HC Deb 15 December 1998 vol 322 cc494-6W
Mr. Quentin Davies

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what the total cost of running the New Deal for Lone Parents from July 1997 to 25 September 1998 has been, broken down by Employment Service regions; and how much of this was spent on(a) advertising, (b) personal advisers and (c) other Employment Agency services. [63950]

Angela Eagle

The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is as follows:

Phase 1 of the New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP) started on 21 July 1997 and ran until the main national rollout of the programme commenced on 26 October 1998. It was delivered in four areas by the Benefits Agency and four areas by the Employment Service. Phase 2 commenced on 6 April 1998. There was a period of overlap between Phases 1 and 2.

The Benefits Agency ran the NDLP in Phase 1 only between 21 July 1997 and 25 October 1998. There are no separate figures for the Benefits Agency advertising costs for Phase 1.

The cost of the Advisers in the four Benefits Agency areas for that period was as follows:

Adviser costs
North Cheshire 241,337
North Worcestershire 233,776
Sheffield 248,253
Cambridge 339,469

The Benefits Agency did not have a separate allocation for Employment Service Programmes but were able to refer people to the Employment Service.

Expenditure details are not available in the same format for the Employment Service for Phase 1 of the NDLP between the period 21 July 1997 until 31 March 1998. However, the Employment Service's financial allocations for their regions for Phase 1 for 21 July 1997 to 31 March 1998 was as follows:

Running costs ES Programmes
London and South East 262,676 85,100
Wales 208,132 67,429
West Midlands 145,824 44,203
Scotland 103,225 33,442

Phase 2 of the NDLP extended the service to all lone parents who made a new claim for Income Support whose youngest child was aged at least 5 years and three months and those with younger children who put themselves forward. There were costs involved with the preparation of this phase of the programme which fell in the 1997–98 financial year. Expenditure details on Phase 2 of the NDLP in the 1997–98 financial year were not separately captured. However, the Employment Service financial allocations during that financial year for Phase 2 was as follows:

Running costs1
Northern 58,235
Yorks and Humberside 80,665
East Midlands and Eastern 79,004
London and South East 296,497
South West 64,648
Wales 58,854
West Midlands 83,187
NorthWest 116,862
Scotland 84,034

The Employment Service captured actual expenditure for the period 1 April 1998 to 30 September 1998 for the combined Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the NDLP. Separate expenditure for the two distinct strands of the NDLP is not available. The regional breakdown of this is as follows:

Running costs1
Northern 204,327
Yorks and Humberside 297,436
East Midlands and Eastern 270,455
London and South East 987,706
South West 375,845
Office for Wales 305,076
West Midlands 333,279
North West 518,405
Office for Scotland 344,028
1 From 1 April 1998 Employment Service is recording expenditure details in respect of NDLP under the headings of Paybill, General Administrative Expenditure and ES Programme expenditure. The Paybill details do not show the costs of Advisers as a separate item and would include the costs of Adviser managers and clerical support etc.

The vast majority of publicity costs surrounding Phase 1 of NDLP were paid centrally and fell in the 1997–98 financial year. These amounted to £384,553. There would have been other much smaller local publicity costs for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of NDLP and these would be contained in the expenditure/allocation details shown above.

Mr. Woodward

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many lone parents with children of school age were receiving income support in Oxfordshire on 1 December. [63647]

Angela Eagle

The administration of benefits is a matter for Peter Mathison, Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Mr. Peter Mathison to Mr. Shaun Woodward, dated 14 December 1998: The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many lone parents with children of school age were receiving income support in Oxfordshire on 1st December. The available figures are included in the attached table.

I hope you find this reply helpful.

May 1998
Lone Parents with children of school age in receipt of Income Support in Oxfordshire 4,000


1. Lone Parents are defined as single people with dependants who are not in receipt of a disability or pensioner premium.

2. School age children are taken to be aged between 5 and 18 years inclusive, and it is lone parents who have at least one child within this range who are included. However, these lone parents might also have children younger than school age.

3. The information has been provided by the Analytical Services Division 1 of the DSS using the postcode's for Oxfordshire. The figures are provisional and subject to change.

4. The definition of Oxfordshire used is based on version 1 of the 1998 postcode directory.

5. The figures provided relate to receipt of Income Support as at May 1998 and have been taken from the Income Support Statistics Quarterly Enquiry May 1998 which is the latest available.

6. Figures are based on a 5% sample and therefore subject to a degree of sampling error.

7. Figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand.