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Jobseeker's Allowance

Rachel Squire: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to review the regulations which exclude term time only workers from claiming Jobseeker's Allowance during the school holidays. [4449]

Malcolm Wicks: We are considering the terms of the House of Lords judgment of 28 June.

Disability Living Allowance

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people (a) under and (b) over the age of 16 years and suffering from diabetes are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance, listed by the (i) lower, (ii) middle and (iii) higher rate. [3834]

Maria Eagle: Disability Living Allowance comprises a care component with three rates and a mobility component with two. Relevant information is in the table.

People in receipt of Disability Living Allowance whose main disabling condition is diabetes mellitus(22)

Age under 16Age 16 and over
All recipients(23)13,20028,300
Recipients of each rate
Highest rate care2,8005,900
Middle rate care9,4009,900
Lowest rate care1,0006,400
Higher rate mobility(24)10019,500
Lower rate mobility1,5004,400

(22) Figures relate to 30 November 2000.

(23) Some recipients receive both care and mobility components.

(24) Figure is too small to be statistically reliable.


The Department for Work and Pensions: 5 per cent. data.

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what reviews are under way within his Department to examine the eligibility criteria for Disability Living Allowance for those diagnosed as having an irreversible condition. [3823]

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Maria Eagle: Entitlement to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is based on care and mobility needs arising from a disability, not on particular medical conditions, and there are no specific reviews relating to irreversible conditions.

IT Contracts

Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the information technology contracts in excess of £500,000 let by his Department or its predecessor since April 1991, giving in each case the original estimated cost and original estimated completion date, the actual cost and actual completion date and the names of the contractors involved and consultants retained by his Department. [3511]

Mr. McCartney: The Employment Service and the Department of Social Security, had both made their own contractual arrangements for information technology (IT) prior to merging to form the Department for Work and Pensions.

Employment Service contracts

The Employment Service awarded a contract to Siemens Business Service (SBS) to provide an electronic communications system. The service is called Escom and the contract start date was 1 March 1998 with an estimated value of £6 million over the life of the contract. This is a five-year contract due to end 28 February 2003.

Up until August 1998 all other IT work was performed "in-house" by Employment Services' IT division. From 1 August 1998 ES outsourced its IT work in a partnership agreement with Electronic Data Systems (EDS). The original agreement ran until July 2008 with a value of £370 million. In October 2000 the agreement was revised to reflect major new investment in IT and telephony to improve services for jobless people and employers in the Modernising Employment Service (MES) project. The partnership agreement is on-going and retains the original end date of July 2008 with a revised value of £806.5 million.

Department of Social Security contracts

From 1 September 2000 the Department of Social Security outsourced all its IT provision via the award of the ACCORD Strategic Outsourcing Business Allocation. ACCORD is an overarching contract under which future IT services to the Department will be provided by three groups of IT suppliers. The lead supplier group is led by Electronic Data Systems (EDS). The other two supplier groups are headed by British Telecom (BT) and International Computer Ltd. (ICL).

To date, four specific businesses allocations have been awarded under the ACCORD contract:

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The information requested regarding costs of business allocated under the ACCORD contract is not available as it is commercially confidential.

Prior to September 2000 the Department was responsible for its own IT provision but also used a large number of private sector contracts. In 1995 the Department undertook a major rationalisation of its IT contracting approach resulting in the Focus 95 contracts under which responsibility for IT support and operations was outsourced.

A list of IT contracts current at the time of that outsourcing (October 1995) has been placed in the Library. This list gives contractor names and contract periods but it is not possible to give contract values nor is it possible to provide details prior to 1995. This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Basic Pension

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many single retirement pensioners receive (a) 100 per cent. of basic rate retirement pension, (b) 90 to 99 per cent. of basic rate retirement pension, (c) 80 to 89 per cent. basic rate retirement pension and (d) less than 80 per cent. of basic rate retirement pension. [4053]

Mr. McCartney: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the table.

Retirement pensioners by proportion of basic state pension received: 30 September 2000

All retirement pensioners
All percentage rates10,933.9
100 per cent.6,745.5
90–99 per cent.286.4
80–89 per cent.245.6
Less than 80 per cent.3,655.5


1. The figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.

2. Totals may not sum owing to rounding.

3. Includes retirement pensioners resident in Great Britain and overseas.

4. Excludes pensioners without entitlement to a basic state pension.


Figures are based on a 5 per cent. sample taken from the Pension Strategy Computer System at 30 September 2000.

State Second Pension

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the accrual rate implied by the state second pension in each £1,000 band of income up to £20,000 a year in the SSP in its (a) earnings related and (b) flat rate forms. [3699]

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Mr. McCartney: The information is in the table:

State second pension accrual rates(25)

Annual earnings (£)Phase (A) (percentage)Phase 2(B) (percentage)

(25) The accrual rates shown are based on a 49-year working life, expressed in current terms. Unlike SERPS, which has an accrual rate of 20 per cent, the accrual rate for state second pension varies depending on income. State second pension concentrates the most help on the lowest paid. For example, a person earning £6,000 a year through their working life would get £59 a week from state second pension, £46 more than they would have received from SERPS.


Devolved Government Referendums

Mr. Brady: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total cost to public funds was of the referendums on devolved government in (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) London. [2600]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The total cost of the referendum on devolved government in Scotland is estimated at £4.35 million. The total cost of the referendum in Wales was £2.3 million, and in London £1.5 million.

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