§ Mr. George Osborne
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the effectiveness of the operation of benefit sanctions for persons participating in the New Deal. 
§ Mr. Browne
Research that we have conducted into the effects of the imposition of sanctions found that, overall, sanctions do not have a detrimental effect on jobsearch activity, and in many cases resulted in increased effort in actively seeking work.
A copy of the report 'Saunders, T., Stone, V. and Candy, S. (2001) The Impact of the 26 week Sanctioning Regime . Employment Services Report ESR 100', which deals with the effects of the sanctioning regime is available in the Library.
Details of the number of sanctions applied to 18 to 24year-olds are in the quarterly publication 'Labour Market Statistics—Analysis of Sector Decision Making', a copy of which is in the Library. Separate information is not available on sanctions for New Deal 25 plus participant.
We are continuing to study the effectiveness of benefit sanctions and their effect on individual jobseekers and their families. Work is being undertaken to improve the available statistics including the development of a sanctions database, with the first results from this are expected later this year.745W
§ Mr. George Osborne
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many jobseeker's allowance claimants have incurred benefit sanctions for failure to participate in the New Deal in each year since the New Deal's inception; and what percentage of persons liable for benefit sanctions that represents. 
Numbers of Decisions and Sanctions for Jobseeker's Allowance claimants who refuse to participate in the New Deal for Young People (NDYP) Year Totals Total starts on New Deal for young People1 Decisions relating to non-participation in NDYP resulting in a benefit sanction being imposed2 Decisions relating to non-participation in NDYP resulting in a benefit sanction NOT being applied3 Percentage of decisions relating to non-participation in NDYP resulting in a benefit sanction being imposed Number of sanctions imposed as a percentage of total starts to NDYP 1998–99 248,510 3,525 1,601 68.77 1.4 1999–2000 192,530 8,888 3,895 69.53 4.3 2000–01 170,040 8,518 4,372 66.08 4.7 2001–02 160,840 5,953 3,603 62.29 3.5 2002–03 167,370 6,579 3,873 62.94 3.7 2003–04 126,130 4,868 2,462 66.41 3.6 Total 1,065,420 38,450 19,806 66.00 3.4 1 Some people may have made more than one start on NDYP during the year. 2 Some people may have been sanctioned more than once during the year. 3 These figures include cases where the original decision has been revised and allowed completely along with those cases were the initial decision was not to impose a sanction. 4 Figures are to end December 2003.
Source:Labour Market Statistics—Analysis of Sector Decision Making.
§ Mrs. Curtis-Thomas
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many women in Crosby have benefited from(a) the New Deal for Lone Parents and (b) the New Deal for Partners since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Browne
Through the New Deal we have introduced a wide range of initiatives to help individuals improve their employment prospects by giving them the skills, support and confidence they need to move into work. From 12 April we are enhancing New Deal for Partners to offer the same level of help and support as our successful New Deal for Lone Parents programme. From April we shall also start to roll out Work Focused Interviews for Partners, offering greater support to partners of benefit recipients.
Four hundred and sixty women have started New Deal for Lone Parents in Crosby since the beginning of the programme in October 1998, of whom, 280 have gained a job. Information on the number of women in Crosby who have benefited from the New Deal for Partners is not available.
§ Mr. Browne
Within the New Deal programme, benefit sanctions are applied only in connection with the New Deal for Young People and New Deal 25 plus. Information is not available, for sanctions applied to people who refuse to participate in New Deal 25 plus. The available information is in the table.
Numbers into work in Hackney and Stoke Newington through New Deal programmes Programme Numbers into work New Deal for Young People 1,630 New Deal 25 plus 2,170 New Deal for Lone Parents 300
- 1. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.
- 2. Information is to the end of December 2003.
Source:Department for Work and Pensions Information and Analysis Directorate