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Tonbridge and Malling
Vale of Glamorgan
Vale of White Horse
Weymouth and Portland
Windsor and Maidenhead
Total : 308
Source : Based on 1988 returns provided by 474 of the 483 local authorities in Great Britain.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether those in receipt of a war pension which prior to the April 1988 social security changes was disregarded in the calculation of housing benefit (a) were, and (b) are entitled to transitional protection ; what rights of appeal are open to those pensioners so affected ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The housing benefit transitional payments scheme is intended to provide help to vulnerable groups of claimants who experienced reductions in their housing benefit as a result of changes introduced by the Government in April 1988. Those in receipt of a war pension are eligible to receive help in the same way as all other applicants except that transitional payments do not cover losses of housing benefit incurred as a result of a local authority limiting the scope of its discretionary scheme in April 1988. The statutory disregard on war pensions in the housing benefit scheme was increased at the time of the April
Column 63reforms from £4 to £5 a week and also local authorities retained the right to provide additional help for war pension recipients should they wish to do so. War pension recipients are able to request reviews of their awards of transitional protection by a more senior officer in the same way as all other applicants.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many adjudication officers were in post at the end of each reporting year since 1983 ; and what proportion of such officers had over 12 months' experience of such work.
Mr. Ken Hargreaves : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he has any plans to review the procedure for assessing the eligibility of children to mobility allowance ; and will he make a statement.
(2) if he has any plans to increase the mobility allowance age ceiling of 75 years.
Mr. Scott : We shall be considering the age limits for mobility allowance in the context of the findings of the OPCS disability surveys, but, as an interim measure, we are proposing the extension of the upper age limit from 75 to 80 in the Social Security Bill currently before the House.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow and (b) Strathclyde have (i) claimed and (ii) received a crisis loan from the social fund.
Ms. Richardson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his policy on the extent to which employers should offer their staff an occupational pension scheme or a suitable alternative.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : It is our policy to encourage employers to set up occupational pension schemes so that their employees will have the widest possible range of options from which to choose the most appropriate means of providing for their retirement. The changes brought about last year as a result of the Social Security Act 1986 made it easier for employers to use their occupational pension schemes for contracting out of the state earnings-related pension scheme (SERPS).
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations he has received regarding the situation of young persons leaving care during the period since the April 1988 changes in social security provisions.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : We have received a number of representations on this subject. Most recently my right hon. Friend met with my noble Friend the Baroness Faithfull and representatives of various organisations involved with young people. In addition I have met with representatives of the Church of England Children's Society and officials have met with representatives of the Association of County Councils and the Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what percentage of potential recipients of child benefit earn more than the average wage ; and if he will provide the statistical details on which his calculation is arrived.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Among those families who stand to gain from an increase in child benefit (because they do not receive any income-related benefit) around 70 per cent. have incomes above average earnings. I am writing to the hon. Member giving details of the calculation.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the annual cost of making an ex gratia weekly payment of (a) £10, (b) £20, (c) £30, (d) £40 and (e) £50 to pre-1973 war widows ; and what that cost would be at current values in each of the next 10 years assuming an annual increase of 10 per cent. in the current annual death rate of such widows.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Based on the latest information available about the number and projected numbers of pre-1973 war widows, which is subject to considerable uncertainty, the estimated gross costs (excluding reductions in entitlement to income-related benefits) rounded to the nearest £1 million are as follows :
|c|£ million|c| ----------------------------- 1989 |28 |57 |85 |113|141 1990 |26 |52 |78 |104|129 1991 |25 |49 |74 |98 |123 1992 |24 |47 |71 |94 |118 1993 |22 |45 |67 |89 |111 1994 |21 |42 |64 |85 |106 1995 |20 |40 |60 |80 |100 1996 |19 |38 |57 |76 |95 1997 |18 |36 |54 |72 |90 1998 |17 |34 |51 |68 |84 1999 |16 |32 |48 |63 |79
The estimated projected number of widows on which the costs are based takes into account the mortality rates of war widows.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is the current projected National Health Service bed requirement for armed forces casualties arising from future war in Europe ; (2) what recent steps he has taken to assess the adequacy of existing arrangements for the reception by the National Health Service of armed forces casualties arising from any future war in Europe.
Mr. Freeman : The projected workload for the National Health Service in the event of war in Europe is the subject of continuing joint civil/military medical planning between officials of the Department, the Minister of Defence and Health Service emergency planning staff. Details of military casualty estimates are classified.
Mr. Freeman : As indicated at paragraph 3.14 of health circular HC(88)31, "Emergency Planning in the NHS : Health Service Responsibilities in Civil Defence," possible arrangements for stockpiling against emergencies--in addition to existing holdings--taking account of shelf life, location and transport are currently being examined with a view to rationalisation and the issue of further guidance. Officials will report when details have been fully worked out.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for each of the last five years for each hospital in each area health authority in the Trent regional health authority, the number of nurses engaged in educational medicine and the care of children.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Don Valley of 20 June 1988, Official Report, column 415, if he will provide details and costs of the National Health Service participation in the military home defence exercises Eastern Shield, Capital Guard, Drake's Drum, Autumn Tiger, Northern Crusade, Western Encounter, Triple Crown and Strong Link.
Mr. Freeman : Certain NHS authorities participated to a limited extent and on a voluntary basis in some of these exercises, Participation mainly involved ambulance services, some hospital accident and emergency departments and emergency planning staff. The costs were contained within NHS budgets. The exercises provided health authorities with useful insight into NHS civil defence planning problems as well as valuable major accident practice.
The list of notifiable diseases is kept actively under review.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the effect on babies of water supplies containing levels of aluminium above the level provided for in EEC directives.
Mr. Freeman : No disease is known to be caused in babies by aluminium present in the public water supply in the United Kingdom from natural sources or as a result of the normal use of aluminium compounds in water treatment. Gross contamination of water with aluminium sulphate renders the water unpalatable and would cause milk feeds prepared with this water to coagulate. Such water, if drunk, would be expected to cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library a copy of the initial paper on the consultation into the merger of Hampstead and Haringey health authorities produced within the department of community medicine at North East Thames regional health authority and the paper presented to the regional health authority members by the regional health authority management.
1. "Proposals for the amalgamation of Hampstead and Haringey Health Authorities"--paper presented to the July 1988 meeting of North East Thames regional health authority ;
2. "The proposed amalgamation of Hampstead and Haringey Health Authorities" --North East Thames regional health authority consultation document issued in August 1988 ;
Column 673. "The proposed amalgamation of Hampstead and Haringey Health Authorities"--North East Thames regional health authority information leaflet issued in August 1988 ;
4. "Results of consultation on the proposed amalgamation of Hampstead and Haringey Health Authorities"--paper presented to the January 1989 meeting of North East Thames regional health authority ;
5. "Proposed amalgamation of Hampstead and Haringey Health Authorities : responses to consultation"--Appendix to (4) above.