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Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Irish people extradited to the UK from the US were subsequently convicted of an offence related to terrorism in the last 30 years. 
Meg Hillier: Neither the Home Office nor any other agency involved in the extradition process has extradition records dating back 30 years. From an inspection of surviving records, however-some of which go back to 1994-no trace can be found of any such cases.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people under the age of 21 years have (a) been stopped by the police whilst taking photographs and (b) subsequently had photography equipment seized in connection with terrorism offences in the last 12 months; 
Mr. Hanson: The Home Office does not hold statistics which are recorded in this way. However, the Home Office does collate statistics on the number of terrorism arrests and convictions and these are included in a Bulletin published for the first time on 13 May 2009 (Statistics on Terrorism Arrests and Outcomes Great Britain 11 September 2001 to 31 March 2008). The first edition of the Bulletin is available at:
Mr. Woolas: By definition, the exact number of lost files cannot be known however the total number of the agency's case files which are not currently recorded with a clear location is less than 0.18 per cent. of the overall file holding.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Monmouth of 7 January 2010, Official Report, column 528W, on UK Border Agency: empty property, how many empty (a) dwellings and (b) business premises for which the UK Border Agency is responsible were empty in 2008-09. 
(a) In 2008-09 the UK Border Agency had contracts with 18 suppliers providing accommodation for asylum seekers. The Agency only pay for asylum accommodation on a per person per night basis and do not have any liability for empty dwellings.
(b) In 2008-09 the Agency had in the region of 200 properties of which five were empty once occupation had ended or six if separate floors of one are counted individually. Of the six properties two leases have already ended, two will expire within the next three months and one has lease expiry in 18 months. Overall the Agency has benefited from reduced property, IT and productivity gains from rationalisation that outweigh the costs on these buildings.
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions applications for employment in (a) the Home Office, (b) the Metropolitan Police, (c) MI5 and (d) MI6 have not passed vetting procedures due to (i) suspected al-Qaida sympathies and (ii) other suspected extremist views in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Hanson: The Home Office does not hold a central record of the number of applications for employment that have not passed beyond vetting procedures and it would be of disproportionate cost to assemble such a record.
The Metropolitan Police is responsible for its own vetting, I understand that the Metropolitan Police do not hold a central record and that it would be of disproportionate cost to assemble such a record.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will take steps to reduce the time taken to make cold weather payments to (a) recipients who use prepayment meters and (b) other recipients of such payments. 
Helen Goodman: The overwhelming majority of cold weather payments are paid automatically. When the Department for Work and Pensions is notified of a qualifying cold weather period a computer scan is run over the following weekend. Payments are made into customer's bank accounts on the following Wednesday. The only exception to this is where the Department is notified on a Friday. In these cases the scan will not be run on the weekend immediately following but will be picked up the next weekend. This is considered a reasonable period to prevent hardship.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many employment tribunals relating to her Department were held in each of the last five years; and what the cost to her Department was of such tribunals in each such year. 
Jonathan Shaw: Because employment litigation for the DWP is conducted both in-house and by agents acting on behalf of the Department, the information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Jim Knight: We have only collected details of the number of social enterprise jobs we have agreed to fund in September to November 2009, covering the first six months of funding. In this period we have agreed to fund 1,200 jobs in Social Enterprises through the Future Jobs Fund.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what forms of financial support her Department offers to low income lease holders facing major works service charges; what criteria are used to assess eligibility for such support; and what the total monetary value was of such support granted to each local authority in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09 and (c) 2009-10 to date. 
Helen Goodman: Leaseholders who are responsible for meeting major service charges under the terms of a long lease may receive assistance by way of Support for Mortgage Interest. Help may be provided towards certain service charges related to the fabric of the accommodation or towards the mortgage interest on a loan taken out to meet specific loans for repairs and improvements, provided they are entitled to an income related benefit such as income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance, income-related employment and support allowance and state pension credit.
Mr. Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the rate of employment has been among people undertaking programmes provided under contract to her Department by Maximus Employment and Training UK in Eastleigh since the inception of each such contract. 
Maximus Employment and Training UK has delivered progress2work provision in Eastleigh since 1 June 2009, on behalf of the Department for Work and
Pensions. Progress2work is a service for people who are recovering from misusing drugs and can give the extra support needed to get back into work.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much funding her Department has provided in assistance for ex-miners in Hemsworth constituency in the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement. 
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of (a) primary contracted and (b) sub-contracted employment support providers have withdrawn providing employment support services under the Flexible New Deal in each of the smallest geographical units for which figures are available since the programme's inception; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: Since the Flexible New Deal Phase 1 contracts went live on 5 October 2009, none of the prime providers have withdrawn from delivery. In addition, the Department has not been informed of the withdrawal of any of their sub-contractors.
John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment she has made of the compatibility of the penalty regime for employers in the Pensions Act 2008 with the recommendations of the Hampton Review of Regulation. 
Angela Eagle: The Government's development of the penalty regime for employers in the Pensions Act 2008 included a thorough assessment of its compatibility with the recommendations of Sir Philip Hampton's 2005 review, 'Reducing administrative burdens: effective inspection and enforcement'. Equal consideration was also given to the penalty principles set out by Professor Richard B. Macrory when building on Hampton's work specifically in the context of sanctions in his report 'Regulatory Justice: Making Sanctions Effective' (November 2006). We believe the regime of fixed and escalating penalties in the 2008 Act is fully compatible with the recommendations and principles of both the Hampton and Macrory reports.
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 income after housing costs). Today's pensioners are less likely to be living in relative poverty after housing costs than the population as a whole.
In 1997, the poorest pensioners, who received Income Support, lived on around £69 a week (equivalent to £98 a week in today's prices). Today pension credit ensures that no pensioner needs to live on less than £130 a week or £198.45 a week for couples). This represents an increase in income by almost a third in real terms. And many of those on pension credit will also be entitled to additional support through housing benefit and council tax benefit.
The Pension, Disability and Carers Service continue to promote take-up of benefits for those entitled. This involves data matching to identify entitled non-recipients, home visits for vulnerable customers, targeted local marketing and media campaigns, a simple claim process involving telephones as well as paper claims and ever closer working with partner organisations. The Department is also looking at innovative ways of using information that we already hold to make payments of pension credit more automatically to entitled non-recipients.
In the Pensions Act 2007, we made a commitment to continue to uprate the pension credit standard minimum guarantee at least in line with average earnings over the long-term. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has commented that without this, it is likely there would be significant increases in pensioner poverty in the future.
We have also made a commitment to re-link the uprating of the basic state pension to average earnings. Our objective, subject to affordability and the fiscal position, is to do this in 2012, but in any event by the end of the next Parliament at the latest. This will benefit almost 12 million pensioners.
The Government use a basket of three key thresholds of income, after housing costs, to measure pensioner poverty. The most commonly used figures relate to those with incomes below 60 per cent. of contemporary median income, after housing costs. However, the Department does not have a commitment to eradicate pensioner poverty in the same way it does for child poverty.
The Work and Pensions Select Committee report on its inquiry into tackling pensioner poverty, which was published in July 2009, recommended that the Government should make its commitment to tackling pensioner poverty explicit and formally commit to eradicating pensioner poverty.
After fully considering this recommendation we do not believe that establishing a formal target for the eradication of pensioner poverty would be the right approach. It is entirely right that the Government should commit itself to the eradication of child poverty, but the context for pensioners is not the same. Pensioners' incomes are affected by the work, caring and saving that they have undertaken during their working lives. The Government believe that this "something for something" contributory principle, whereby people are rewarded
for their positive engagement with society during their lives is a critical component of our system of support for older people. Through our pension reform we are putting in place a framework which will enable people to build up a decent pension from the state and provide a foundation for further saving. We need to make sure that our policies balance cost, poverty alleviation and maintaining incentives to save.
We believe that our reforms will achieve this balance and that our published Public Service Agreement, which explicitly commits to "Tackle poverty and to promote greater independence and well-being in later life", is the right framework for tackling pensioner poverty and we will continue to report progress against this indicator.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate she has made of the number of pensioners resident in Coventry South constituency to have been lifted out of poverty since 1997; 
Angela Eagle: The Government use a basket of three key thresholds of income, after housing costs, to measure pensioner poverty. The most commonly used figures relate to those with incomes below 60 per cent. of contemporary median income, after housing costs.
Estimates of the number of pensioners who have been lifted out of poverty are not available, as each year different households are surveyed to produce low income statistics that are published in the Households Below Average Income series. However, information is available about the net change in the number of pensioners with incomes below 60 per cent. of contemporary median income.
These figures only allow a breakdown of the overall numbers in poverty at Government Office Region level. Therefore, information is available for the West Midlands Government Office Region, but not available for the Coventry South constituency. Three-year averages are used to report regional statistics as single-year estimates are subject to volatility. Figures are quoted to the nearest 100,000.
In the three-year period 1997-98 to 1999-2000 there were around 300,000 pensioners in the West Midlands with incomes below the 60 per cent contemporary median (equivalent to 28 per cent of pensioners in the region). The latest information relates to the period 2005-06 to 2007-08 in which there were around 200,000 pensioners in poverty (18 per cent).
Since 1997-2000, there has been a reduction of around 100,000 pensioners in the West Midlands Government Office Region with incomes below 60 per cent. of the contemporary median income. This equates to a 10 percentage point reduction in pensioner poverty.
At a national level, we do not need to use the three-year averages and can use the individual yearly figures. However, figures for 1997-98 cover Great Britain only, as Northern Ireland data did not become available until the following year.
In 1997-98 there were around 2.9 million pensioners in poverty in Great Britain, which equates to around 29 per cent. of all pensioners. The 2007-08 UK figures show that around 2.0 million pensioners were in poverty, equating to around 18 per cent.
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