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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 17 June 2010

Culture, Media and Sport

Departmental Manpower

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many (a) special advisers and (b) press officers are employed by his Department at each civil service pay grade. [1281]

John Penrose: With regards to the number of special advisers employed by the Department, I refer the hon. Member to the list of special adviser appointments published by the Prime Minister on 10 June 2010, Official Report, column 33-34W.

The Department employs 11 press officers. The breakdown by civil service pay grade is shown in the following table:

Grade Number of press officers

Grade A(1)


Grade B(2)




(1) Former Grade 6/7.
(2) Former SEO/HEO/HEO (D) and equivalent grades.

Departmental Official Hospitality

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what budget his Department has allocated for entertainment, including alcohol, in each of the next three years. [1323]

John Penrose: The 2010-11 budget, inherited from the previous Government, allocated £155, 478 to hospitality, which includes entertainment costs. We are now looking at ways to significantly reduce this. Similar budgets for the following two years will not be set until after the next Spending Review in the autumn.

All expenditure is incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.


Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will take steps to encourage each professional football club to allow a representative of a registered football supporters' trust to sit on its board of directors. [2924]

Hugh Robertson: While it is for the football authorities to run our national game, the Government will encourage the Football Association, premier league, and football league to work closely together to improve the governance and regulation of the national game. This includes exploring better ways to involve supporters in their local clubs.

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Football: South Africa

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether (a) he, (b) other Ministers in his Department and (c) officials of his Department will attend the World cup in South Africa. [2153]

Hugh Robertson: I attended the England v . USA match and travelled economy class on both legs of the journey. No officials attended. The Secretary of State will attend the England v. Algeria match and travel economy class for both journeys. The Secretary of State will be accompanied by one official. I met with various members of the FIFA family during my visit to discuss England's bid for the 2018 World cup, one of the Government's top priorities for sport. The Secretary of State is planning to do the same.

Should England progress to the quarter finals and beyond, as I very much hope they will, we will look again at what attendance is necessary.


Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what (a) telephone calls, (b) meetings and (c) correspondence (i) he and (ii) other Ministers and officials in his Department have had with representatives of the gambling industry since 11 May 2010. [2957]

John Penrose: In the course of the usual engagement with our sectors I, and officials in my Department, have met and spoken with a wide range of organisations and individuals since 11 May. This includes representatives of the gambling industry. However, we do not keep central records of all telephone calls, meetings or correspondence with industry and other representatives.

Work and Pensions

Employment and Support Allowance

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if his Department will take steps to track and monitor claimants who apply for the employment and support allowance and are found fit to work; and for what reasons these claimants are not currently tracked and monitored. [2626]

Chris Grayling: The Department are planning research to investigate the paths of individuals who are found fit for work, whose claim for employment and support allowance is withdrawn or whose claim is ended before they receive a decision at the work capability assessment. The Department is also developing administrative data and management information to routinely monitor the outcomes for all employment and support allowance claimants, including those that moved off the benefit.

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what changes he plans to make to the employment and support allowance system; and if he will make a statement. [2628]

Chris Grayling: The Department published an internal review of the Work Capability Assessment in March 2010. This review outlined possible areas for change-we are currently considering its findings and recommendations.

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We will reassess everyone on incapacity benefits to see if they are fit for work. Those who are capable of work will be moved onto jobseeker's allowance. People who need more support while they prepare for work will get that help on employment and support allowance.

We have committed to introducing the work programme by the summer of 2011. The full scope and shape of this has not yet been finalised, however we recognise that people moving onto jobseeker's allowance from incapacity benefit or employment and support allowance may face particular difficulties. The employment support we offer will reflect this.

Employment Schemes

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the budget for the single work programme planned by his Department will be in 2010-11; and what the previously planned total expenditure on all current back-to-work schemes providing targeted assistance to benefits claimants seeking employment was for 2010-11. [2161]

Chris Grayling: The total budget set aside to deliver employment programmes in 2010-11 was £2,432 million. This budget has been adjusted in-year to reflect savings of £320 million announced as part of the Government's recently announced £6 billion efficiency savings, giving a revised overall budget of £2,112 million.

The Government have committed to introducing the work programme in the first half of 2011. The work Programme will be a single integrated package of support providing personalised help for everyone who finds themselves out of work regardless of the benefit they claim, and the budget will be set as part of the forthcoming spending review negotiations.

Employment Schemes: Lone Parents

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his policy is on training Jobcentre Plus personal advisers on the circumstances and needs of lone parents under the single work programme. [2492]

Chris Grayling: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Darra Singh. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Darra Singh:

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Employment Schemes: Voluntary Organisations

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of voluntary job clubs in helping people into employment. [2256]

Chris Grayling: Job clubs, such as those in Towcester and Brackley, offer local solutions to address unemployment which are led by local communities, organisations and voluntary groups.

Where operational, they offer unemployed people a place to meet, exchange skills, make contacts, and find opportunities to help in their search for employment.

Building on the job club model, the coalition Government have set out a clear commitment to support the development of local work clubs.

Funeral Payments

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent representations his Department have received from professional organisations on the funeral payment. [2090]

Steve Webb: We have had representations from the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD), the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) and some of their members. They raise a number of issues about the operation of the scheme.

Future Jobs Fund

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what advice he has received from his Department on the (a) efficiency and (b) cost-effectiveness of the future jobs fund; and if he will publish all such advice received. [2299]

Chris Grayling: The release of advice to Ministers would prejudice the free and frank provision of advice and the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation and will not, therefore, be provided.

Jobcentre Plus: Rapid Response Service

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has for the Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response Service. [2495]

Chris Grayling: Our intention is to retain the Rapid Response Service in its current form for the 2010-11 financial year. However, in common with all departmental programmes, the longer term future of the service will be considered as part of the forthcoming comprehensive spending review.

Maternity Leave

Mr David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of women who took paid maternity leave in the last five years for which figures are available; what the average number of weeks paid maternity leave was in each such year; and what the average payment was in each such year. [2928]

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Chris Grayling: The Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for statutory maternity pay and maternity allowance. The Department's estimate of the numbers of women who received these payments for each of the last five years is outlined in the table.

Estimated numbers of women receiving statutory maternity pay and maternity allowance since 2005-06

Estimated n umber











Note: Data are based on estimated numbers of starts or new cases in Great Britain. Source: Department for Work and Pensions data.

It should be noted that these figures are likely to be an underestimate of the numbers of women who took paid maternity leave. Some women may have received paid maternity leave via occupational maternity pay schemes provided by their employer but did not qualify for statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance. No estimates are available for this group.

No estimates are made for the average number of weeks of paid maternity leave or average payments.

Social Security Benefits: Stirling

Mrs McGuire: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of the working age population of Stirling constituency are claimants of (a) jobseeker's allowance, (b) employment and support allowance and incapacity benefit, (c) carer's allowance, (d) disability living allowance, (e) widow's and/or bereavement benefit and (f) other income support. [2523]

Chris Grayling: The available information is in the following table:

Working age claimants by client group in Stirling parliamentary constituency: November 2009

Claimants Percentage of the working age population

Job Seeker



Employment and Support Allowance and Incapacity Benefits






Others on income related benefit









1. 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 "Job Seeker", not in "Disabled".
2. 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.
3. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.
4. Working Age Client Group data has been used as this excludes overlaps where people are in receipt of more than one benefit. Data published at:
Department for Work and Pensions Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study. Mid 2008 population estimates produced by General Registers of Scotland.

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