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Mr. Bacon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in which years since 1972 his Department and its predecessors have had accounts qualified by the Comptroller and Auditor General due to irregular expenditure; and if he will specify the irregular expenditure involved in each case. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 15 January 2002]: Details of the accounts for the Department for Work and Pensions and its predecessors which have been qualified by the Comptroller and Auditor General on the basis of irregular expenditure since 199091 are shown in the table which has been placed in the Library.
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Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the number of pensioners in the Loughborough constituency living in old people's homes on with an expense allowance of less than £16.05 per week. 
We have not commissioned research into the number of pensioners in the Loughborough constituency living in old people's homes on a personal expense allowance of less than £16.05 per week. Under the Charging for Residential Accommodation Guide, all care home residents who are financially supported by the local council are left with a personal expenses allowance of at least £16.05 per week.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many incidents of (a) physical and (b) verbal assault have been recorded in Jobcentre Plus offices since their introduction. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: Since the introduction of the Jobcentre Plus pathfinders over half a million people have passed through the new offices. During that period there has been only one report of an incident involving physical contact. There have been 102 other reported incidents, the majority involving verbal abuse, or, in three cases, damage to office equipment.
(3) how many claimants sought review of their social fund provision in each of the last 10 years. 
Malcolm Wicks: Information on the social fund Inspectorate/Independent Review Service administration budget is available from 199495 onwards in the departmental reports of the former Department of Social Security. Information on this budget prior to 199495 was not collected separately. Information on social fund expenditure and social fund reviews from 199192 onwards is in the social fund annual reports.
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Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of persons aged 18 to 24 years who are (a) unemployed, (b) unemployed for more than six months, (c) unemployed for more than 12 months and (d) unemployed for more than two years found sustained unsubsidised jobs in each quarter since 1991. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: Information is not available in the format requested. However, research evidence 1 suggests that of those who leave jobseeker's allowance for work, around three quarters do not return within the next three months.
The aim of the RRS is to support those affected by redundancy to make the transition into sustainable new jobs. The RRS responds to redundancies that have a significant impact on the local labour market. Each redundancy is different, and the exact nature of the help will be tailored to the needs of individuals, the local economy and the labour market concerned.
A dedicated RRS Senior Manager has been appointed in Wales, Scotland and each region of England. Some elements of the service are already in place while others are still being piloted. The RRS is on track to be launched in full in April 2002, with an additional £6 million being allocated to this work over the next 2 years.
The RRS has already provided specific assistance to people in the Cynon Valley affected by redundancies at Hitachi. Through an on-site jobshop employees were offered support to help find alternative employment and training opportunities. As a result of this support, to date over 60 people have been offered employment.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many press officers there were in his Department in each of the last four years; and what was the annual cost of their remuneration over that period. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: The Department for Work and Pensions was formed in May 2001. This involved the amalgamation of parts of the Department for Education and Employment (including the Employment Service) with the Department of Social Security.
The overall costs of press officers for the last four years have formed part of the budgets relating to the Departments that predated the formation of the Department for Work and Pensions. As such, it would be at disproportionate cost to retrieve precise figures for the remuneration of these staff.
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Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what action has been taken by each local authority in each of the last three years to increase benefit take-up; and how much each campaign has cost. 
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many employers, having advertised vacancies with the Employment Service, have subsequently been found to have breached the minimum wage legislation. 
The Employment Services takes in excess of 200,000 vacancies a month and all of these must meet the requirements of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. If we receive a complaint about an employer who advertised with the Employment Service but is subsequently found not to be meeting the requirements of the minimum wage legislation, we direct the complainant to the Minimum Wage Enforcement Agency to investigate the case. The Employment Service also suspends its services to that employer until investigations are completed.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer of 11 January 2001, Official Report, column 1045W, on Muslim women, what research he has commissioned on the participation of Muslim women in the labour market. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: Previous research in the Department has been concerned with labour market participation by ethnic group rather than religion. However, the Department is currently giving consideration to funding a qualitative research study in 2002 featuring the labour market experiences of Muslim women as part of a wider study of all ethnic groups.
Maria Eagle: In the Department for Work and pensions during the period from October to December 2001 we dealt with 1,392 questions, which is around double the number for similar periods in recent years. We have allocated on a temporary basis additional resources to process the higher level of questions and we are monitoring the situation very closely to see whether the trend continues. Parliamentary questions are not the only way of getting information from the Department. Some information sought by hon. and right hon. Members is available in departmental publications which can be found in the Library.
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