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21 Jun 2010 : Column 75Wcontinued
Alun Michael: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has made a recent assessment of the extent to which the principles of digital inclusion are taken into account by Jobcentre Plus in the delivery of its services. 
Chris Grayling: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Darra Singh. I have asked the chief executive to provide the right hon. Member with the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions asking (i) what steps his Department is taking to ensure and (ii) whether he has made a recent assessment of the extent to which, the principles of digital inclusion are taken into account in the provision of services by Jobcentre Plus. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Jobcentre Plus recognises the importance of digital inclusion for our customers, especially those who are most disadvantaged and face the greatest barriers to work.
Many Jobcentre Plus services are available through digital channels, including searching for job vacancies, the Benefit Adviser Service on Directgov and the option of making a claim online for contributions-based Jobseeker's Allowance. We aim to help customers develop the skills and confidence to use these services together with the growing number of on-line services provided elsewhere in the private, voluntary and public sectors.
We are looking at a range of ways to address digital exclusion. These include the appointment of digital inclusion champions in Jobcentres and better signposting to help customers access support from our partners, such as the advice and provision available through UK Online in England and equivalents in Wales and Scotland. We see this work as important in tackling barriers to internet access which, with more employers using online recruitment to fill vacancies, is a real barrier to customers finding work.
Tackling digital exclusion is essential to addressing wider social mobility and ensuring that all our customers can benefit from the improvements that digital technologies can provide in helping them move from welfare to work.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information his Department holds on the number of safety incidents there have been on oil rigs in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Grayling: Table 1 gives the accident statistics reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulation 1995 (RIDDOR) for the UK offshore industry as a whole. It will therefore include not only drilling rigs but also installations ranging from large oil and gas production platforms, floating production installations, drilling rigs and unattended gas platforms.
|Injuries||2000-01||2001-02||2002-03||2003-04||2004-05||2005-06||2006-07||2007-08||2008- 0 9||Total|
RIDDOR also requires the reporting of certain dangerous occurrences, and Table 2 gives the statistics for those categories of offshore dangerous occurrences which are almost inevitably drilling rig related.
|2000- 0 1||2001- 0 2||2002- 0 3||2003- 0 4||2004- 0 5||2005- 0 6||2006- 0 7||2007- 0 8||2008- 0 9||Total|
Figures do not distinguish between minor and major incidents.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many officials in his Department are responsible for monitoring the safety of oil rigs in UK waters. 
Maria Miller: The Offshore Division of the Health and Safety Executive has 124 specialist inspectors responsible for health and safety regulation of the UK's offshore oil and gas industry. (Figures as at 1 April 2010)
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he will make a statement under section 9 of the Child Poverty Act 2009 on how the Government will meet the targets in that Act to end child poverty. 
Maria Miller: The Child Poverty Act gained Royal Assent on 25 March this year. Section 9(1) requires Government within 12 months of that date to lay before Parliament the first UK child poverty strategy. Section 9(2) stipulates that the strategy set out the measures that we propose to take to comply with the duty under section 2 to meet four statutory targets and ensure as far as possible that children in the United Kingdom do not experience socio-economic disadvantage. We are setting work in hand to publish a robust strategy within that timescale.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the Government plan to adhere to the targets for abolishing child poverty contained in the Child Poverty Act 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Page 19 of "The Coalition: our programme for government" makes clear our intention to maintain the goal of ending child poverty in the UK by 2020. The terms of reference for the inquiry which we have asked Frank Field MP to lead includes looking at the
measurement of poverty, particularly non-financial aspects. We will want to take account of that inquiry and the work of the Cabinet Committee for Social Justice in preparing the UK strategy for eradicating child poverty that the Child Poverty Act requires us to publish by March next year.
Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people of working age (a) do not have a full-time job and (b) are in receipt of benefits. 
Chris Grayling: The number of people of working age in the United Kingdom who did not have a full-time job in the three months ending March 2010 is estimated at 17.488 million, including people who are in part-time employment, unemployed or economically inactive.
1. Working age population is defined as men aged 16 to 64 and women aged 16 to 59.
2. Estimates refer to the three-month period ending March 2010, and are not seasonally adjusted.
3. Figure rounded to the nearest thousand.
ONS Labour Force Survey
The available information on the number of working age people receiving social security benefits is in the tables.
|Working age benefits client group in Great Britain and abroad: November 2009|
1. Figure rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Working age benefits include: Jobseeker's allowance; incapacity benefit; employment and support allowance; income support; disability living allowance (DLA); attendance allowance (AA); carers allowance (CA); severe disability allowance; and widow's benefit.
3. AA, CA, and DLA claimants include those with entitlement, but where payment is currently suspended (for example, because of an extended stay in hospital or an overlapping benefit).
4. Working age is defined as men aged 16 to 64 and women aged 16 to 59.
DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.
|Number of working age housing benefit and council tax benefit recipients in Great Britain as at November 2009|
1. The data refer to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple.
2. The figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
3. Working age is defined as claimants in receipt of the following benefits, as recorded on the local authority's computer system: Income support, jobseeker's allowance (income-based) or employment and support allowance (income-based). Claimants not receiving one of these benefits are counted as working age if they are aged under 60.
4. There is an overlap in the figures as most people will receive both housing benefit and council tax benefit.
5. Council tax benefit figures exclude any single adult rebate cases.
6. Figures published at
Mr Bacon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much has been spent under the Independent Living Fund in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11 to date. 
Maria Miller [holding answer 15 June 2010]: The Independent Living Fund had expenditure of £340 million for 2009-10 and £58.8 million for the first two months of 2010-11. Figures are for Great Britain.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions he has had with Transocean on the safety record of its oil rigs. 
Inspectors from Health and Safety Executive's (HSE's) Offshore Division hold annual health and safety reviews with every offshore installation duty holder. The last annual review for Transocean was on
23 March 2009, and topics raised by HSE included industry performance, HSE priorities, Transocean specific performance, reported incidents, HSE investigation results, and Transocean specific intervention plans for the coming year. HSE plans to hold the next Annual Review with the company in the autumn 2010.
The most recent meeting with Transocean senior management was 17 June 2010, to discuss the response to a recent extensive human factors intervention undertaken by HSE.
The most recent offshore inspection was on the drilling rig Galaxy II from 9-11 June 2010. The inspection focussed specifically on blow out preventer (BOP) control systems and well control.
Mr Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the independent report on the operation of the work capability assessment made under the Welfare Reform Act 2007 will be published; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Grayling: We are in the process of commissioning an independent review of the operation of the work capability assessment, and expect it to report before the end of the year.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his policy is on implementation of the recommendations of the March 2009 review of work capability assessment. 
Chris Grayling: We are currently considering the recommendations of the Department-led review of the work capability assessment.
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