Coroners

Steve Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he expects the inquest to start into the death of Olaseni Lewis; what the reasons are for the delay in starting the inquest; and if he will make a statement. [147340]

Mrs Grant: The Ministry of Justice has responsibility for coroner law and policy only. It does not have operational responsibility for coroner services. The South London Coroner is solely responsible for the conduct of his investigations and inquests including that into the death of Olaseni Lewis.

Judiciary

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which full-time members of the judiciary have acted as chairperson or member of any public body or inquiry since May 2010; and what role they held in each such case. [146905]

Mrs Grant: The following table sets out details of those full-time members of the judiciary who have served on either a public body or inquiry held in England

12 Mar 2013 : Column 192W

and Wales, since May 2010, together with their respective roles. In addition, details of those full-time judges who have been appointed to hear an inquest since May 2010 are also detailed.

Public bodies
Name of public bodyJudicial office holder

Advisory Committee for Conscientious Objectors

HHJ Timothy King—Chair

 

HHJ Timothy Lawrence—Deputy Chair

  

Advisory Council of the National Records and Archives

Lord Dyson—Chairman (previously Lord Neuberger)

  

Boundary Commission for England

Mr Justice Sales—Deputy Chair

  

Boundary Commission for Wales

Mr Justice Wyn-Williams—Deputy Chair (previously Mr Justice Lloyd Jones)

  

Central Arbitration Committee

Mr Justice Burton

  

Civil Justice Council

Lord Dyson—Chairman (previously Lord Neuberger)

 

Lord Justice Richards—Vice-Chairman

Members:

Lord Justice Stanley Burnton

 

Mr Justice Foskett

 

DJ William Jackson

 

Mr Justice MacDuff

 

HHJ Graham Jones

 

DJ Robert Jordan

 

HHJ David Grant

  

Civil Procedure Rule Committee

Lord Dyson—Chairman (previously Lord Neuberger)

 

Lord Justice Richards—Vice-Chairman (previously Lord Justice Moore-Bick)

Members:

Mr Justice Henderson

 

Mr Justice Sales

 

DJ Suzanne Burn

 

DJ Chris Lethem

 

Mr Justice Coulson

 

HHJ Stephen Stewart

 

DJ Robert Hill

 

Master Fontaine

  

Competition Appeals Tribunal

Mr Justice Barling

  

Copyright Tribunal

His Honour Judge Birss QC—Chair

  

Criminal Justice Council

Lord Justice Gross—Chair

Members:

HHJ Adele Williams

 

DJ Sonia Sims

  

Criminal Procedure Rule Committee

Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales—Chairman

 

Lady Justice Rafferty—Deputy Chair

Members:

Lord Justice Thomas

 

HHJ Martin Picton

 

DJ Stephen Earl

 

Mr Justice Openshaw

12 Mar 2013 : Column 193W

 

HHJ Guggenheim QC

Former Members:

Lord Justice Hooper (until 31 August 2012)

 

HHJ Charles Wide QC (until 31 August 2012)

 

HHJ Roderick Denyer QC (until 31 August 2011)

 

DJ Stephen Dawson (until 31 August 2011)

  

Family Justice Council

Lord Justice Munby, President of the Family Division—Chair (previously Lord Justice Wall)

 

Lord Justice Thorpe—Deputy Chair

Members:

Mrs Justice Parker

 

DJ Rachel Karp

 

DJ (Magistrates’ Court) Nicholas Crichton

  

Family Procedure Rule Committee

Lord Justice Munby, President of the Family Division—Chair (previously Lord Justice Wall)

Members:

Lady Justice Black

 

Mrs Justice Theis

 

HHJ Angela Finnerty

 

Senior DJ Waller CBE

 

DJ Chris Darbyshire

 

DJ Paul Carr

  

Interception of Communications Commissioner

Sir Anthony May (previously Sir Paul Kennedy)

  

Intelligence Services Commissioner

Sir Mark Waller

  

Insolvency Rules Committee

Mr Justice Richards—Chairman

  

Investigatory Powers Tribunal

Lord Justice Mummery

 

Mr Justice Burton

  

Judicial Appointments Commission

Lady Justice Black—Vice-Chairman/Commissioner

Commissioners:

Mr Justice Bean

 

HHJ Taylor

 

Mr Justice Wilkie

 

DJ Malcolm Birchall

Former Commissioners:

Lady Justice Hallett (until 1 February 2011)

 

Lord Justice Toulson (until 31 March 2012)

  

Land Registration Rule Committee

Mr Justice Morgan—Member

  

Law Commission

Lord Justice Lloyd Jones—Chair (previously Lord Justice Munby)

  

Parole Board

Sir David Calvert-Smith—Chairman

Members (including retired full-time judges):

HHJ Caroline Alton

 

HHJ Christopher Ball QC

 

HHJ Bassingthwaighte

 

HHJ Anthony Bate

12 Mar 2013 : Column 194W

 

HHJ John Beashel DL

 

HHJ Martin Beddoe

 

HHJ Neil Bidder QC

 

HHJ Peter Birts QC

 

HHJ Robert Brown

 

HHJ David Bryant

 

HHJ Jeffrey Burke QC

 

HHJ Collin Burn

 

HHJ Michael Burr

 

HHJ Jeremy Carey

 

HHJ Nick Coleman

 

HHJ Paul Collins CBE

 

HHJ Graham Cottle

 

HHJ Gareth Cowling

 

HHJ Simon Davis

 

HHJ Paul Dodgson

 

HHJ Peter Fingret

 

HHJ Daniel Flahive

 

HHJ Paul Focke QC

 

HHJ Bill Gaskell

 

HHJ Goldsack QC, DL

 

HHJ Rodney Grant

 

HHJ Griffiths-Jones QC

 

HHJ Guggenheim QC

 

HHJ Carol Hagen

 

HHJ Mark Horton

 

HHJ Macdonald QC

 

HHJ Kerry Macgill

 

HHJ G Kamil CBE

 

HHJ Louise Kamill

 

HHJ Roger Keen QC

 

HHJ C Linsay QC

 

HHJ Shaun Lyons

 

HHJ Bruce McIntyre

 

HHJ Metcalf

 

DJ (MC) Clive Million

 

HHJ Milmo QC

 

HHJ Tony Mitchell

 

HHJ Mole QC

 

HHJ Molyneux

 

HHJ Onions

 

HHJ Richard O'Rourke

 

HHJ Michael O'Sullivan

 

HHJ Owen Tudor

 

HHJ Pardoe QC

 

HHJ Powles QC

 

HHJ Philip Richards

 

HHJ Gordon Risius CB

 

HHJ Stephen Robbins

 

HHJ J Roberts QC

 

HHJ Roberts Mervyn

 

HHJ P E Robertshaw

 

HHJ John Rubery

12 Mar 2013 : Column 195W

 

HHJ Rumbelow QC

 

HHJ Francis Sheridan

 

HHJ Leslie Spittle

 

HHJ Stephens QC

 

HHJ Jamie Tabor

 

HHJ Charles Tilling

 

HHJ James Wadsworth

 

HHJ Nicholas Webb

 

HHJ Graham White

 

HHJ Wolstenholme

 

HHJ Worsley QC

  

Security Vetting Appeals Panel

Sir George Newman—Chair

 

Deputy Chair

 

Sir David Penry-Davey

 

Mr Justice Burnett

 

Mr Justice Silber

  

Sentencing Council

Lord Judge, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales

 

Lord Justice Leveson—Chairman

Members:

Lord Justice Hughes

 

Mr Justice Globe

 

DJ Anne Arnold

 

HHJ William Davis QC

 

Lord Justice Treacy—(previously Lady Justice Rafferty)

 

HHJ McCreath QC

  

Surveillance Commissioners

Sir Christopher Rose—Chief Surveillance Commissioner

  

Surveillance Commissioners:

Sir William Gage

 

Lord Bonomy

 

Sir Scott Baker

 

Sir George Newman

 

Lord Maclean

 

Sir John Sheil

Assistant Surveillance Commissioners:

Dr Colin Kolbert

 

Sir David Clarke

 

HH Norman Jones

  

Tribunal Procedure Committee

Mr Justice Langstaff—Chair

 

Upper Tribunal Judge Douglas May—Member

 

Upper Tribunal Judge Mark Rowland—Member

Inquiry
InquiryJudicial Office Holder

Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press

Lord Justice Leveson—Chair

Inquests
InquestsJudicial Office Holder

7 July Inquest

Lady Justice Hallett

Mark Duggan inquest

HHJ Keith Cutler

Hillsborough inquest

Lord Justice Goldring

12 Mar 2013 : Column 196W

Powers of Attorney

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many disputes arising from enduring power of attorney arrangements reached the courts in the most recent year for which figures are available. [147497]

Mrs Grant: Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the Court of Protection, on an application, can rule on whether an objection to the registration of a currently unregistered enduring power of attorney should be upheld and it can direct the Public Guardian to register or not register the instrument. In 2012 the Court of Protection received 185 applications objecting to the registration of an enduring power of attorney.

The Court of Protection is also responsible for dealing with a variety of other applications relating to the property and financial affairs of people lacking capacity, including applications relating to how attorneys have exercised their powers and applications to cancel the existing registration of an enduring power of attorney. The court does not record detailed information on these types of applications, where the operation of the enduring power of attorney may be one of a number of issues that the court has to decide.

Sickness Absence

Mr Marcus Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many days of paid sickness leave per individual member of staff are authorised in his Department on an annual basis; [144490]

(2) what steps he is taking to reduce sickness absence in his Department. [144504]

Mrs Grant: The Ministry of Justice (Ministry of Justice HQ, HM Courts and Tribunals Service, National Offender Management Service and Office of the Public Guardian) does not have a specified number of authorised days that individual members of staff may take as sickness leave.

Sickness absence is managed on a case by case basis. The sickness absence policies and procedures provide guidance to line managers on when it is appropriate to take formal action. Where there are unacceptable levels of sickness absence, individual members of staff may be dismissed.

Reducing sickness absence is a strategic workforce priority for the Department. Practical steps are being taken to deliver this, including increased training and support for line managers and support to staff through health and well being programmes. Progress is being made. For example, absence rates in the National Offender Management Service have fallen over recent years.

Supreme Court

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he next expects appointments to be made to the Supreme Court; how many such appointments he expects to be women; what steps he is taking to increase the number of women in the senior judiciary; and what discussions he has had with the President of the Supreme Court on this matter. [147415]

12 Mar 2013 : Column 197W

Chris Grayling: The next expected appointment to the Supreme Court will be in 2016. It is not possible to predict how many applicants will be women. The Government is taking forward measures in the Crime and Courts Bill to promote diversity, including flexible working and a 'tipping point' provision, which allows for diversity to be taken into account where two applicants are of equal merit. There will be a new statutory duty placed on the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice to encourage judicial diversity. The Lord Chancellor and Lord Neuberger have discussed this and are both committed increasing diversity at the highest levels of our judiciary.

Work and Pensions

Child Maintenance

Stephen Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what assessment he has made of the reclassification of arrears trial, being run by the Child Maintenance Group in his Department, which began in June 2012; and what criteria are being used (a) to judge whether a case should be classified as inactive and (b) to determine that an arrears amount is too small to be worth collecting; [146960]

(2) how many cases with the Child Support Agency where child maintenance arrears had been classified as inactive have been reactivated due to receipt of fresh information in the last 12 months; [146961]

(3) in how many cases with the Child Support Agency with a current liability in arrears and not being currently actively pursued the arrears have been classified as inactive. [146964]

Steve Webb: The Department for Work and Pensions (the Department) began the reclassification of arrears trial in June 2012, and this limited trial will continue until the end of October 2013.

The purpose of the trial is to use a random sample of cases to understand the scope for classifying arrears as inactive in respect of our active caseload and, where arrears have been made inactive, the potential volume of cases where we will subsequently reactivate those arrears.

For the purposes of the trial, cases can be classified as inactive where collection is not currently possible for the following reasons:

(a) the Department has no legal jurisdiction,

(b) the Department is unable to trace the non-resident parent,

(c) where the circumstances of the case prevent the use of the Department's enforcement powers or all the appropriate powers have been used to no avail, or

(d) the arrears are uneconomic to pursue.

Arrears are considered to be uneconomic to pursue if the total sum owed is less than the set “de minimis” rate and the arrears total is likely to remain below that rate into the long term. We set the “de minimis” rate as broadly representative of the cost to the Department of taking initial, low level enforcement action in respect of those arrears.

To date, arrears have been classified as inactive in 20 cases where there is a current child maintenance liability and with arrears not being actively pursued.

12 Mar 2013 : Column 198W

Once the trial is completed, we will be able to draw conclusions, based on sound evidence, and make a full assessment of the approach. This will include details of reactivation rates which will be available in full at the end of the trial.

Stephen Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases with the Child Support Agency and with a current liability are in arrears of child maintenance; and in what proportion of these cases payments have been made towards the arrears in the last 12 months. [146962]

Steve Webb: In the quarter to December 2012, of the 756,900 cases with a current liability (positive weekly assessment amount) 653,500 also had child maintenance arrears. Of these cases, around 25% had made payments towards arrears in the last 12 months. This does not include off system cases. This percentage has been calculated where there has been a payment towards an arrears schedule between 1 January and 31 December 2012.

Investigations show that a proportion of arrears collections have been incorrectly linked to a regular collection schedule rather than an arrears schedule, therefore proportions above may be understated.

Stephen Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in how many cases with the Child Support Agency and with a current liability in arrears and with no current liability are active collection and enforcement arrangements in place to recoup the child maintenance arrears still outstanding. [146963]

Steve Webb: In the quarter to December 2012, 653,500 cases with a current liability (positive weekly assessment amount) also had arrears. Of these cases 149,800 had an active arrears collection arrangement.

In the quarter to December 2012, 146,100 cases without a current liability (positive weekly assessment amount) also had arrears. Of these cases 50,000 had an active arrears collection arrangement in place.

These figures have been calculated by considering the Child Support Agency live and assessed caseload on CS2 and CSCS system cases (the 2003 and 1993 schemes). Figures are rounded to the nearest 100 and includes that small proportion of our cases where there is no longer a qualifying child, which have a payment schedule in place.

Due to the number of small systems in place to report enforcement information, it is not possible to determine how many of the above cases are undergoing enforcement actions, within cost limits.

Full details of all enforcement actions are shown on Page 34 of Child Support Agency's Quarterly Summary of Statistics published at:

http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/child_support/2012/csa_qtr_summ_stats_dec12.pdf

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department expects to receive any fee income in 2013-14 from charging parents who use the new statutory child maintenance system. [146991]

12 Mar 2013 : Column 199W

Steve Webb: In December, following extensive testing, we introduced the 2012 scheme as a pathfinder for a small number of clients. We are carefully observing the results and progress so far has been good. During the course of 2013, the scheme will gradually be opened to greater volumes and eventually will be opened to all new applicants. Only when the scheme has been shown to be working well after it has been opened to all new applicants will application and collection fees to support and promote collaboration be introduced. Consequently, it is not expected that the Department will receive any fee income in 2013-14.

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether a term of imprisonment by a parent with shared parental responsibilities is disregarded by the Child Support Agency when calculating (a) maintenance payments and (b) shared responsibility requirements. [147314]

Steve Webb: Once the Child Support Agency has been made aware of a term of imprisonment, the case will be reassessed. The effect of a prison term is that the weekly child maintenance calculation payable by the non-resident parent will be reduced to nil. As a result of the nil calculation, any reductions that had previously been made for shared responsibilities will no longer apply.

Housing Benefit

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households in receipt of local housing allowance were in receipt of the (a) shared accommodation rate, (b) one bedroom rate, (c) two bedroom rate, (d) three bedroom rate and (e) four bedroom rate in (i) December 2011 and (ii) January 2013. [146740]

Steve Webb: The table gives the information requested, where possible, for December 2011 and November 2012, which is the latest month for which data are available.

Housing benefit claims assessed under the local housing allowance
LHA entitlementDecember 2011November 2012

Shared accommodation rate

n/a

210,840

One bedroom

n/a

387,830

Two bedrooms

457,940

496,330

Three bedrooms

166,370

185,900

Four bedrooms

51,090

59,980

Notes: 1. The data refers to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple. 2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 3. Recipients are as at second Thursday of the month. 4. The information has been drawn from the single housing benefit extract. No adjustments have been made to the raw data supplied by local authorities. There are known to be data recording issues affecting the numbers entitled to the shared accommodation rate and one-bedroom LHA rate for earlier periods. For this reason, numbers have not been provided for these categories of entitlement for December 2011. 5. SHBE is a monthly electronic scan of claimant level data direct from local authority computer systems. It replaces quarterly aggregate clerical returns. The data are available monthly from November 2008 and November 2012 is the most recent available. Source: Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE)

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average loss in benefit entitlement was for those households affected by the raising of the age threshold for the shared accommodation rate of local housing allowance to 35 years old. [146741]

12 Mar 2013 : Column 200W

Steve Webb: The Department for Work and Pensions published an impact assessment in August 2011 which estimated the average loss in benefit entitlement for those claimants affected by the raising of the age threshold for the shared accommodation rate of local housing allowance to 35 years old. This is contained in Annex 2, Table 1 at the following web address:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/eia-hb-shared-accommodation-age-threshold.pdf

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 4 March 2013, Official Report, column 883W, on housing benefit, what methodology he has used to calculate the discretionary housing payment funding available for each local authority. [147498]

Steve Webb: Following discussion with the Local Authority Associations about the distribution of discretionary housing payments, it was agreed to target resources according to need. To achieve this aim, the methodology applies a different approach to the four component parts of the total discretionary housing payment allocation for 2013/14.

Local authorities were advised of the basic formula used in the attached circular:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/s1-2013.pdf

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many households with individuals aged between 25 and 35 received an exemption from the shared accommodation rate due to being clients of agencies in multi-agency public protection arrangements in 2012; [146762]

(2) how many households with individuals aged between 25 and 35 received an exemption from the shared accommodation rate owing to the individual having spent at least three months in a homelessness hostel at which resettlement support was issued to this individual in 2012. [146763]

Steve Webb: This information is not available.

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of households affected by the raising of the age threshold for the shared accommodation rate to 35. [146802]

Steve Webb: The Department for Work and Pensions published an impact assessment in August 2011 which estimated the number of claimants affected by the raising of the age threshold for the shared accommodation rate to 35. This is contained in Annex 2, Table 1 at the following web address:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/eia-hb-shared-accommodation-age-threshold.pdf

Housing Benefit: Social Rented Housing

Lilian Greenwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance he has issued to local authorities in relation to discretionary housing payments allocated to those affected by the under-occupancy penalty. [146889]

12 Mar 2013 : Column 201W

Steve Webb: The Department has consulted with local authorities on the discretionary housing payments guidance which will be published before 1 April. The revised guidance includes advice on how the additional £30 million allocated to the discretionary housing payment scheme can be used to support those affected by the removal of the spare room subsidy.

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many (a) disabled, (b) single parent and (c) foster carer households will be affected by the under-occupancy penalty or bedroom tax in Camberwell and Peckham constituency; [147533]

(2) how many (a) disabled, (b) single parent and (c) foster carer households will be affected by the under-occupancy penalty or bedroom tax in Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency. [147536]

Steve Webb: There is no such policy as the bedroom tax.

Impacts of the removal of the spare room subsidy are not available at a local authority level.

Estimated numbers of affected claimants in Great Britain (a) where either the claimant or their partner will be disabled and (b) who will be single parents are given in the equality impact assessment at:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/eia-social-sector-housing-under-occupation-wr2011.pdf

The Department estimates that fewer than 5,000 affected claimants in Great Britain will be foster carers.

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many council tenant households will be affected by the under-occupancy penalty or bedroom tax in Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency. [147534]

Steve Webb: There is no such policy as the bedroom tax.

Impacts of the removal of the spare room subsidy are not available at a local authority level.

Numbers of affected claimants in Great Britain who are local authority tenants are given in the impact assessment at:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/social-sector-housing-under-occupation-wr2011-ia.pdf

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many housing association tenant households will be affected by the under-occupancy penalty or bedroom tax in Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency. [147535]

Steve Webb: There is no such policy as the bedroom tax.

Impacts of the removal of the spare room subsidy are not available at a local authority level.

Numbers of affected claimants in Great Britain who are housing association tenants are given in the impact assessment at:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/social-sector-housing-under-occupation-wr2011-ia.pdf

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether households with a severely disabled child will be exempt from the under-occupancy penalty. [147543]

12 Mar 2013 : Column 202W

Steve Webb: Households with a severely disabled child who is unable to share a bedroom because of their disability will retain housing benefit for the additional room.

This follows a Court of Appeal judgment about the treatment of disabled children under the size criteria rules in private rented accommodation last year.

This will apply to social sector tenants from April when the spare room subsidy is removed.

We have issued further guidance to local authorities today to inform them that a family will keep their spare room subsidy, where their child's disability means they cannot share a bedroom, as a result of the Court of Appeal judgement.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether severely disabled people will be exempt from the under-occupancy penalty. [147544]

Steve Webb: Severely disabled people are not exempt from the removal of the spare room subsidy. However, where a severely disabled person receives overnight care from a non-resident carer or team of carers, an additional bedroom will be allowed when determining the number of bedrooms they need. We have also allocated funds to local authorities to support disabled people who have significant adaptations to property.

The measure will however be monitored and evaluated over a two-year period from April this year. Initial findings will be available in 2014 and the final report in late 2015.

Jobseeker's Allowance

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of new jobseeker's allowance claims have been made online in each month since January 2012. [147493]

Mr Hoban: The information relating to the proportion of new claims to jobseeker's allowance submitted online that is available via the Department for Work and Pensions internet site is provided in Table 1 as follows:

As part of Department for Work and Pensions commitment to new standards of transparency we publish Business Plan indicator data, including jobseeker allowance claims submitted online, via our “Publication: Business Plan Transparency Measures” internet pages.

Table 1: The proportion of new jobseeker's allowance claims that have been made online January 2012 to January 2013
 Percentage

January 2012

19.7

February 2012

17.9

March 2012

19.6

April 2012

23.7

May 2012

23.4

June 2012

29.5

July 2012

30.9

August 2012

32.1

September 2012

39.0

October 2012

39.3

November 2012

41.9

December 2012

45.5

January 2013

51.4

Source: MISP

12 Mar 2013 : Column 203W

Personal Independence Payment

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent representations he has received on reducing the qualifying distance used to assess a claimant's eligibility for the mobility component of personal independence payment; and if he will make a statement. [147400]

Esther McVey: We have not tightened the criteria in the ‘Moving around’ activity between the second and final drafts of the personal independence payment (PIP) assessment criteria. We had always intended that being unable to walk more than 50 metres should lead to entitlement to some rate of the Mobility component. However under the second draft of the assessment being unable to walk 50 metres did not automatically entitle claimants to the enhanced rate. Within the group who could walk up to 50 metres we wanted those who face the greatest barriers to mobility to receive the enhanced rate and the remainder the standard rate. In the second draft of the assessment criteria we differentiated by the type of aid and appliance an individual needed. In the final version of the criteria we differentiate by distance, which we feel is clearer.

In the final draft individuals who cannot walk 20 metres can be certain they will receive the enhanced rate, regardless of whether they need an aid or appliance. Individuals who can walk distances longer than 20 metres could still receive the enhanced rate, depending on whether they can do so safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly and in a reasonable time period.

The Government have now included in regulations that consideration must be given to whether claimants can carry out activities safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly and in a reasonable time period.

Since publishing the final version of the assessment criteria the Department for Work and Pensions has received a number of representations from hon. Members, members of the public and organisations representing disabled people on this issue.

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent representations he has received on the difficulties of assessing people with fluctuating conditions for personal independence payment; and if he will make a statement. [147401]

Esther McVey: The Department for Work and Pensions received a number of representations from hon. Members, members of the public and organisations representing disabled people regarding assessing people with fluctuating conditions, both during the formal consultation on the second draft of the personal independence payment (PIP) assessment criteria, and since its conclusion.

We know that assessing fluctuating conditions is very difficult. We believe our approach strikes the right balance, looking at the circumstances of the individual and the impact of their health condition or impairment over a 12 month period. It takes into account where claimants' ability to carry out activities is affected on the majority of days in the year, at any point on those days. We will be closely monitoring how the assessment works for people with fluctuating conditions following the implementation of PIP.

12 Mar 2013 : Column 204W

Social Security Benefits

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the proportion of people able to use the internet who receive (a) jobseeker's allowance, (b) employment support allowance, (c) income support, (d) child tax credits, (e) working tax credit and (f) housing benefit. [147542]

Mr Hoban: Data are not available on the proportion of internet users in receipt of particular benefits.

However, the recent DWP research report “Work and the welfare system: a survey of benefits and tax credits recipients” (Tu, T. and Ginnis, S., 2012)(1) assesses what proportion of benefit recipients use the internet and finds the following levels of internet usage by benefit type:

(1 )http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2011-2012/rrep800.pdf

BenefitPercentage of claimants who use the internet

Jobseeker's allowance

88

Employment support allowance

64

Income support claimants

65

Child tax credit claimants

89

Working tax credit claimants

86

Housing benefit claimants

71

In total, 78% of claimants used the internet, with 48% using it every day. Of those who used the internet, 90% accessed the internet from their own home. (Total claimants includes those claiming carer's allowance, incapacity benefit and council tax benefit as well as above benefits).

N.B. respondents in this survey were head of benefit units but were responding on behalf of entire benefit unit.

Social Security Benefits: Greater London

Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 27 February 2013, Official Report, column 560W, on Social Security Benefits: Greater London, how many children are domiciled in those households affected by the benefit cap in the London borough of (a) Bromley, (b) Croydon, (c) Enfield and (d) Haringey. [146469]

Mr Hoban: The following table shows the number of children domiciled in those households affected by the benefit cap in (i) Bromley, (ii) Croydon, (iii) Enfield and (iv) Haringey.

Local authorityNumber of children

Bromley

1,100

Croydon

2,900

Enfield

6,000

Haringey

3,500

Total

13,500

The figures presented above are consistent with the impact assessment published on 16 July 2012. The figures in the table assume that the situation of these households will go unchanged, and they will not take any steps to either work enough hours to qualify for

12 Mar 2013 : Column 205W

working tax credit, renegotiate their rent in situ, or find alternative accommodation. The Department is identifying and writing to all the households who are likely to be affected by the cap and we are offering advice and support through Jobcentre Plus, including, where appropriate, early access to the Work programme before the cap is introduced in April 2013.

Universal Credit

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 12 December 2012, Official Report, column 387W, on universal credit, which parts of the universal credit programme are currently using agile, rather than waterfall, software techniques; and in what circumstances agile techniques are regarded as appropriate for developing software for the programme. [147495]

Mr Hoban: In a programme as complex as universal credit, which includes new IT developments and changes to existing IT assets, both agile and waterfall methods may be appropriate at different times. As examples, initial development used agile techniques while, in its final stages of testing for the pathfinder from April 2013, the programme is using the waterfall approach—a standard DWP testing methodology.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 17 September 2012, Official Report, column 536W, on universal credit, which parts of the universal credit IT system are being delivered by (a) Accenture, (b) BT, (c) Capgemini, (d) Hewlett Packard and (e) IBM. [147496]

Mr Hoban: Accenture is delivering the claimant and agent facing applications.

IBM is delivering the “back end” processing applications.

Hewlett Packard (HP) is delivering the hardware for the UC IT system and the work services application as well as hosting the UC applications in production.

BT is delivering telephony services to support both DWP agents and claimants.

Cap Gemini is providing consultancy support.

Winter Fuel Payments: Kilmarnock

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of pensioners who will claim winter fuel allowance in Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency in (a) 2014, (b) 2015 and (c) 2016. [147321]

Steve Webb: The information requested is not available.

Caseload forecasts for Great Britain by individual benefit, including winter fuel payment, can be found on the internet at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd4/autumn_2012_211212.xls

Table 1c provides caseload by year to 2017/18.

Information on the number of winter fuel payments paid is provided in the document “Winter Fuel Payment recipients 2011-12 by Parliamentary Constituencies and

12 Mar 2013 : Column 206W

Gender (All)”. We expect a similar number of payments to be made in future years. This information is available on the internet at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=wfp

Over 95% of winter fuel payments are made automatically, without the need to claim, based on information held in DWP records. A small number of people whose circumstances we do not know need to make a claim. It is not possible to give the exact number of eligible people, but we have no reason to estimate that eligibility is materially different from the number of payments made.

Work Capability Assessment

Mr Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he intends to reply to the request from the hon. Member for Oldham West of 31 January 2013 for him to receive a delegation to examine the need for urgent reform of the descriptions and procedures used by Atos Healthcare in their work capability assessments. [147597]

Mr Hoban: I replied to the right hon. Member on 5 March 2013.

Work Programme

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what support is in place for participants who complete the full two years of the Work programme without finding a job at the end of the process. [147545]

Mr Hoban: Last year we ran a small-scale trial to understand how best to support those jobseeker's allowance claimants who remain on benefit after completing the full two years of the Work programme. An initial evaluation and analysis of the off-benefit impact from the trial was published on 6 December 2012.

The evidence from the trial will help inform the Department's decisions on the development of a national programme of support for those claimants, the first cohort of which arrive in June 2013. We will make an announcement in due course.

Communities and Local Government

Community Development

Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how his Department is working with local authorities and public services to develop community involvement strategies, including a strategy to increase levels of neighbourhood volunteering. [146830]

Mr Foster: This Government trust local authorities to develop their own community involvement strategies.

The new rights in the Localism Act 2011 open up new possibilities for local authorities and communities to work together to improve their local area. How this is done will depend on each area, and the issues the community wants to address.

12 Mar 2013 : Column 207W

Government recognise some local authorities and communities may want help to use the new rights and we are providing over £40 million of support. Further details can be found using the website:

www.mycommunityrights.org.uk

Government are also enabling people to get involved with meaningful social action and volunteering. A great example is the National Citizen Service which gives 16 and 17-year-olds from all backgrounds the opportunity to work together, to take on new challenges and to make a difference in their communities.

Council Tax Benefits

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the number of households in each local authority in England who will be affected by reductions in council tax benefit. [147406]

Brandon Lewis: Information regarding the design of local schemes and the number of households affected is not held centrally.

Councils already set council tax, collect it and administer the benefit and it makes sense for them to decide the levels of support people should receive with their council tax bills. Councils are best placed to understand local priorities and to take these local factors into account when deciding on levels of support.

More broadly our reforms will give councils stronger incentives to support local firms, cut fraud, promote local enterprise and get people back into work. They will also contribute to the Government's deficit reduction programme. Welfare reform is vital to tackle the budget deficit we have inherited from the last Administration, under which council tax benefit expenditure doubled.

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the average increase in annual council tax payments for households (a) making some payment currently and (b) not currently paying council tax as a result of reductions in council tax benefit. [147407]

Brandon Lewis: Information regarding the design of local schemes and the number of households affected is not held centrally.


Homelessness

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the reasons are for the time taken to publish the statutory homelessness statistics in England for October to December 2012. [147594]

Mr Prisk: The publication date for the Statutory Homelessness Statistics release for October to December 2012 has been amended from 7 March by departmental statisticians to allow for further quality assurance work. We will publish the revised release date shortly.

Homelessness: Cumbria

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many

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families in

(a)

Barrow and Furness constituency and

(b)

Cumbria were registered as homeless in each of the last three years; [147008]

(2) how many families in (a) Barrow and Furness constituency and (b) Cumbria were housed in bed and breakfast accommodation as a result of homelessness in each of the last three years; and what the average duration of a family's stay in such accommodation was in each such year. [147009]

Mr Prisk: Information on the numbers of homelessness acceptances is presented in the following table. The table also includes the numbers of families in bed and breakfast accommodation.

Although the Department collects information on the time periods spent by households in temporary accommodation as a whole, this is not collected separately for bed and breakfast accommodation. The Department does, however, collect information on the numbers of families that have been in bed and breakfast accommodation for six weeks or more. This is currently published nationally.

We are investing £470 million in homelessness prevention over four years (2011-12-2014-15) to help local authorities and voluntary sector organisations prevent and tackle homelessness, rough sleeping and repossessions.

We have also increased the discretionary housing payments pot to around £400 million over the Spending Review period to help families and those in vulnerable situations with the transition of welfare reform changes.

It is unacceptable and illegal to place families with children in bed and breakfast accommodation except in an emergency and even then for no more than six weeks.

We called on local housing authorities not to use bed and breakfast for families as one of ten challenges we set them in the recent Ministerial Working Group Report on Homelessness.

Homelessness acceptances
 200920102011January to September 2012(1)

Allerdale

93

109

74

36

Barrow-in-Furness

52

23

26

22

Carlisle

122

108

181

73

Copeland

51

104

89

86

Eden

17

11

9

2

South Lakeland

72

41

52

27

Barrow and Furness constituency(2)

124

64

78

49

Cumbria(3)

407

396

431

246

Families in bed and breakfast accommodation
 As at 30 September each year
 2009201020112012

Allerdale

0

0

0

0

Barrow-in-Furness

0

1

2

0

Carlisle

0

3

6

0

Copeland

0

0

1

0

Eden

0

0

0

0

South Lakeland

0

1

0

0

Barrow and Furness constituency(2)

0

2

2

0

Cumbria(3)

0

5

9

0

(1) Figures for 1 October to 31 December 2012 are not yet available. (2) Comprises the districts of Barrow-in-Furness and South Lakeland. (3) Comprises all six districts listed above. Source: PIE returns from local authorities

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Housing Associations: Cumbria

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the introduction of universal credit on the finances of housing associations operating in Cumbria. [147007]

Mr Prisk: The Department for Communities and Local Government is working alongside the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure that universal credit is designed in a way that protects social landlords' financial position. To help achieve this, we are working closely with a group of social landlords from six areas across the country on the direct payment demonstration projects, to test the impact of paying housing benefit direct to tenants.

More information, including the payment rates for the first four payments of the projects (three, in the case of Edinburgh) and further background can be found in the press package released by the Department for Work and Pensions in December 2012:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/direct-payment-demo-figures.pdf

A copy of this document is available in the Library of the House.

A key aim of the demonstration projects is to explore the best safeguards to protect tenants and social landlords from the risk of increases in rent arrears. The projects are also helping local authorities and housing associations understand how they need to prepare for the introduction of universal credit. We intend to use the evidence gathered from the projects to inform the design of universal credit, including these safeguards to protect the financial position of social landlords and reduce the risks of tenants falling into debt.

Universal credit is about making work pay, so that everyone becomes better off when they move into work, or when they start working longer hours. By removing the distinction between being in work and out of work, by ensuring that there is a clear financial return for each extra hour worked, and by removing the existing hours rules, universal credit is expected to increase the income of the poorest workers, increase employment, reduce poverty and to start to break of the cycle of workless households in succeeding generations.

Housing Benefit: Social Rented Housing

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the effects of the housing benefit under-occupancy charge on (a) the future provision of housing and (b) homelessness in local authorities in England and Wales. [146475]

Mr Prisk: There are 249,000 overcrowded households in the social sector, while nearly 1.5 million under-occupy. The removal of the spare room subsidy should encourage more effective use of social housing by encouraging tenants to move to properties suitable for the size of their household, or taking in a lodger to occupy a spare bedroom. The Localism Act, and the introduction of ‘Homeswap Direct’, has made it easier for social tenants to move.

12 Mar 2013 : Column 210W

The measure should also encourage social landlords to be more strategic in the allocation of property. It should also influence their building programmes, helping to ensure more appropriately sized accommodation for demand. The Government are providing significant finance for new affordable homes to support the future provision of housing.

The Government's impact assessment for the removal of the spare room subsidy was published by DWP:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/social-sector-housing-under-occupation-wr2011-ia.pdf

This highlights that it is not possible to make robust assessments of the impacts for landlords and tenants as there is little research on the possible behavioural impacts of changing housing benefit in the social rented sector. However, DWP is commissioning external researchers to monitor and evaluate the impacts of the measure, to report in 2015.

Local Development Frameworks

Stephen McPartland: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average cost to local authorities is of preparing a local development framework; and how many such applications have not been accepted in the last year. [146226]

Nick Boles: Data on costs are not centrally held. Councils' statutory planning functions are financed by central Government grant, locally retained revenues and planning fees. My Department follows the New Burdens doctrine when introducing duties on local authorities. We have also offered councils a range of practical assistance to help them prepare up to date Local Plans.

In relation to the examination of councils' Local Plans, I refer the hon. Member to the answer of 25 February 2013, Official Report, House of Lords, column 256WA.

Non-domestic Rates

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidelines his Department gives the Valuation Office Agency on the time taken to make a decision on business rates revaluation. [146636]

Brandon Lewis: The decision to postpone the 2015 business rates revaluation has been made by the Government. Clause 25 of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill will postpone the 2015 revaluation to 2017.

More broadly, in relation to day-to-day valuation work, the Valuation Office Agency act independently of Ministers in setting rateable values and dealing with appeals and the Department of Communities and Local Government does not issue guidelines regarding their work. However, the Valuation Office Agency's performance indicators are agreed with the Department of Communities and Local Government and are published in their annual report.

Social Rented Housing: Cumbria

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the number of social landlord houses in

12 Mar 2013 : Column 211W

(a)

Barrow and Furness constituency and

(b)

Cumbria that are in (i) under-occupation and (ii) over-occupation. [147010]

Mr Prisk: Information at the local authority district level about under-occupation and overcrowding across the whole social rented sector is not currently collected centrally.

DWP will collect data on overcrowding and under-occupation for housing benefit claimants in the social rented sector as part of the implementation of the Social Sector Size Criteria.

12 Mar 2013 : Column 212W

A DWP impact assessment on the Social Sector Size Criteria is available at the following link:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/social-sector-housing-under-occupation-wr2011-ia.pdf

Data from the 2011 census are available giving overcrowding by local authority but not broken down by tenure. See Table QS412EW at the following link:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/census/2011/census-data/index.html