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Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate she has made of the average percentage of pensioners' energy bills likely to be met by the winter fuel payment in (a) the UK, (b) Scotland and (c) the Highlands in 2009-10. 
|Age 60 to 79||Age 80 and over||Age 60 to 79||Age 80 and over|
| (c) The information requested is not available. Additional support is available through Cold Weather Payments for regions that suffer particularly cold weather.|
1. The Family Spending Survey 2008 is used to determine household expenditure on fuel by age.
2. The difference in energy bills in Scotland and the UK, is calculated by looking at the percentage difference an average household spent on energy bills in 2007.
3. The fuel and light inflation rate, published by the ONS, is used to estimate the energy bills as at September 2009.
4. The Winter Fuel Payment figures include the additional payments for 2009-10.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment she has made of the ease with which application forms for disability benefits can be completed by young people with disabilities; and if she will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: Most customers who wish to claim employment and support allowance (or incapacity benefit where there was entitlement before 27 October 2008) do so by making a phone call to a Jobcentre Plus contact centre. For customers who have difficulty making a claim by phone, a claim form can be completed instead. Face to face assistance with this is available at Jobcentre Plus offices.
When designing the employment and support allowance claim form, an external research company was commissioned to conduct research on potential customers, Jobcentre Plus advisers and intermediaries. Their findings informed the final design of the form.
In April 2007 the Department introduced a new format disability living allowance claim form for customers aged 16 to 65. Extensive consultation with customer representative groups and rigorous customer research took place during the design, development and testing of the form. The feedback did not indicate any specific concerns regarding the suitability of the form for young people (or any other age group). The new format reached the Plain English Campaign's accreditation standard and consequently attained the Crystal Mark. Subsequent improvements and refinements to the claim form have been based on feedback from customers and their representatives. The latest version was published in September 2008.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many young people between the ages of 18 and 24 years were unemployed in (a) the UK, (b) Scotland and (c) the Highlands in each of the last 24 months. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many young people aged between the ages of 18 and 24 years were unemployed in (a) the UK, (b) Scotland and (c) the Highlands in each of the last 24 months. (297390)
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles unemployment statistics for local areas from the Annual Population Survey and its predecessor the annual Labour Force Survey (LFS) following International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions.
Table 1 shows the number of persons aged between 18 and 24 years resident in the UK and Scotland who were unemployed for the 12 month periods ending June 2007 to the latest available period ending March 2009.
Estimates of unemployment for the requested age band are not available for the Highland local authority due to small sample sizes. As an alternative, in Table 2, we have provided the number of persons, aged between 18 and 24, claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) in the Highland local authority along with UK and Scotland, from the Jobcentre Plus administrative system. For comparison purposes, the data have been provided from January 2007 to the latest available period of September 2009.
The unemployment estimate given for the UK has been compiled from the APS to be consistent with the estimate for Scotland, and will therefore differ from the headline unemployment estimates published in the Labour Market Statistical Bulletin.
The estimates in Table 1 are for a subset of the population and are therefore subject to margins of uncertainty. A guide to the quality of the estimates is given in Table 1.
National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at:
|Table 1: Number of unemployed persons aged between 18 and 24 years resident in the UK and Scotland|
|12 months ending||United Kingdom||Scotland|
Coefficients of Variation have been calculated for the latest period as an indication of the quality of the estimates. See Guide to Quality below.
Guide to Quality:
The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of an estimate, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV-for example, for an estimate of 200 with a CV of 5 per cent. we would expect the population total to be within the range 180-220.
Key Coefficient of Variation (CV) (%) Statistical Robustness
* 0 ≤ CV<5 Estimates are considered precise
** 5 ≤ CV <10 Estimates are considered reasonably precise
*** 10 ≤ CV <20 Estimates are considered acceptable
**** CV ≥ 20 Estimates are considered too unreliable for practical purposes.
Annual Population Survey.
|Table 2: Number of persons( 1) aged be t ween 18 and 24 years resident in Highland, Scotland and the UK claiming Jobseeker's Allowance|
1. Data rounded to nearest 5.
2. Age data are only available for computerised claims, which account for 99.7 per cent. of all claims.
Jobcentre Plus Administrative System.
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