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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): Thirty-five per cent of pensioners are in receipt of less than a full basic state pension; 14 per cent of these pensioners are in receipt of the minimum income guarantee. Pensioners who receive a reduced rate basic state pension include those who receive a reduced rate married woman's pension based on their husband's contribution record, those whose own or inherited national insurance record is incomplete, those who receive the reduced rate non-contributory pension and those who receive either graduated pension or additional pension only.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The funding for Positive Activities for Young People is allocated to LEAs on the basis of the number of robberies committed; the number of sessions missed in schools; the number of primary and secondary pupils; and the level of funding that areas received under schemes last year. Weightings have also been applied to take account of additional factors such as Behaviour and Improvement Schools and Excellence in Cities areas.
Greater Manchester has received a total funding allocation of £2.1 million. The variations in funding between LEAs will be dependent upon the funding they received in previous years, the levels of robbery in those areas and levels of truancy. Extra consideration has been given to areas with Behaviour and Improvement Schools and to Excellence in Cities areas. Government Office North West also took the decision to ensure that there is a strong focus on community cohesion in their region and have reallocated a small amount of their funding to take account of this.
Baroness Andrews: In the long term, the four-hour Accident and Emergency (A&E) target, like other waiting targets will be met, not through extraordinary measures, but through a combination of sustained investment and changes in which the National Health Service works.
A milestone of 90 per cent was set for March 2003, as an early staging post on the way to the 2004 target. The most important ingredients of the success for trusts achieving the 90 per cent milestone have been hard work, innovation and commitment of NHS staff.
The new system of devolved responsibility has given the local NHS the freedom to use their resources to deliver health services according to the needs of their local populations. They do so within a clear national framework of priorities. Improving waiting time in A&E is a top priority for the Government and the public, so we would expect the NHS to focus resources on this.
Baroness Andrews: The 2001 Census recorded a total of 149,942 young carers aged 17 and under. The Department of Health supports the Young Carers Initiative through a grant to the Children's Society. The Initiative supports over 250 projects or groups working with young carers, which are funded through a range of sources including statutory agencies, the voluntary sector and lottery funds. Each project in turn supports between thirty and fifty young carers. In addition, the Young Carers Initiative supports an annual festival which expects to attract 1,800 young people in 2003.
Baroness Ashton of Upholland: Since September 2002, we have ensured that the standards required to qualify as a teacher include an understanding of how pupils' learning can be affected by their physical, intellectual, linguistic, social, cultural and emotional development. A number of these issues may affect young carers. Newly qualified teachers are required to complete an induction period during which they liaise
Baroness Ashton of Upholland: The flexibility of the citizenship framework allows schools to choose how to organise and teach citizenship in a way that suits their pupils' needs. Pupils are taught about taking a responsible role in the community through participation in both school and community-based activities during citizenship education. Teachers can therefore draw on the role of young carers in discussions about responsible action and community service.
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