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Crisis Loans

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many calls were received by Crisis Loans Direct helpline on average per day over the last 12 months of operation; what hours the lines are staffed; how many (a) lines and (b) answering staff there are; and whether information is collected on (i) aborted calls to that number, (ii) the number of calls made by each applicant and (iii) the time waited by each applicant before receiving a reply; (98896)

(2) how many applications for crisis loans were made in each local office for which he is responsible in (a) the Isle of Wight and (b) Hampshire in 2005-06; how many payments were agreed; and how many awards were made in each decile of payments by value.

[holding answer 2 November 2006]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Lesley Strathie:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking how many calls were received by Crisis Loans Direct helpline on average per day over the last 12 months of operation; what hours the lines are staffed; how many (a) lines and (b) answering staff there are; and what information is collected on (i) aborted calls to that number, (ii) the number of calls made by each applicant and (iii) the time waited by each applicant before receiving a reply. You also asked how many applications for crisis loans were made in each local office for which you are responsible in (a) the Isle of Wight and (b) Hampshire in 2005-06; how many payments were agreed; and how many awards were made in each decile of payments by value.

Jobcentre Plus does not have a national Crisis Loan helpline and therefore the information you have requested about the helpline is not available.

There were 76,283 applications for Crisis Loans within the Jobcentre Plus district of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight from 1 January 2005 to 24 October 2006. We cannot break these figures down between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Information about the numbers of payments agreed and the monetary value of the payments is only available on individual customer records and could only be gathered at disproportionate cost.

I can tell you that the centre that deals with Crisis Loan applications for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight operates telephone lines between 08:30 to 15:30 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 10:00 to 15:30 on Wednesdays, there are 53 telephone lines staffed by 56 people.