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29 Jun 2010 : Column 487Wcontinued
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many special advisers (a) he and (b) each named Minister in his Department (i) has appointed to date and (ii) plans to appoint. 
Michael Gove: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, on 3 June 2010, Official Report, column 99W.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what his policy is on the use by Ministers in his Department of cars allocated from (a) his Department's pool and (b) the Government car pool which are manufactured in the UK; whether Ministers in his Department are entitled to request the use of a car manufactured in the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Michael Gove: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport on 14 June 2010, Official Report, column 290W.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many officials in his Department are working on renegotiating contracts for the supply of goods and services to the Department as a result of recently announced reductions in public spending; what savings are expected to accrue to his Department from such renegotiations; how much expenditure his Department will incur on such renegotiations; and when such renegotiations will be completed. 
Tim Loughton: We are in the process of identifying potential contracts from which savings can be made through renegotiation. This activity is being undertaken by various officials throughout my Department and the number of officials varies from day to day. Therefore, an accurate number of officials working on renegotiation activities could only be provided at disproportionate costs. The amount of expenditure my department will incur in renegotiating contracts and the savings accrued will not be known until the scale of the activity is determined.
Following this preparatory work a project plan will be produced detailing the costs and benefits along with a schedule of activity. We aim to complete the savings exercise by the end of the financial year.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the cost to the public purse was of (a) signage changes and (b) other measures involved in renaming his Department. 
Tim Loughton: The cost of renaming the Department was £5,250. In addition, it cost £2,250 to update our website, £1,404 for signage and £91 for stationery with the new brand.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what level of kinship care payments are made in each local authority in England. 
Tim Loughton [holding answer 28 June 2010]: Information about the level of kinship care payments made in each local authority in England is not collected centrally.
Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what his policy is on the creation of grammar school places. 
Mr Gibb: The Government do not intend to increase the number of grammar schools.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department (a) has taken recently and (b) plans to take to reduce levels of anti semitism in schools; what recent discussions Ministers and officials in his Department have had on this issue; what representations he has received on this issue since his appointment; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: Schools are currently under statutory duties to put in place measures to prevent and tackle all forms of discrimination and bullying; and provide an environment where all pupils feel safe and are able to learn and achieve. This Government take very seriously the issue of anti-Semitism and is clear there is no place for it in ours schools.
The Department's officials will continue to attend meetings of the cross-Whitehall group on anti semitism and ensure our future plans for reforming schools and tackling bullying consider steps to reducing levels of anti semitism in schools.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether he plans to bring forward proposals to amend the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to apply its provisions to free schools. 
Sarah Teather [holding answer 28 June 2010]: The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 will be repealed in October when the Equality Act 2010 is due to come into force and will replace all existing equality legislation. Maintained and independent schools, and academies, are all covered by the specific education provisions in the Equality Act. It is planned that free schools will be set up as academies which means that they will already be covered by the education provisions and no changes will be required.
Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what form the medical assessment for disability living allowance claimants to be introduced in 2013-14 will take; how much work will be required of GPs and designated medical practitioners in undertaking such assessments; whether there will be exemptions to the requirement to be so assessed; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the effect of changes to the level of disability living allowance proposed in the 2010 Budget on existing recipients of that allowance; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Miller: The Budget announced that we would introduce a new objective assessment for disability living allowance from 2013-14. The design of the new assessment is at the early stages, but will take account of experience from the introduction of the work capability assessment. We will also wish to work with a range of interested stakeholders and disabled people in developing a robust and fair approach.
In keeping with its commitment to protect people in the most vulnerable situations, Budget 2010 also announced that the Government would not be taking back the 1.5% increase that was given to disability living allowance recipients last year. Instead the rates of this benefit will be increased by the consumer prices Index in 2011 and beyond, which is the most widely recognised measure of price inflation.
Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency have applied for employment and support allowance since its creation; and how many of those applications have been refused. 
Chris Grayling: Data on the number of Employment and Support Allowance claims in Bexleyheath and Crayford are not available.
However, data are available for the London borough of Bexley local authority area, which covers Bexleyheath and Crayford. The following table presents all employment and support allowance claims received in Bexley between October 2008 and August 2009 and their outcomes. These figures exclude the small number of clerical claims where the outcome is not recorded electronically.
|Employment and support allowance claims received in Bexley between October 2008 and August 2009|
The Department for Work and Pensions regularly publishes official statistics on the work capability assessment. The statistics were last updated in April 2010 and published in the report "Employment and Support Allowance: Work Capability Assessment: Official Statistics: April 2010", a copy of which has been placed in the Library. The information is also available on the internet at the following address:
Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people in (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency, (b) the London borough of Bexley, (c) Greater London and (d) England who are eligible for a rebate under the energy rebate scheme. 
Steve Webb: The information requested is not available in the format requested.
Under the energy rebate scheme a person will be eligible for a rebate on their electricity account if, on 26 March 2010, they or their partner were aged 70 or over and receiving only the guarantee credit element of pension credit and satisfied the electric supply criteria.
The number of households with someone aged 70 or over and receiving only the guarantee credit element of pension credit is shown in the following table. People will qualify for a rebate if they or their partner were responsible for paying the electricity bill where they live and were not on a social or discounted tariff from their electricity supplier.
|Area||Number of households as at November 2009|
1. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Parliamentary constituency of claimant (Westminster). These constituencies are used for the Westminster Parliament for May 2010.
3. Household is defined here as the number of individuals or couples in receipt of Pension Credit and equates to a "benefit unit". (Since 2006 same-sex partners-civil partners and cohabiters are included in the same benefit unit.) Two individuals who are not partners but live in the same house will be counted as separate households; for example two sisters, each receiving Pension Credit in their own right, sharing a house together would be counted as two households.
4. This information is published on the Nomis website at:
DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100% data
Simon Reevell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Dewsbury constituency claimed jobseeker's allowance in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Hurd: I have been asked to reply.
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.
Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated June 2010:
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people in Dewsbury constituency claimed jobseeker's allowance in each of the last five years. (4356)
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles the number of claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) from the Jobcentre Plus administrative system. Table 1 shows the number of persons claiming Jobseeker's Allowance for May of each of the last 5 years.
National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at:
|Table 1: Number of persons claiming jobseeker's allowance resident in Dewsbury parliamentary constituency|
|As at May each year||Number|
Jobcentre Plus administrative system
Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he plans to take to reduce the number of pensioners living in poverty in Wales. 
Steve Webb: We will restore the earnings link for the basic state pension from April 2011, with a 'triple guarantee' that pensions are raised by the highest of earnings, prices or 2.5%. We will also protect key benefits for older people such as the winter fuel payment, free television licences, free bus travel, and free eye tests and prescriptions.
We want to ensure that older people receive the help that they are entitled to. We aim to simplify the benefit system and as a first step we will be looking to conduct a research study into the feasibility of using existing data to help to improve the take-up of pension credit.
We will help prevent people from falling into poverty in later life by simplifying the rules and regulations relating to pensions to help reinvigorate occupational pensions. We will encourage companies to offer high-quality pensions to all employees and will work with businesses and the industry to support auto enrolment.
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of children living in poverty, reckoning in the proposed increase in value added tax, (a) before housing costs and (b) after housing costs in each year to 2014-15. 
The Budget announced a package of reforms to: support low and middle-income earners; tackle welfare dependency and unaffordable spending;
and support the most vulnerable. This included measures to better target support on low income families including increase in the personal tax allowance and a £2 billion above indexation increase in the child tax credit.
The Budget protects poor families and will have no measurable impact on child poverty in the next two years. The increase in value-added tax will have no impact on children in relative low income poverty as value-added tax is a tax on expenditure and not on income.
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of children in measured income poverty (a) before housing costs and (b) after housing costs in each year to 2014-15. 
Maria Miller: The Budget announced a package of reforms to: support low and middle-income earners; tackle welfare dependency and unaffordable spending; and support the most vulnerable. Measures announced in the Budget will have no significant negative impact on child poverty in the next two years.
For example, some of the savings from the freeze on child benefit, will be recycled to increase the child tax credit by an additional £150 above indexation in 2011-12 and £60 above indexation in 2012-13 enhancing support for low-income families.
Section 14 of the coalition document confirms the Government's commitment to ending child poverty in the UK.
The Child Poverty Act commits Government to meeting targets towards ending child poverty by 2020, and to publishing a strategy to show how it will meet these targets by March 2011.
We will develop a robust strategy which tackles the root causes of poverty. It is only by doing this that we can effectively improve the outcomes for children in a sustainable way.
The Government's strategy will focus on all aspects of child poverty. The right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr Field) has been asked to lead a review into poverty, including how to measure and make progress on non-financial elements of poverty.
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