Results 1–20 of 3305 for speaker:James Purnell

Written Answers — Work and Pensions: Members: Correspondence (20 May 2009)

James Purnell: A reply was sent to my right hon. Friend on 17 May 2009.

Written Ministerial Statements — Work and Pensions: Agency Targets and Business Plans (12 May 2009)

James Purnell: I am today able to announce the annual performance targets for 2009-10 for the two executive agencies of the Department for Work and Pensions. The targets I have agreed are set out. Further information on the plans of Jobcentre Plus and the Pension, Disability and Carers Service in 2009-10 is contained in their individual "Business Plans" which have been published today. Copies have been...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Incapacity Benefit Claimants (11 May 2009)

James Purnell: We are increasing the help available to incapacity benefit claimants, all of whom have access to back-to-work support through pathways to work. We are also taking forward the Gregg review vision that everyone should be expected to take active steps towards work in return for their benefits, except for those in the support group, who are most disabled. In the first instance, we will trial that...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Incapacity Benefit Claimants (11 May 2009)

James Purnell: It is very important for us to provide people with help to get back into work, and to improve the incentives for getting back into work. That is why we are re-testing everybody on incapacity benefit to make sure that they are on the right benefit. That is why we have tightened the gateway to make sure that only the right people get on to the benefit, and that is why we will require everybody...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Incapacity Benefit Claimants (11 May 2009)

James Purnell: My hon. Friend is absolutely right, and we strongly welcome the Houghton review. He recommended that we invest money in helping local authorities to prevent the kind of worklessness that occurred in the past, and I am glad to say that that is exactly what we are doing.

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Incapacity Benefit Claimants (11 May 2009)

James Purnell: Of course we should minimise regulation, but I do not think that there is a contradiction between supporting equality and helping more people into work whatever their background, and getting people into work. Knowing his views, I do not think that the hon. Gentleman does either. It is important to point out that the hon. Member for Shipley was talking about abolishing the minimum wage,...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Incapacity Benefit Claimants (11 May 2009)

James Purnell: My hon. Friend makes an important point, and we are improving our help for carers to get back into work. Carer's allowance is clearly supposed to be a replacement income for people who cannot work, and therefore it has never had that structure in the past. However, we said in the carer's strategy review that we would keep on looking at the issue, and we will do so.

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Incapacity Benefit Claimants (11 May 2009)

James Purnell: It is not surprising that the Opposition Front-Bench team do not want people to be reminded of their record on poverty wages. On the hon. Gentleman's— [ Interruption. ] If he will just calm down for one second, he will hear that, on his question, he is wrong about the facts: people can volunteer for far more than that which he described. We are the first Government to require people to take...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Jobcentre Plus (Staffing) (11 May 2009)

James Purnell: We recognise that Jobcentre Plus is facing an increased work load as a result of the economic downturn. Thanks to the funding assigned in the Budget, Jobcentre Plus will be able to recruit 10,000 more staff in addition to the 6,000 new staff already provided for in the pre-Budget report. The increase in resources will enable Jobcentre Plus to maintain the provision of flexible, responsive and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Jobcentre Plus (Staffing) (11 May 2009)

James Purnell: Clearly, we will look at that at each pre-Budget report and Budget, but we believe that we have put in place the right number of people for the situation that we face. I am sure that my hon. Friend would join me in taking this opportunity to pay tribute to Jobcentre Plus staff, who are doing a fantastic job. They are coping with almost twice the number of claims of two years ago, but...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Jobcentre Plus (Staffing) (11 May 2009)

James Purnell: Absolutely. We would be very happy to help any hon. Member from any part of the House who wanted to provide such a service to their constituents. I congratulate my hon. Friend on the initiative he has taken, and in particular on bringing together a number of agencies to help people who will be worried about how quickly they can get back into work. It is an excellent initiative that we are...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Jobcentre Plus (Staffing) (11 May 2009)

James Purnell: I do take my right hon. Friend's point, but I am sure he recognises that coping with nearly twice as many people coming through has been a significant challenge. The fact that people's benefits are being paid and that we are maintaining the active labour market regime is an achievement for Jobcentre Plus. He is right, however, to say that we need to put more resources into ensuring that...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Jobcentre Plus (Staffing) (11 May 2009)

James Purnell: My hon. Friend will be glad to know that that is exactly what we propose to do with the adviser discretionary fund—we always take his suggestions very seriously. We are increasing the adviser discretionary fund, which will pay for costs that need to be borne to get people back into work, such as the cost of buying a suit for an interview, or of getting qualifications in order to get people...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Topical Questions (11 May 2009)

James Purnell: We want people to have the support they need to get back to work quickly. That is why, last month, we extended our local employment partnership programme to help newly unemployed people as well as disadvantaged jobseekers. I am pleased to confirm that, in the last financial year, these local employment partnerships have been highly successful. More than 20,000 employers have recruited more...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Topical Questions (11 May 2009)

James Purnell: I am sure that they will. As my right hon. Friend the Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform mentioned, the Conservative chair of the Local Government Association has strongly welcomed this scheme, and I urge all Members to work with local authorities, charities and social enterprises to bid for the future jobs fund, to ensure that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past, when a...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Topical Questions (11 May 2009)

James Purnell: As the hon. Gentleman knows, we have said we will make ex gratia payments and also apologise where appropriate. As he also knows, the problem happened under both Governments and we have taken steps to put it right. If he has further proposals, he should say how he would fund them.

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Topical Questions (11 May 2009)

James Purnell: I am sure my hon. Friend will welcome the fact that, thanks to tax credits, more than 300,000 people are getting an extra £35 a week to soften the blows from the current recession. He will also welcome the fact that people who are working short-time can claim JSA for a short period, and he may want to make that known to his constituents. What is most important, however, is that we take the...

Amendment of the Law (28 Apr 2009)

James Purnell: Just to correct the right hon. Lady, it will actually start from the autumn. The guarantee starts from January. This is a massive improvement in policy and it clearly takes a bit of time to put in place. We need to get bids from local councils, but even doing that is quick. The help that we said in the pre-Budget report that we would provide is already here, as is the help that we announced...

Amendment of the Law (28 Apr 2009)

James Purnell: The right hon. Lady always gets her facts wrong on this, and she is wrong again. The six-month offer means that people have almost exactly the same help as they have from the new deal for young people already—they are getting that from April. The flexible new deal will be a further improvement for people after one year. The fundamental thing is that the right hon. Lady says she supports...

Amendment of the Law (28 Apr 2009)

James Purnell: The right hon. Lady is all over the place on this. She knows perfectly well that those were Government proposals that the Conservatives decided to try to copy. She cannot say that she will spend more on welfare reform and more on unemployment and that, magically, the money will somehow come from the City. She may have noticed that it is quite hard to raise money from the City at the moment....


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