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Mr. Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the measures in his welfare reform programme which will assist disabled people to take up work. 
Mr. Bayley: We have put a number of measures in place to remove barriers to work for disabled people. These include higher earnings disregards in the Independent Living Funds and improvements to the linking and therapeutic earnings rules in Incapacity Benefit. We are also piloting Capability Reports as part of the Personal Capability Assessment, which we introduced in April 2000.
We have introduced the Disabled Person's Tax Credit (DPTC) to help make work pay. In the Budget my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced an increase in DPTC from June and this, combined with increases in the National Minimum Wage in October, will raise the guaranteed minimum income for a disabled person moving into work of 35 hours per week or more to £170 a week for a single person, and £257 a week for a couple with one child.
Furthermore, we are extending the New Deal for Disabled People across Great Britain. From July 2001 a national network of Job Brokers will be set up jointly by the Department of Social Security and the Department for Education and Employment to offer people receiving incapacity benefits the support, guidance and preparation they need to find paid work and move off benefit dependence, continuing to test and assess what works best.
Alongside the national extension, in early 2002 we will be starting New Deal for Disabled People Job Retention and Rehabilitation Pilots jointly with the Department for Education and Employment and the Department of Health. These pilots will test the relative effectiveness of different employment and health interventions in reducing the number of people forced to give up work through prolonged illness or disability.
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The national extension and Job Retention and Rehabilitation pilots draw on lessons learnt from the pilot phase of the New Deal for Disabled People which, by the end of January 2001, has helped over 6,500 people into work.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Sutton and Cheam constituency, the effects on Sutton and Cheam of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. 
Measures in our five Budgets so far will lift over 1.2 million children out of poverty. These include record increases to Child Benefit, the introduction of the Working Families Tax Credit, increases in the income- related benefits, the minimum wage and tax changes.
Child Benefit will be worth £15.50 a week for the eldest child and £10.35 a week for other children from April 2001: nationally about 7 million families receive Child Benefit, and in Sutton and Cheam 9,661 families benefit.
We now have the lowest unemployment rate in 25 years. The New Deals have helped lone parents, the young unemployed, the long-term unemployed, the over 50s and partners of the unemployed to move from benefit into work. In the period since May 1997 the number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance nationally has reduced from 1,562,400 to 960,600; in Sutton and Cheam the number has reduced from 1,200 to 800. Since May 1997 the number of lone parents who claim Income Support has decreased from 1,013,500 to 894,100 nationally and in Sutton and Cheam from 700 to 500.
Older people are disproportionately affected by fuel poverty. So we have introduced Winter Fuel Payments to help with their heaviest fuel bill. This winter, the payment is £200 for households who qualify. Around 16,400 older people in Sutton and Cheam have received a Winter Fuel Payment for this winter.
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To demonstrate our commitment to combating pensioner poverty, this year we will spend £4.5 billion extra in real terms on pensioners. Some 15,600 pensioners in Sutton and Cheam will benefit from the substantial increases in the basic State pension this April and next; this year's increase is £5 a week for single pensioners and £8 for couples. In addition we have introduced free TV licences for the over 75s of whom we estimate there are about 7,200 in Sutton and Cheam. 1,700 pensioner families in Sutton and Cheam are receiving the Minimum Income Guarantee, which we introduced in April 1999 to help our poorest pensioners. From April they will be at least £15 a week, or £800 a year, better off in real terms as a result of Government measures since 1997.
Other reforms in the pipeline include: the new Pension Credit in 2003 designed to ensure that pensioners benefit from their savings; the launch of Stakeholder Pensions in April this year; and the introduction of the State Second Pension in April 2002 both of which will help provide greater security for tomorrow's pensioners.
Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the effectiveness of tackling benefit fraud in (a) Shrewsbury and Atcham and (b) Shropshire since 1 May 1997. 
Mr. Rooker: After years of neglect, we have implemented an effective strategy for dealing with Social Security fraud. Figures are not available for the areas requested but nationally we have already made a 6.7 per cent. reduction in the level of fraud and error in Income Support and Jobseeker's Allowance. This is the first significant reduction.
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Ms Squire: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many young people in each constituency in Scotland have (a) participated in the New Deal and (b) found jobs as a result of the New Deal. 
Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 12 March 2001]: The table shows for each parliamentary constituency in Scotland the number of young people who have participated in, and found jobs through, the New Deal since its introduction in 1998.
|Airdrie and Shotts||1,311||657|
|Argyll and Bute||681||361|
|Banff and Buchan||424||224|
|Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross||598||291|
|Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley||1,272||617|
|Clydebank and Milngavie||1,002||469|
|Coatbridge and Chryston||1,059||528|
|Cumbernauld and Kilsyth||845||486|
|Edinburgh, East and Musselburgh||719||311|
|Edinburgh, North and Leith||813||366|
|Galloway and Upper Nithsdale||766||416|
|Greenock and Inverclyde||830||425|
|Hamilton, North and Bellshill||1,193||634|
|Inverness, East, Nairn and Lochaber||548||287|
|Kilmarnock and Loudoun||1,375||636|
|Motherwell and Wishaw||1,282||618|
|Orkney and Shetland||204||122|
|Ross, Skye and Inverness, West||650||359|
|Roxburgh and Berwickshire||576||303|
|Strathkelvin and Bearsden||660||370|
|Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale||530||291|
|West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine||281||136|
21 Mar 2001 : Column: 270W
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