employers to compete with each other in the short term as some employers will face the cost of administering the reforms and contributing to their employees' pensions sooner than employers staged later.

We considered a number of approaches to staging, including segmenting employers by random selection, by industry type or by geographical region. We believe that staging by size offers the best balance of maximising deliverability while minimising employer burdens and competition impacts.

We believe that any impacts on competition will be short-term and outweighed by the overall positive benefits of our approach.

To further minimise competition issues we are also ensuring that employers will be required to contribute 1 per cent. of qualifying earnings throughout the staging period, before all employers move, at the same time, to 2 per cent. contributions, then 3 per cent.

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