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Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how his Department is monitoring the withdrawal of additional requirements, previously paid under the supplementary benefits system, where these meet the special needs of children with acute and chronic health conditions in families on income support with a view to extending the qualifying conditions for the disabled child premium.
Mr. Scott : Additional requirements ceased from April 1988 when the supplementary benefit scheme was replaced by income support. The impact of the reformed system is being monitored on all groups using information provided by local offices, from the management information system, from expenditure outturn figures and other statistical sources such as the annual statistical inquiry, and the quarterly statistical inquiries. In addition the disabled child premium will be studied in the light of the OPCS reports which deal specifically with disabled children.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether transitional payments to claimants unable to qualify for income support because of the definition of remunerative work will be calculated and withdrawn in accordance with the transitional arrangement regulations 1988.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Since transitional payments made to people unable to qualify for income support because of the definition of remunerative work are discretionary, they are not subject to any regulations. Such payments are eroded by increases in income, such as earnings and other social security benefits.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many (a) claimants who work more than 24 hours per week ceased to qualify for supplementary benefit on 6 April 1988, and (b) how many of those claimants have applied for and been awarded transitional protection under the new arrangements announced earlier this year.
Column 677of 293 people affected by the new rules applied for payments under the arrangements announced last April, of whom 123 were awarded payments. These figures include those claimants whose partners were working 24 hours or more.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what action is being taken in his Department's offices to identify claimants who ceased to qualify for supplementary benefit in April 1988 because of the changed definition of remunerative work for the purposes of assessing eligibility for transitional protection.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Whilst local offices were not required to trawl for cases eligible for transitional protection they have been instructed to refer cases of any former supplementary benefit recipients, which come to their attention, to the transitional protection unit (TPU).
Two campaigns in the national press were initiated in May and July 1988 which publicised TP payments. In addition, stocks of an explanatory leaflet SB22, with attached application form, were issued to local offices, post offices and local authorities. Supplies of an information leaflet (Fig 8) were also issued to local authorities and advisory bodies which outlined the help available from the TPU.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many (a) claimants in receipt of supplementary benefit for the year 1987-88 were (i) in receipt of housing costs for mortgage interest repayments, (ii) were working 24 hours per week or more or (iii) had a partner who was working 24 hours per week or more, and (b) if he will provide this information on the basis of weekly mortgage interest repayments of (1) less than £25, (2) £25 or more but less than £50, (3) £50 or more but less than £75, (4) £75 or more but less than £100 and (5) £100 or more.
The latest available data on the amounts included in supplementary benefit assessments for mortgage interest are shown in the table. These are derived from table 7.11 of the May 1987 annual statistical enquiry, a copy of which is in the Library. No information is available on the numbers of supplementary benefit claimants or their partners who were working 24 hours or more a week.
|c|Numbers of owner occupier supplementary benefit claimants with|c| |c|mortgage interest included in their assessments, May 1987|c| Weekly amount included in |Numbers of claimants Supplementary Benefit assessment for mortgage interest ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Nil to £25.00 |244,633 £25.01 to £50.00 |72,520 £50.01 to £75.00 |11,080 £75.01 to £100.00 |3,773 £100.01 and over |1,801 |------- Total |333,809
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many claimants of income support and housing benefit will have no increase in benefit in April due to receipt of transitional protection as a result of the 1988 benefit changes ; and how many will receive less than the full increase.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I regret that precise information for income support and housing benefit is not available. For income support, it is estimated that around 570,000 recipients will have no increase in benefit income in April 1989 and some 530,000 may receive less than the full increase.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish a table showing the current level of retirement pension for a single pensioner and a pensioner couple if uprated by prices or earnings, whichever was the higher, each year since 1980.
|c|Value of Retirement Pension if increased in line with prices or|c| |c|earnings|c| Uprating date |Single |Couple -------------------------------------------------------- November 1980 |27.45 |43.95 November 1981 |30.75 |49.25 November 1982 |33.30 |53.35 November 1983 |35.80 |57.35 November 1984 |38.15 |61.10 November 1985 |41.50 |66.45 July 1986 |43.80 |70.15 April 1987 |45.75 |73.25 April 1988 |49.35 |79.00
Mr. Burt : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what additional information he proposes to place in the Library concerning the social fund budget allocations to local offices for 1989-90.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I have today placed in the Library details of the 1989-90 social fund allocations in terms of the allocations per head of income support live load in every local office on 30 November 1988, together with a note explaining the basis on which the 1989-90 allocations were made. Details of individual local office activity on the social fund during 1989-90 and a national summary will continue to be placed in the Library at monthly intervals.
17. Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to introduce a test of resources for improvement grants for house adaptations for disabled people ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Trippier : Proposals for a test of resources for all improvement grants, including those for adaptations for the disabled, were published in the consultation paper "Renovation Grants : Proposed Test of Resources", issued on 9 January.
18. Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy on providing financial assistance to owner occupiers of former local authority properties on a no-fines type of construction ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Trippier : Owners of houses built before 1961, including those of no-fines construction, may be eligible for discretionary improvements grants from their local authorities. The Local Government and Housing Bill contains our proposals to reform that legislation.
34. Mr. Allen Adams : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any plans to meet representatives of firms producing computers to discuss the proposed football club identity card scheme.
77. Mr. McCartney : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any plans to meet representatives of firms producing computers to discuss the proposed football club identity card scheme.
Mr. Moynihan : I have no further plans to meet computer companies. The football membership authority, in drawing up the scheme for submission to the Secretary of State, will include its preferred choice of technology.
35. Mr. Wall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has received any response to the letter sent by the Minister for Sport, the hon. Member for Lewisham, East (Mr. Moynihan) to hon. Members on 21 December 1988 about the proposed football identity card scheme.
39. Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has received any response to the letter sent by the Minister for Sport, the hon. Member for Lewisham, East (Mr. Moynihan) to hon. Members on 21 December 1988 about the proposed football identity card scheme.
Column 680letter sent by the Minister for Sport, the hon. Member for Lewisham, East (Mr. Moynihan) to hon. Members on 21 December 1988 about the proposed football identity card scheme.
78. Mr. Ashton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has received any response to the letter sent by the Minister for Sport, the hon. Member for Lewisham, East (Mr. Moynihan) to hon. Members on 21 December 1988 about the proposed football identity card scheme.
40. Mr. Loyden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on recent meetings held by the Minister for Sport, the hon. Member for Lewisham, East (Mr. Moynihan) with the chairmen of Football League clubs.
71. Mr. Canavan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many representations he has received to date about the Government's proposals to introduce a membership registration and identification scheme for football fans.
Column 681of the cost of a new house attributable to the price of the building land for each region of the country, for the years 1958, 1968, 1978 and 1988.
Mr. Trippier : I am pleased to say that according to the latest figures for 1987 land prices in the north-west contributed one of the lowest percentages of the costs of new houses, both in the private sector and those built by local authorities. I am arranging for a table of regional figures to be placed in the Library. Figures for earlier years, back to 1977, are available in the Library.
22. Mr. Martlew : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the Government will take action to ensure that reclamation facilities, such as bottle banks, are established at new supermarket sites.
Mr. Chope : I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend to my hon. Friend the member for Beverley (Mr. Cran) on 8 February ( Official Report, columns 726-27 ). The Government are committed to tackling rural housing need, by enabling housing associations to provide rented accommodation in rural areas and encouraging private landlords and developers to invest in low-cost dwellings.
Mr. Chope : New guidance is set out in the reply which my right hon. Friend gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Daventry (Mr. Boswell) on February 3 at columns 433-34. The local planning authorities have been notified.
Mr. Trippier : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has received representations from a variety of organisations. The Government's response to these representations is summarised in the answer that he gave my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley (Mr. Cran) on 8 February at columns 726-27.
24. Mr. Livsey : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has made any decision as to what proportion of water authority stock will be retained by the Government at the proposed flotation of the water industry.
95. Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has had any recent discussions with the chairpersons of the water authorities on disconnection policy before and after privatisation of the water industry.
Mr. Moynihan : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State regularly meets chairmen of the water authorities to discuss a number of issues. My hon. and learned Friend the Minister for Water and Planning has welcomed the recent proposals announced by the water industry to revise their disconnections code of practice. These introduce important new customer safeguards and should assist in keeping disconnection to the absolute minimum of those customers who can pay but refuse to do so.
Mr. Moynihan : The Department will carry out an assessment of each water authority's and each water company's future financial requirements in the coming months and I will then be in a position to make proposals for the price cap which will be applicable to each appointed undertaking under the Water Bill.
25. Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress he can report on the reduction of use of chlorofluorocarbons ; and if he will estimate the likely effect on the environment.
Mr. Ridley : All sectors of British industry are being encouraged to reduce their chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons by at least 85 per cent. by the turn of the century by using alternatives, substitutes or adopting good housekeeping practices. The action of the aerosol industry alone to phase out non-essential uses of CFCs will halve total United Kingdom consumption by the end of the year. Action by the United Kingdom alone is not enough and a major objective of the "Saving the Ozone Layer" London conference, which I shall chair in March, is to persuade more countries to sign up to the Montreal protocol.
83. Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether his Department proposes to issue advice to owners of domestic appliances which contain chlorofluorocarbons who wish to ensure that chlorofluorocarbons are not released into the atmosphere.
Column 683December 1988 (Cm. 552) officials of the Department of the Environment and the Department of Trade and Industry are discussing the question of recovery and recycling/destruction of
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in redundant appliances. The Government plan to develop advice in the light of these discussions.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received concerning the use of chlorofluorocarbon in the manufacture of plastic forms of building insulation ; and whether he has any evidence that manufacturers have developed alternatives to these.
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the insulation of buildings. The manufacturers of rigid polyurethane foams are developing materials which use less CFCs as blowing agents. They are also implementing measures to reduce wastage of CFCs, and evaluating ozone-friendly alternatives which should become available during the 1990s, subject to satisfactory toxicological testing. United Kingdom manufacturers of extruded polystyrene insulation board have agreed to introduce this year products which do not contain the CFCs controlled by the Montreal protocol, and to phase out products containing these substances by mid-1990.
Mr. Trippier : The Department has committed some £330 million in Yorkshire and Humberside this financial year, as part of the wider Government effort with the private sector and the public authorities to tackle problems of urban decay.
Mr. Trippier : Leicester city council's housing investment programme allocation for 1989-90 will be £8,513 million. In addition, it was allocated £0.4 million to tackle run-down housing under the private sector area renewal initiative. Individual authorities have also been invited to apply for additional resources under the estate action programme and in respect of particularly heavy
responsibilities under housing defects legislation.
29. Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy towards the stimulation of research into environmental matters by (a) his Department, (b) the proposed National Rivers Authority and (c) the water plcs following privatisation.
Mr. Moynihan : I have today placed copies of a paper in the Libraries of both Houses setting out our proposals for environmental research following privatisation. The paper proposes that it will be for each utility company to decide on its own research needs. The need to fulfil their statutory duties and comply with regulations on water quality and pollution controls will provide the incentives for the water utilities to carry out research. The present statutory duty on the water authorities to make arrangements to carry out research will be replaced by clause 135 of the Water Bill, which places a similar duty on the National Rivers Authority. My Department will continue to manage a substantial programme of research into the water environment.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : My right hon. Friend proposes to lay regulations shortly which will give Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution control over air pollution from a limited number of additonal works, will provide for greater public access to information about the control of air pollution from works scheduled for inspectorate control, and will give statutory force to air quality standards for smoke and sulphur dioxide, lead and nitrogen dioxide.
We intend that the remainder of the proposals in the Government's December 1986 consultation paper on air pollution control should be implemented as soon as a legislative opportunity arises.
31. Mr. Anthony Coombs : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what further progress he can report on the setting up and activities of urban development corporations ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 685on 19 January. The UDCs are responsible for regenerating more than 40,000 acres, much of which was derelict or underused when they were set up. Although they are at varying stages in their lives, they are all making considerable progress and stimulating major private sector investment interest in their areas.