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Benefits Agency

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many security staff are employed in Benefits Agency offices; and what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of such staff in (a) deterring criminal acts and (b) helping to protect office staff when a criminal act is committed; [14233]

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Mr. Nicholas Brown: There are currently 387 CCTV systems installed and Land Securities Trillium has 1,179 permanent security staff members deployed in Benefits Agency offices. The number of security staff is supplemented by temporary staff where local needs demand.

The installation of CCTV cameras and the deployment of security staff are based on the recommendations of independent risk assessors in order to reduce risks for staff in those offices. The security teams regularly defuse situations at an early stage and where necessary take action to notify the police. No statistics are available on the number of occasions when security staff intervene or CCTV is used as evidence in a prosecution.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department's policy is for dealing with claimants who act in a threatening or violent manner towards Benefits Agency staff. [14235]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: Ministers and senior management have made clear that we will take determined action against customers who in any way threaten, attack or abuse our staff.

Child Poverty

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proposals he has to end child poverty; and how many children living in poverty there were in (a) June 1997 and (b) June 2001. [13757]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 9 November 2001]: Child poverty and social exclusion are complex multi-dimensional concepts, affecting many aspects of children's lives—including their living standards, health, housing, the quality of the environment, and opportunities to learn. The third "Opportunity for all" report (Cm 5260) sets out the Government's strategy for tackling child poverty and social exclusion and presents the latest information on the indicators used to monitor progress against this strategy.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he plans to extend the use of the application registration cards for asylum seekers to all benefit claimants. [11741]

Malcolm Wicks: The new application registration card will replace the Home Office standard acknowledgement letter issued to all asylum seekers. The card will only be issued to acknowledge an application for asylum and for no other purpose.

As the application registration card is designed solely for use by asylum seekers, who are not eligible to receive social security benefits, it would be inappropriate to extend its use to non-asylum seekers who claim benefits.

Attendance Allowance (Care Homes)

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the entitlement of self-funded residents of nursing and care homes to receive attendance allowance; and if he will

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estimate how many self-funded residents of nursing and care homes are receiving attendance allowance in each nation of the United Kingdom. [10915]

Maria Eagle: People who meet the whole cost of their place in a residential care home or nursing home entirely from their own resources and without help from public funds are termed self-funders and may be entitled to continued payment of attendance allowance which is based on care needs. Those self-funders who are entitled to attendance allowance can continue to be paid the benefit subject to their receiving no help from public funds.

We estimate the number of self-funders over the age of 65 in the UK to be:

Number of self-funders
Northern Ireland2,000


1. Estimates are rounded to the nearest thousand.

2. Data for England, Wales and Northern Ireland to estimate the number of self-funders in receipt of attendance allowance in nursing and care homes were not available. We did have reliable information from the Scottish Executive for Scotland. This was used to then estimate the numbers in the remaining nations.

3. It is assumed that all those self-funders in residential and nursing homes are entitled to attendance allowance or the care component of disability living allowance.

4. It is assumed that the percentage of over 65s in care who are self-funders is the same in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as in Scotland.

5. May 2001 and February 2001 5 per cent. scan of AA and DLA computer systems and Scottish Community Care Statistics 2000 .

Combined Pension Statement

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he intends to introduce the combined pension statement. [7575]

Mr. McCartney: The Department for Work and Pensions will offer a new service to enable people of working age to more effectively plan their retirement incomes through the provision of combined pension forecast statements.

This voluntary service, which is a joint initiative between the Department's pension providers and employers, is being implemented in the three main phases.

Phase 1 saw the development of the service through a series of pilot exercises conducted with the pensions industry. The pilots, which began in January 2000, are now coming to a conclusion.

Phase 2, which commenced on 18 October 2001, sees the formal recruitment and registration of pension providers to the service.

Phase 3 represents the physical production of the new statement by the industry. This phase will take the form of a rolling programme building to a service which will aim to provide 15 million combined statements by 2005–06.

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Devolved Administrations

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his policy is with regard to (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department giving evidence to (i) Scottish Parliament, (ii) Welsh Assembly and (iii) Northern Ireland Assembly committees; and to what categories of document he gives (A) full access, (B) restricted access and (C) no access to (w) Scottish Parliament, (x) Welsh Assembly, (y) Northern Ireland Assembly and (z) House of Commons Select Committees. [7021]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Mrs. Roche) on 15 October 2001, Official Report, column 1003W.

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Departmental Spending (Staff)

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate total staff costs for his Department and its agencies by nation and region of the UK; and if he will make a statement. [6847]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The information requested is in the tables.

The Department for Work and Pensions administers social security and employment services across Great Britain on an integrated basis. Not all staff costs incurred by the Department and its agencies within a nation or region relate to customers within the same nation or region.

Department for Work and Pensions: total and percentage staff costs by grade level and region/nation
Table 1—total staff costs£

Government office regionAll gradesSCS levelLevel 6/7SEO/HEO levelEO levelAO/AA levelInd/other grade
South East196,724,201(21)1,819,61614,061,55079,226,66499,956,1761,660,195
South West144,022,302(21)1,485,20412,006,71653,378,87876,262,133735,984
West Midlands196,304,739363,1812,239,31915,891,45773,805,047103,993,203(21)
North West332,157,1971,226,83411,705,33039,142,345111,808,485163,571,0514,703,152
North East245,071,9761,378,6876,319,86928,017,16773,061,108135,318,111977,034
Yorkshire and Humberside255,268,9643,017,96413,627,90248,812,86094,385,69695,372,41752,125
East Midlands105,249,208(21)1,299,5067,657,13441,157,27054,982,17270,123
England Total2,003,287,72914,037,42959,514,707219,066,668717,870,132984,102,6618,696,138
GB Total2,367,953,17714,515,15163,931,243247,175,700856,016,4191,173,682,20112,632,471
Northern Ireland156,169(22)(22)(22)(22)(22)156,169
Grand Total2,368,109,34614,515,15163,931,243247,175,700856,016,4191,173,682,20112,788,640

Table 2—Percentage of staff costs

Government Office regionAll gradesSCS levelLevel 6/7SEO/HEO levelEO levelAO/AA levelInd/other grade
South East8(21)369913
South West6(21)25666
West Midlands834699(21)
North West1481816131437
North East10910119128
Yorkshire and Humberside112121201180
East Midlands4(21)23551
England Total85979389848468
GB total10010010010010010099
Northern Ireland0(22)(22)(22)(22)(22)1
Grand total100100100100100100100

(21) Because there are three or fewer staff in this category the number and cost have not been separately identified.

(22) Staff costs for Northern Ireland have not been identified by grade because the small numbers in each category could potentially identify individuals and their salaries.


1. Staff costs include basic salary and allowances plus employer's contribution to National Insurance and Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme.

2. Staff Costs do not include ancillary matters such as accommodation, office services, stationery etc.

3. The staff data from which these figures derive are as at 31 August 2001 as this represents the correct staffing position of DWP, which was formed in June 2001. Earlier DSS data is not comparable.

4. Employment Service staff are included.

5. War Pensions Agency Staff are included as they are still largely within the overall DWP administrative structure even though WPA is now technically part of the Ministry of Defence.

6. Casual and other staff on temporary contracts are included.

7. The grade groupings include specialist staff such as accountants, lawyers and auditors in their "generalist" grade equivalent.

8. Because the staffing make-up of DWP is different from the DSS, the figures above are not comparable with those provided for DSS in Civil Service Statistics 2000.

9. Overtime costs are not included as it would not be possible to collate the historical data required in sufficient detail in the time available.

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