25 Feb 2013 : Column 354W

Staff

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff are based in each property used by his Department. [143324]

Mr Hoban: The information, a breakdown of staff by site/location and by geographical region, will be placed in the House of Commons Library. This also includes staff working in Child Maintenance Group, which joined DWP in August 2012.

In addressing your question I have used statistical information retrieved from DWP personnel computer systems, which manage over 100,000 staff accounts. This is the latest information available at this time; however as managers input information daily this information is subject to change.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate his Department’s total staffing requirement in full-time equivalent posts for fulfilling its minimum statutory obligations. [143345]

Mr Hoban: The Department allocation of staffing is complex and our staffing needs to meet minimum statutory obligations change continually. For that reason, it is not possible to give a figure.

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff of his Department are employed in Preston constituency; in which locations; and whether he has any plans to make such staff redundant. [143542]

Mr Hoban: The Department employs a total of 1,300 people in Preston constituency (data are as at 31 December 2012).

The following table shows the number of staff employed at each location in Preston constituency:

LocationPostcodeNumber of staff

Barry House

PR1 4DE

306

Duchy House

PR1 1DD

372

Elizabeth House

PR1 1DD

271

Gateway House

PR1 2ER

126

Palatine House

PR1 1HB

146

Red Rose House

PR1 1HB

79

Total

 

1,300

There are no plans for compulsory redundancies to be made in this area.

State Retirement Pensions

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people qualifying for state pension payments on their birthday in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012 received payment of their pension effective from a later date than their birthday; [142582]

(2) what estimate he has made of savings to the public purse accruing in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012 from paying people qualifying for their state pension on their birthday from a date later than their birthday. [142583]

25 Feb 2013 : Column 355W

Steve Webb: Payment of state pension starts from the first full benefit week that follows the date a person reaches state pension age. State pension is paid in full weeks and this means that for most people there will be a gap between their birthday (when they reach pension age) and the day they receive their first payment of pension. The gap could be anything between one and six days, depending on the person's birthday and their benefit payday.

If a person's birthday happens to fall on the same day of the week as the first day of their benefit week, there is no gap between that birthday and the first day for which payment is due. For most other people, there will be. However, because we make pension payments in complete weeks, there are no part-week payments at the end of a claim either, when a full week's benefit is also paid and thus the system balances itself out.

We do not record figures for the total numbers of people affected variously by this rule and the cost of obtaining such figures for 2011 and 2012 would be disproportionately high. Because of this, I am unable to say how much this represents in financial terms.

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the revenue likely to be generated by changes in national insurance premiums following the introduction of the single-tier state pension in 2017 in each of the subsequent five financial years. [143687]

Steve Webb: The information is in the following table. Decisions on the treatment of revenues from these changes will be taken in due course, in the context of the relevant spending review and budget discussions.

Table: Estimated gross NICs revenues generated by single-tier reform
Financial year£ billion

2017

5.9

2018

5.8

2019

5.6

2020

5.5

2021

5.3

Note: These figures are dependent on a 2017 start date. Numbers have been rounded and are presented in 2012-13 price terms. These figures are DWP estimates and have not yet been certified by the OBR. Source: DWP Modelling.

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate his Department has made of the value of the single-tier state pension if it was uprated by (a) earnings, (b) the consumer prices index and (c) 2.5 per cent before implementation in 2017; [143688]

(2) if he will estimate the equivalent value of the single-tier state pension in 2017 if it were to be uprated before that date by (a) earnings, (b) consumer prices index and (c) 2.5 per cent. [144681]

Steve Webb: The single-tier pension will be implemented in April 2017 at the earliest, and will be set above the basic level of means-tested support, the pension credit standard minimum guarantee. The final level of the single-tier pension will be set closer to implementation, taking into account the cost implications and the fiscal context at the time.

25 Feb 2013 : Column 356W

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the savings to the public purse following the introduction of the single-tier state pension in 2017 in each of the subsequent 10 financial years. [143689]

Steve Webb: The single-tier pension will cost no more than the current system overall. The overall costs for single-tier are broadly in line with expenditure on the current system as a proportion of GDP until the late 2040s. From the late 2040s, the rise in pensions expenditure is slower under the single-tier than under the current system: pensions expenditure is reduced from 8.5% of GDP to 8.1% of GDP by 2060 (according to DWP estimates which have not yet been verified by the OBR).

The table shows that although single-tier costs less than the current system rolled forward in the first decade, savings in the early years are very small as a percentage of total pensioner benefit spending under the current system modelled forward.

Table: Estimated reduction in pensioner benefits expenditure under single-tier compared with the current system rolled forward
 Reduction in expenditure on pensioner benefits (%)

2017

0.0

2018

0.1

2019

0.2

2020

0.2

2021

0.2

2022

0.3

2023

0.3

2024

0.3

2025

0.3

2026

0.2

Source: DWP Long-term projections of expenditure and Pensim2 Modelling.

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 11 February 2013, Official Report, column 510W, on state retirement pensions, what the average protected amount is which would be received by an individual. [143986]

Steve Webb: Individuals who have a national insurance record of more than the full single-tier pension at the point of implementation will get the full level of the single-tier pension, and keep any amount above this as a ‘protected payment' when they reach state pension age.

Of those reaching state pension age between 2017 and 2060, the Department's modelling suggests that around 5% would receive a ‘protected payment' and that the median value at state pension age would be £6 per week, in 2012-13 earnings terms.

Protected payments will in general be much larger than this when the single-tier pension is first introduced. The average value will decline over this time.

Source:

DWP modelling based on PENSIM2

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the White Paper on the single-tier pension, published in January 2013, for what reasons the cost of the single-tier pension as a proportion of gross domestic product is expected to fall in the years 2012 to 2017. [144067]

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Steve Webb: The Government set out their proposals for a single-tier state pension on 14 January in “The single-tier pension: a simple foundation for saving”. Under these proposals, the single-tier pension will not be implemented until April 2017 at the earliest. The White Paper does not model any costs for the single-tier pension as a proportion of gross domestic product before 2017.

Under the current system, the Department estimates that expenditure on pensioner benefits as a percentage of GDP will fall between 2012-13 and 2016-17.

The principal reason for the reduction in current system spending over the period in question is that women's state pension age increases from 60 to 65 between April 2010 and November 2018, which results in fewer women reaching state pension age each year in the period of interest.

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the increases to national insurance contributions which would be required to maintain state pension spending if the new single-tier state pension were to be uprated in line with earnings between 2017 and 2060. [144174]

Steve Webb: No increase in national insurance contributions or other revenue would be required.

The Government have set out in the White Paper, “The single-tier pension: a simple foundation for saving” that the single-tier pension will be uprated at least in line with earnings.

The cost estimates in the White Paper and accompanying Impact Assessment show that the proposals are broadly cost neutral, and are based on a model in which the single-tier pension is uprated in line with the triple-lock (the highest of consumer price inflation, earnings growth or 2.5%).

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of moving all current pensioners onto a single-tier state pension from 2017 for the period 2017 to 2060. [144207]

Steve Webb: The single-tier pension will deliver a simple and fair state pension set above the basic level of means-tested support, providing clarity and confidence to better support saving for retirement. Providing this platform for saving also underpins automatic enrolment.

Moreover, the reforms are designed to cost no more than the current system and are not about spending more money on future pensioners, but spending money more effectively to better support saving for retirement. As a consequence, some people will get more under the single-tier reforms than if the current system continued, and some less.

The Department has estimated the annual cost of moving the pensions of people who reach state pension age before the implementation of single-tier pension to the proposed single-tier level as being around £10 billion in the medium term. Full details are available on the Department's website at:

http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/adhoc_analysis/2011/cost_140_a_week_state_pension.pdf

Costs would fall over the longer term and would be minimal by 2060.

25 Feb 2013 : Column 358W

Current pensioners remain a priority for Government and we have introduced the triple lock to ensure that the basic state pension rises by at least 2.5% each year. Those who reach state pension age before the reforms are implemented will continue to receive their state pension in line with the existing rules.

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse as a percentage of gross domestic product of maintaining the current state pension provision, if that provision was uprated in line with earnings, for each of the next 40 financial years. [144394]

Steve Webb: No such estimate has been made.

Current projections of long-term expenditure on state pension are based on the assumption that the basic state pension will be uprated in line with the triple lock (the highest of earnings, prices and 2.5% each year) and that Additional Pension payments will be uprated in line with prices.

State Retirement Pensions: Females

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the draft Pensions Bill, published in January 2013, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of including women born between April 1952 and July 1953 in the new single-tier state pension. [143597]

Steve Webb: Around 430,000 women born between 6 April 1952 and 5 July 1953 will reach state pension age between May 2014 and March 2017 and will be aged between 62 and 63 years nine months when they become able to claim their state pension.

As the proposed single-tier pension will not be implemented until April 2017 at the earliest, they will receive their state pension under the current system. If their state pension age was the same as that of a man born on the same date, then they would reach state pension age at 65, between April 2017 and July 2018 and could be within the scope of the single-tier pension if it was implemented in 2017-18.

While this group of women will not receive their state pension under the proposed single-tier arrangements, they will be able to claim their state pension between 15 months and three years earlier than a man born on the same date. Because they reach state pension age earlier than a man born the same day, we estimate that they could receive between £10,000 and £18,000 in state pension in the interval between their legislated state pension age and a man's state pension age of 65.

Not all would be entitled to a full single-tier pension (for example if they have fewer than 35 qualifying years, or have been contracted out of the additional state pension) and not all would necessarily be financially better off under the single-tier pension.

The costs of extending the single-tier pension to this group of women would depend a great deal on the details of implementation, for example whether they would still be able to claim any pension before the implementation of the single-tier pension, whether access to savings credit would be removed, and whether women for whom single-tier could be less generous would have any choice.

25 Feb 2013 : Column 359W

Training

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on training and education for civil servants in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [144097]

Mr Hoban: The Department spent the following on training and education for civil servants in the following periods:

(a) 2010-11: £12,082,367

Set against a staffing of 97,963 this equates to £123 per head per annum.

(b) 2011-12: £8,523,305

Set against a staffing of 88,626 this equates to £96 per head per annum.

The reduction in expenditure is a result of continued efficiency savings and the move to cross-Government training provision through Civil Service Learning.

Unemployment: Young People

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 6 February 2013, Official Report, column 355W, on social enterprises, if he will provide details of the 10 social impact bonds intended to tackle youth unemployment, including their geographical coverage; and what progress has been made on each to date. [144196]

Mr Hoban: The youth unemployment social impact bond projects will support disadvantaged young people and those at risk of disadvantage aged 14 years and over. The 10 investors and delivery locations are:

Contracting bodyDelivery locations

APM UK Ltd

West Midlands: Birmingham

Stratford Development Partnership

East London: Stratford, Canning Town, Royal Docks (Newham), Cathall (Waltham Forest)

Indigo Project Solutions

Perthshire and Kinross

Nottingham City Council

Nottingham City

Private Equity Foundation

East London: Shoreditch

Triodos Bank

Greater Merseyside

Prevista

London: boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hounslow, Westminster and Haringey

3SC

South Wales: Cardiff and Newport

Social Finance 3

South West England: Bracknell Forest BC, Buckinghamshire CC, Milton Keynes Council Oxfordshire CC, Reading BC, Slough BC, West Berkshire DC, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Wokingham BC

Social Finance 4

North West England: Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Oldham, Tameside

The Innovation Fund is progressing well. All of the projects have started and a total of around 4,000 disadvantaged young people have started on the programme, with a growing number of positive outcomes recorded.

25 Feb 2013 : Column 360W

At this time, with the last of the projects only just under way, we do not have a detailed breakdown of performance for each of the 10 projects.

Universal Credit

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions his Department has had with housing associations on the effect of universal credit on their finances; and if he will make a statement. [143751]

Mr Hoban: DWP officials have met housing associations and representatives of other landlords regularly to discuss a range of matters linked to the implementation of universal credit and it is intended that these meetings will continue in the future. In addition, several housing associations are directly involved in the direct payment demonstration projects which are influencing the design for universal credit in order to protect landlord revenue.

Vacancies: Newcastle Upon Tyne

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) part-time and (b) full-time vacancies are available in the Newcastle upon Tyne travel-to-work area, by job type. [143933]

Mr Hoban: There were 7,474 live vacancies advertised on Universal Jobmatch in the Tyne Tees Region as of 14 February 2013. We do not hold a breakdown of this information.

Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of households whose income will be reduced as a consequence of implementation of the provisions of the Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill in each (a) parliamentary constituency and (b) local authority area. [144194]

Steve Webb: The data requested are not available due to small sample sizes.

Welfare State: Reform

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of increase in demand for legal aid funded advice services following reform to the welfare system which will take effect from April 2013. [143610]

Mr Hoban: The demand for legal aid services are not expected to be impacted significantly with the introduction of universal credit from April 2013 over the short-term. The Department continues to work with the Ministry for Justice to assess the longer term impacts and to ensure consistent provision of service.

Work Capability Assessment

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he has taken to ensure that people who are terminally ill are not (a) inappropriately assessed for benefit entitlement and (b) compelled to undertake mandatory work placements. [142446]

25 Feb 2013 : Column 361W

Mr Hoban: The information is as follows:

(a) Where an individual suffers from a progressive disease and is expected to live for less than six months, they are considered to be terminally ill and are placed immediately into the Support Group of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). On declaring this, they are dealt with under fast track rules which mean their claim must be processed as soon as possible and they are exempt from a face-to-face assessment. These claimants receive the higher rate of benefit immediately.

Claimants who do not claim under special fast track rules will have their case assessed on paper-based evidence. Processes are in place for health care professionals to request further evidence if required. Claimants with a limited capability for work will be placed in the Support Group.

(b) ESA claimants in the Support Group are not subject to any work-related requirements but can access employment and health-related support on a voluntary basis.

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many appeals have been made to the outcome of work capability assessments in each year since 2009. [144182]

Mr Hoban: The Department only holds information on appeals once they have been heard by HM Courts and Tribunal Service.

The Department regularly publishes official statistics on employment and support allowance (ESA) and the work capability assessment (WCA) including appeal outcomes. The latest report was published in January 2013 and can be found on the internet at the following link:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/workingage/index.php?page=esa_wca

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have ceased to be entitled to incapacity benefit following a work capability assessment in each year since 2009. [144183]

Mr Hoban: In January 2013, the Department released an update to the official statistics on incapacity benefit reassessment (IBR). The data covers IBR referrals in the period from March 2011 to May 2012 and includes the number of people found fit-for-work following an incapacity benefit reassessment. The statistics can be found at:

http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/workingage/index.php?page=esa_ibr

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people have ceased to be entitled to employment support allowance following a work capability assessment in each year since 2009; [144184]

(2) how many work capability assessments were undertaken in each year since 2009. [144185]

Mr Hoban: In January 2013, the Department released an update to the official statistics on work capability assessments. The statistics can be found at:

http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/workingage/index.php?page=esa_wca

These statistics include the number of people found fit-for-work as a result of completing a work capability assessment (WCA) up to August 2012.

25 Feb 2013 : Column 362W

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average length of time is between a successful appeal against a work capability assessment and a further such assessment on an individual. [144514]

Mr Hoban: The information is not readily available and has not previously been published as official statistics, We will consider whether it is feasible to produce the statistics requested within the disproportionate cost limit, and if so, will issue them in an official statistics release in accordance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department's policy is on conducting work capability assessments on people who have recently had successful appeals against a change of status following a previous work capability assessment. [144515]

Mr Hoban: A DWP decision maker decides when the claimant should next be referred for a work capability assessment following a decision by the First-tier tribunal that the claimant has limited capability for work.

When deciding a re-referral date, the DWP decision maker will consider all the information available to them including, for example, the previous prognosis advice from the Atos Healthcare professional and any factors that the Tribunal have recorded in their decision, including any suggested re-referral date.

Re-referral dates chosen can be three, six, 12, 18 or 24 months, depending on when it is considered most appropriate for the claimant to have their next contact with the Department.

Work Capability Assessment: Kilmarnock

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency who have been diagnosed as terminally ill have (a) undergone a work capability assessment and (b) been compelled to undertake work placements. [142883]

Mr Hoban: Where an individual suffers from a progressive disease and is expected to live for less than six months, they are considered to be terminally ill and are placed immediately into the support group of employment and support allowance (ESA). On declaring this, they are dealt with under fast-track rules which mean their claim must be processed as soon as possible and they are exempt from a face-to-face assessment.

ESA claimants in the support group are not subject to any work-related requirements, but can access employment and health-related support on a voluntary basis.

Work Programme

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) whether he has received any reports that people on the Work programme classified as being in self-employment have opted for that pathway as a result of coercion; [143654]

25 Feb 2013 : Column 363W

(2) pursuant to his answer of 7 February 2013, Official Report, column 404W, on the Work programme, how many investigations have been undertaken into suspected inappropriate Work programme outcome claims in such circumstances to date. [143683]

Mr Hoban: The Department treats any allegation of fraud by contractors very seriously. Any fraud is completely unacceptable. Where we identify, or are notified of, allegations of contractor fraud, these cases are investigated thoroughly by DWP's professionally trained and experienced investigators to a standard required to support reference to the police whenever evidence of criminal offences is discovered.

During the course of a recent third party investigation, an allegation was made against a Work programme provider concerning suggestions of duress for jobseekers entering self-employment. No evidence has been identified to substantiate this allegation.

To date there has been no need to investigate allegations that companies delivering Work programme have encouraged jobseekers to submit fraudulent claims for working tax credit on the basis of non-existent self-employment.

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have found work through the Work programme (a) nationally and (b)

25 Feb 2013 : Column 364W

in Hull who have a (i) visual impairment, (ii) physical disability sufficient for them to be in the employment and support allowance support category and (iii) mental health condition. [144191]

Mr Hoban: Official statistics on Work programme participants who start work is not available.

Work programme official statistics on job outcomes and sustainment payments are available on the Department’s website at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=tabtool

Guidance for users can be found at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/tabtools/guidance.pdf

Yorkshire and the Humber

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff of his Department are employed in (a) Hull and (b) East Yorkshire. [144422]

Mr Hoban: In answer to your question, how many staff of his Department are employed in (a) Hull and (b) East Yorkshire, I can provide you with the following:

Hull—801

East Yorkshire (in total including Hull)—is 950 (excluding Hull is 149).

These figures represent the position as at 31 December 2012 using Office for National Statistics (ONS) definitions.