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Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what translation services he ensures are available to (a) Benefits Agency and (b) Employment Service staff in (i) England and (ii) Staffordshire. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: In both the Benefits Agency and the Employment Service, throughout Great Britain, we will provide an interpreter for customers who do not speak English and who either cannot or do not wish to provide their own interpreter. This service is provided through either a multilingual member of staff; local services, for example, community interpreters, local authority services or colleges; or the telephone interpreting service provided by Language Line.
We also have an internal translation service for translating documents both into English and into foreign languages. This is supplemented by a rapid translation service on a text-to-speech basis when a quick translation of a document in a foreign language is needed. Local offices also have the freedom to use community based translation services if they are available and convenient.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the national staffing requirements for Jobcentre Plus, and the average wage per employee will be; what the combined national staffing requirements were for the Benefits Agency and Employment Service, and the average wage per employee; and what will happen to employees that are surplus to the Jobcentre Plus staffing requirements. 
We will begin rolling out Jobcentre Plus nationally from 2002. Local staffing requirements for Jobcentre Plus will be determined as part of this process. The chief executives of the Benefits Agency and the Employment Service wrote to all staff on 23 April 2001. They reassured staff that a key aim in developing plans for Jobcentre Plus and the Pension Service would be to enable all current staff to have a job in the new organisations or one of the other agencies in the Department.
David Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what is the value of the extra investment in help to the unemployed represented by the new Jobcentre Plus pilot offices in Inverclyde. 
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Mr. Nicholas Brown: £122 million has been invested in the current financial year to establish the Jobcentre Plus Pathfinder offices. Because much of this investment, for example on IT and communications, has been spent on the Pathfinder offices collectively it is not possible to identify the total investment separately in respect of the offices in Inverclyde. However, a total of around £3.6 million has been spent on improving the physical environment of the Greenock and Port Glasgow Pathfinder offices.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the number of letters that (a) his Department and its agencies, (b) Employment Service offices, (c) Benefits Agency offices and (d) Jobcentre Plus offices have written to individuals citing delays in (i) interviews, (ii) processing claims and (iii) claim reviews, which have resulted from the current industrial action. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: Information is not available in the format requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The contingency plans put in place during the dispute, allied to the fact that the great majority of staff are working normally, have enabled us to maintain a near normal service with minimal delays.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the number of complaints that (a) his Department and its agencies, (b) Employment Service offices, (c) Benefits Agency offices and (d) Jobcentre Plus offices have received which relate to the current industrial action. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: It is not possible to estimate the number of complaints received at area or regional level as a result of the industrial action, as these data have not been collected separately during the course of the dispute.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will estimate the number of incapacity benefit claimants who have been required to attend repeat Benefits Agency medical assessment in each of the last 12 months; 
(3) if he will (a) estimate the number of incapacity benefit claimants transferred to a different benefit as a result of a repeat Benefits Agency medical assessment in each of the last 12 months and (b) provide a breakdown by each individual benefit to which they have been transferred. 
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Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the arrangements for transfer to incapacity benefit of unemployed persons of working age who are involved in one or more sickness incidents during a year. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 23 January 2002]: A person who has been awarded jobseeker's allowance and is unable to work because of sickness may choose to remain on jobseeker's allowance for up to two weeks. This easement means that people who are incapable of work for short periods of time do not have to change the benefit they are claiming. It can normally be used on two occasions in each year of a job-seeking period. Where the easement does not apply an unemployed person who becomes incapable of work can claim incapacity benefit supported by medical evidence.
We are now delivering a new business, Jobcentre Plus, to help all people of working age make the most of their opportunities. In the past, many people were moved on to incapacity benefit with little or no help to make sure they got the right level of support to enable them to get back into work, where they are ready and able to do so.
All people making new and repeat claims to incapacity benefit in Jobcentre Plus pathfinder offices are offered a work-focused meeting as a condition of receiving benefit. These meetings provide the opportunity for people to discuss their work options, as well as their benefit claim, and to investigate with their personal adviser the practical and financial support that is available to help them return to work.
Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what action the Government will take to facilitate the provision of (a) housing and (b) council tax benefit to lone mothers raising children on their own and not forming part of a married couple. 
Malcolm Wicks: On 12 December we responded positively and in detail to the Better Regulation Task Force report "Housing Benefit: A Case Study of Lone Parents". Our response set out the measures already under way and those planned to ease lone parents' path back into work and provide security for those for whom work is not an immediate option.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to PQ 01/20232 and PQ 01/20233, 8 January 2002, Official Report, column 687W, if he will publish the syllabi of the training programmes mentioned and the advice to medical service doctors. 
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(a) Department, (b) agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies on newspaper advertising by title in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: The Department and its agencies use advertising for various reasons ranging from public information and recruitment to advertising opening hours of local offices. For each occasion national and/or regional media may be used as well as hundreds of local papers.
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