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15 Oct 2002 : Column 645W—continued

Winter Fuel Payments

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when and how the announcement to pay winter fuel payments to some people who have moved to a country within the European Economic Area was made; what steps his Department is taking to contact people who may be affected by the change; and what estimate has been made of the (a) annual and (b) one-off costs of the policy. [74711]

Mr. McCartney: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. David) on 19 July 2002, Official Report, column 599w. The changes were publicised through a press release issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the media in relevant countries in Europe. In addition, we have taken steps to ensure that this information is available on the Department's website and in the new edition ot the Winter Fuel Payment leaflet, and have issued a factsheet to embassies in those countries affected. We will also be writing to people who have contacted the European Commission, claimed or recently enquired about Winter Fuel Payment for people who have moved to another EEA country or to Switzerland.

We estimate the ongoing cost to be around #10 million and the one-off cost to be around #3 million.

Occupational Diseases (Benefits)

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council's review of the schedule of occupational diseases for which benefits are paid will be published. [74247]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: No further findings have been published by the Council since the reply given to my hon. Friend on 9 July 2002, Official Report, column 857W.

Partnerships Against Poverty Group

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what organisations are represented on the Department's Partnerships Against Poverty Group; and what sub-groups have been established. [74719]

Malcolm Wicks: Partnerships Against Poverty was established in 2001. It is a joint initiative with the Local Government Association and voluntary organisations with the objective of working together to reduce poverty and tackle social exclusion amongst pensioners. There are two groups, one for England & Wales and another for Scotland which have specialist sub-groups for Black and Minority Ethnic elders and Pension Credit Implementation which feedback to both. In addition to DWP and LGA the following organisations are represented.

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Income-Related Benefit

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the income-related benefit take-up figures for 2000–01 will be released. [74733]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: On 27 September 2001, we announced our intention to commission further research in order to better identify people who are eligible for income-related benefits, especially pensioners.

Estimates for income-related benefit take-up for 2000–01 will be published once this research has been concluded and evaluated. The publication date will be announced in due course in ''Updates'', the Office for National Statistics diary of statistical releases which is published monthly and placed in the Library.


Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many recipients of disability living allowance aged (a) over 18 years, (b) 16 to 18 years and (c) below 16 years there are in the Taunton constituency. [74097]

Maria Eagle: Recipients of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) by age in the Taunton Constituency at February 2002 are as indicated in the following table.

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Recipients aged 0–15Recipients aged 16–18Recipients aged 19 and over


1. Figures are shown in thousands and rounded to the nearest hundred.

2. Figures marked * are under 500 and are subject to a high degree of sampling variation and should only be used as a guide to the current situation.


ASD Information Centre from 5 per cent. sample at 28th February 2002

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individuals have been assisted in the Taunton One Stop offices since their opening. [74096]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: There are 13 ONE sites in Somerset providing a one stop service in addition to the call centre in Taunton. Information is held for the Somerset pilot rather than for individual offices. Since the pilot became fully operational in April 2000 until July 2002, 70,491 customers have been assisted (ie have had at least one interview with a Personal Adviser), in ONE in Somerset.

New Deal

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps the Government have taken to encourage more employers to join the New Deal scheme. [74404]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: We have been successful in encouraging employers to support and participate in the New Deal. Over 99,000 employers have signed up to the New Deal and many more have taken on New Deal participants without signing up for the programme.

We recognise the central role employers have to play in achieving our goal of creating and sustaining employment opportunities for all, and we are continually seeking to involve employers even further in the New Deal.

This year we have taken steps to improve the flexibility of the New Deal to encourage employers to recruit more participants. For example, we have given employers more flexibility in the training they provide for New Deal clients. Employers can now give New Deal clients their own in-house training instead of having to offer external training which may not meet the needs of the job. Later this year we will be introducing ''Recruit'' into the New Deal for Young People. This will give small employers more payment flexibility in the Employment Option.

In August 2001, we appointed 140 Local Account Managers in Jobcentre Plus to help improve the services provided to employers and to engage with more employers to increase job opportunities.

The National Employment Panel (formerly known as the New Deal Task Force), which is an employer-led body, continues to provide Ministers with independent advice on the design, delivery and performance of the New Deals and our other welfare to work initiatives.

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The National Employment Panel Employer Coalitions ensure that employers can contribute to services at the regional and local level.

With the advice and guidance of the National Employment Panel, we have developed Ambition initiatives to help unemployed and disadvantaged people, including those on the New Deal, gain the right skills to meet the specific needs of employers in key sectors, such as retail, construction, energy and information technology. These initiatives are employer-led and developed to employer specifications.

Mrs. Irene Adams: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have found permanent employment as a result of New Deal for (a) long-term unemployed 25 plus, (b) lone parents, (c) disabled people and (d) 50 plus, in each year since these schemes have been introduced. [73706]

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

New Deal 25 plus

Total number of people moving into sustained jobs
2002–03 (up to June 2002)9,190


A sustained job in New Deal 25 plus is defined as one lasting more than 13 weeks.

New Deal for Disabled People

Total number of people moving into sustained jobs
2002–03 (up to July 2002)706


A sustained job in New Deal for Disabled People is defined as one lasting 26 weeks out of a 39 week period. New Deal for Disabled People was launched nationally in July 2001. Prior to that, pilots beginning in September 1998 had helped 8,242 people into jobs (sustained and unsustained).

Separate data for sustained jobs are not available for New Deal 50 plus or New Deal for Lone Parents. The figures for these programmes which follow therefore relate to all people moving into jobs.

New Deal 50 plus

Total number of people moving into jobs
2002–03 (up to June 2002)8,340

New Deal for Lone Parents

Total number of people moving into jobs
2002–03 (up to June 2002)15,170


New Deal Evaluation Database

15 Oct 2002 : Column 649W

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