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36. Mr. Patnick : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security by what amount spending in real terms on social security programmes has increased over the last five years for which figures are available.
Mr. Scott : Spending on social security in 1989-90 is forecast to be £51.1 billion in current plans, while in 1984-85 it was £38.1 billion. Despite a drop in unemployment of almost one third, with the consequential effect on expenditure on that group, overall social security spending has increased by 3.4 per cent. in real terms in the last five years.
37. Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate he has made of the advertising cost for each successful new claim for family credit, above expected trends, received as a result of the recent advertising campaign.
50. Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what has been the notional advertising cost for each successful new claim for family credit, above expected trends, that has been received as a result of the advertising campaign.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Such cost estimates would not be meaningful. It is not possible to assess accurately how much of the increase in claims has been a direct result of the advertising campaign rather than other factors such as the increase in family credit rates in April. Furthermore, the campaign aims to raise levels of awareness of family credit not only to encourage claims by people who may be entitled at present but to encourage others to claim in the future should they become eligible through changed circumstances. In terms of the objective of increasing awareness within the target groups, there have been significant increases.
Column 43Research indicates a change from 25 to 82 per cent. awareness. This is matched by increases in applications. In the weeks before the campaign we had 164,000 applications. In the 11 weeks after the campaign started we had 295,000 claims and of the claims decided since the campaign began over 135,000 have been successful and 86,400 further claims are awaiting decision.
The cost of advertising and other promotion of family credit since April to the end of July is approximately £4.8 million.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Representations are usually to the effect that it needs to be improved. The recent advertising campaign has sought to increase public awareness of family credit and so promote increased take- up.
39. Mr. Dykes : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he has undertaken an up-to-date assessment of any improvements in take- up ratios on targeted benefits following the completion of the spring advertising campaign launch by his Department.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The precise effects on family credit take-up rates will not be known until information is available from the 1989 family expenditure survey, but the increase in the number of claims received during the campaign has been very encouraging and the underlying caseload is now almost certainly over 300,000.
Source : Family Expenditure Survey 1986.
44. Mr. Kirkwood To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people have been refused loans by social fund officers on the basis that they have insufficient income to repay the loans.
45. Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many personnel are involved in the detection of fraud in social security benefits ; and what is the total expenditure by his Department in this area.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Precise figures are not available, but it is possible to estimate the numbers of full-time equivalent posts on the basis of records of staff time expended on fraud-related work. The numbers of full-time equivalent posts are 3,335. Data for the total expenditure by the Department in this area are not available. Staff costs are now some £47 million in a full year.
49. Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what recent discussions he has had with pensioners' groups on extending the age after which mobility allowance can be paid ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representation he has received about the operations of the Agency Benefits Unit regarding its processing of applications for exemption from prescription charges ; what improvements in service to applicants can be expected ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Agency Benefits Unit deals with claims made under the National Health Service low income scheme which provides help with the whole range of National Health Service charges and fares to hospital for treatment. Each claim under the scheme covers all these services, including exemption from prescription charges, so that separate information about the latter cannot be given. On the operation of the low income scheme generally, apart from many letters about the amount of help provided in individual cases, most representations have concerned the amount of time taken to deal with claims. A major cause of delay earlier in the year was a problem which arose in connection with the regulations governing the low income scheme, and which led to a stockpiling of cases at the unit. All the cases which had been stockpiled were cleared by the middle of April, but work is still in progress to correct the cases which had been dealt with before the stockpiling began.
Representations have also been made about the claim form, and the design of the form is currently under review. The opportunity will also be taken to correct weaknesses in the form which have sometimes led to delays due to forms having to be returned to claimants because they were not properly completed.
Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the projected increase in cost of income support for elderly people in private residential and nursing home accommodation in the next five years.
Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the total amount paid in income support to elderly people in private residential and nursing home accommodation for each of the last five years.
Column 45residential care and housing homes ; information for private homes only is not available. Before December 1985 such data were not collected.
Date |Annual equivalent |expenditure |£ million ------------------------------------------------------ December 1985 |280 May 1986 |360 May 1987 |530 May 1988 |680 Source: December 1985, May 1986, May 1987 and May 1988 Quarterly Statistical Enquiries. Note: The amounts for 1985-7 relate to supplementary pensions, and that for 1988 to payments of income support to people aged 60 or more.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his policy towards the payment of independent living fund grants in order to substitute for National Health Service services ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Scott : Decisions are a matter for the trustees of the fund. Payments from the fund complement the provision made for severely disabled people by the statutory authorities and are not intended to replace them.
Sir David Price : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he expects to be able to respond to the further representations which he has received about the plight of the pre-1973 war widows.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : My noble Friend has recently responded to representations made by the Officers' Pension Society and several hon. Members. Officials have provided a note to the Social Services Committee on the points raised on this subject at the hearing on 14 June. There are no other representations awaiting a reply.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give the total number of 16 and 17-year-olds in Scotland and for each of the local Department of Social Security office areas who have (a) applied and (b) received income support as a result of direction from the Secretary of State under the severe hardship provision from September 1988 to the most recent date for which figures are available.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The table shows the number of applications for income support from 16 and 17-year-olds in Scotland on the ground of "severe hardship" between 12 September 1988 and 23 June 1989. It also shows the number of directions given to enable income support to be paid.
(1) |(2) |(3) DSS Local Office |Decisions taken |Directions to enable |benefit to be paid ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Aberdeen North |67 |30 South |154 |105 Airdrie |45 |30 Arbroath |40 |24 Ayr |24 |13 Bathgate |225 |173 Bellshill |75 |56 Campbeltown |13 |9 Clydebank |15 |6 Coatbridge |6 |4 Cowdenbeath |61 |35 Dumbarton |59 |42 Dumfries |48 |34 Dundee East |29 |14 West |17 |10 Dunfermline |98 |79 East Kilbride |36 |27 Edinburgh City |74 |54 East |103 |78 North |70 |47 South |84 |62 West |89 |62 Elgin |69 |47 Falkirk |173 |114 Fort William |13 |11 Galashiels |103 |69 Glasgow Anniesland |66 |43 Bridgeton |61 |41 City |76 |46 Craigton |62 |46 Cranstonhill |27 |25 Cumbernauld |59 |28 Laurieston |142 |93 Maryhill |91 |63 Parkhead |85 |50 Patick |31 |17 Provan |164 |120 Rutherglen |129 |68 Southside |49 |33 Springburn |87 |63 Greenock |73 |48 Hamilton |40 |30 Inverness |29 |21 Irvine |90 |55 Johnstone |9 |1 Kilmarnock |88 |62 Kirkcaldy |109 |79 Kirkwall |12 |9 Lerwick |5 |5 Leven |47 |27 Motherwell |36 |23 Oban |9 |6 Paisley |142 |104 Perth |85 |58 Peterhead |47 |30 Port Glasgow |37 |25 Stirling |86 |54 Stornoway |37 |21 Stranraer |14 |10 Wick |2 |1 |---- |---- Total |3,916 |2,640 Notes: 1. Based on 100 per cent. count of applications received. 2. Information relates to the number of applications received rather than to the number of individual young people involved. Some individuals may have received more than one direction.
Column 47claiming benefit in Scotland and for each of the Department of Social Security local area offices in each of the months June, July, August and September 1988.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give the total number of 16 and 17-year-olds in Scotland who have been exempt from the withdrawal of entitlement to benefit covering lone parents, registered blind, incapable of work by reason of disease or mental or physical disability, pregnancy or couple married with a child in the period September 1988 to the most recent date for which figures are available.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Fife, Central of 7 November, Official Report, columns 99-100, if he will outline the findings of the monitoring of the changed social security benefit arrangements for young people seeking a YTS place in the period September 1988 to June 1989.
As far as income support is concerned, I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Kent (Mr. Rowe) on 16 March at columns 305-06 and to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Lester) on 13 March at columns 27-28.
The changes in child benefit arrangements in the period July 1988 to June 1989 resulted in 418,000 invitations to claim extended child benefit being issued to the parents of those leaving school at summer or Christmas 1988 or Easter 1989. Payment of extended child benefit was made in 43,000 cases where young persons were registered for work or a YTS place.
I am satisfied that the Training Agency has more than sufficient YTS places for all who want one. On 31 May (the latest figure available) there were over 141,000 unfilled places. Arrangements are in place at a local level with the careers service to ensure that the Training Agency is aware of and can satisfy demand for YTS places.
Mr. Jessel : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if, as a matter of urgency, he will direct the Chief Medical Officer to provide a second opinion on the risk to human health of chironomidae in water, including drinking water supplies.
Mr. Freeman : The Chief Medical Officer has sought expert advice on this matter. The advice is that there is no evidence that when these larvae have been found in drinking water supplies they have ever caused a human health hazard.
Mr. Freeman : Earlier this year I met colleagues from other Departments with an interest in solvent misuse to discuss the Government's strategy for tackling the problem. At that meeting we recognised the valuable work undertaken by Re-Solv. We agreed that half the cost of the Re -Solv director's salary over the next three years would be met by Government. The Department of Health is, in addition, making a grant of £50,000 in 1989-90 to Re-Solv to undertake a range of activities to combat solvent misuse. That amount includes a contribution towards the cost of the full-time director for the first year of appointment.
Mr. Anthony Coombs : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will report further on his intention to introduce new management arrangements for the special hospitals service, as outlined in the ministerial statement of 4 May 1988.
Mr. Freeman : With the agreement of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the new Special Hospitals Service Authority came into being on 1 July 1989. Initially, the authority will work with the Department, and the Home Department, in formulating national policies for the service ; in finalising the new arrangements ; and in preparing the way for senior managerial appointments and for the handover of the functions currently discharged by the Department and the three existing local hospital boards. Further measures will be taken in due course to enable the authority to assume full responsibility for the service, from 1 October 1989. At that stage the Department will relinquish all its operational management responsibilities and the local boards will cease to exist, to be replaced as soon as possible by new local arrangements.
As well as its administrative responsibilities, a primary task of the authority will be to determine policies and priorities within the strategic framework provided by the Government's stated objectives for the further development of the service. These include the overriding need to continue to ensure the safety of the public ; to continue to improve standards of treatment and care ; and to forge closer and more effective links between the special hospitals and the services to which they relate--the hospital and community psychiatric services and the prison medical service. It was with the achievement of those objectives in mind that my right hon. and learned Friend and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department agreed on the need to strengthen the management of the service, both in terms of the establishment of a central special health authority, and the introduction of general management.
The new arrangements will provide an improved environment in which roles and relationships, and lines of accountability, are more clearly defined and in which better-informed decisions can be taken on key issues-- including the quality of the lives of patients, and the use of resources.
I am pleased to announce that Dr. David Edmond, the present chairman of the Rampton hospital board, has
Column 49accepted an invitation to serve as chairman of the new authority. He comes to the job with a proven track record both in the service itself, and in industry, and his knowledge, experience and deep commitment to the service will stand him in good stead in taking on this demanding appointment. The membership of the authority will be announced shortly.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action can be taken by donors to the blood transfusion service to ensure that the blood they supply is used exclusively within the National Health Service.
The suggestion that donors should impose conditions is not only contrary to this principle but is impracticable in a service dealing with over 2 million units of blood each year.
Mr. David Young : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what criteria have been issued to district health authorities to prevent specifications on competitive tendering being drafted in such a way as to facilitate the application of a specified firm.
Mr. Freeman : A wide range of guidance has been issued on the importance of openness in tendering. For example, the Department's guide "Option Appraisal : Medical and Scientific Equipment", published in 1988, advises that a range of equipment should be identified that appears to satisfy the functional requirements and that requirement specifications should not include performance features that would effectively limit the choice to only one model unless there is clear agreement by all concerned that they are genuinely essential. The Department's procurement directorate will offer health authorities advice on available choices, where required.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received seeking information as to when he envisages that part VIII of the Children Bill [Lords] will be implemented ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 30 June 1989] : We have had a few representations on this particular point in the past year. I refer the hon. Member to what my noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor said on implementation of the Bill generally in the other place on 6 December at columns 534-35.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what percentages of cases in each of the last three years where upgrading of National Health Service staff was approved by the Whitley council joint secretaries the award was backdated to the date of application.
Column 50only at disproportionate cost. If my hon. Friend has a particular case in mind he might wish to let me have the specific details.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 21 June 1989] : Exactly what core services different self-governing hospitals will provide will vary according to the facilities that they have available, the services other local hospitals provide and local requirements. Where, however, a self- governing hospital can best provide maternity services to which patients need guaranteed local access, it will be required to do so.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the members of the committee appointed to advise the Crown Estate Commissioners on fish farming ; if he will describe their remit ; and if he will state their remuneration and criteria for appointment.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My right hon. and learned Friend was happy to announce on 30 May the appointments of the hon. Lord Grieve and Professor George Dunnet to the chairmanship and deputy chairmanship respectively of the fish farming advisory committee being established by the Crown Estate. Background to the appointments is contained in Scottish Office news release 30 May/0948/89 copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House. The other members of the committee will be representatives of the relevant public bodies. Details of the bodies to be represented and the remit of the committee were contained in the reply my right hon. and learned Friend gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro) on 19 December at columns 88-89. The question of remuneration is a matter for the Crown Estate.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The Government's booklet "Scotland's Heritage" was published on 9 June and copies were placed in the Library. This made it clear that our policy has been, and will remain, to support the conservation of Scotland's heritage and to promote wide public appreciation and understanding of Scotland's rich
Column 51and diverse culture. Amongst many initiatives giving effect to this policy, my right hon. and learned Friend announced on 9 June a commitment in principle to the development of a museum of Scotland which would exhibit the natural, social, economic and cultural history of Scotland.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : In 1976 about 881,000 hectares of inbye and common grazings land were registered as being in crofting tenure. Since then about 15,000 hectares, mainly inbye land, have been decrofted.
Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received about the European Commission's proposal to limit the payment of the hill livestock compensatory allowance to 25 per cent. for the first 45 livestock units and 12.5 per cent. for the next 45 units.
Mr. Rifkind : We have received representations from several right hon. and hon. Members, the National Farmers Union of Scotland and the Scottish Landowners Federation expressing concern about the European Commission's proposals for changes to the hill livestock compensatory allowance arrangements.
Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in the event of the European Commission's proposal to limit the payment of the hill livestock compensatory allowance to 25 per cent. for the first 45 livestock units and 12.5 per cent. for the next 45 units becoming effective, the Government will consider funding the deficit for Scottish farms.
Mr. Rifkind : Negotiations on the Commission's proposals--which are part of a package of measures relating to reform of the structural funds-- have only just begun. It is premature to consider what action the Government might take if the proposals were to be adopted unchanged, but I can give a categorical assurance that in the negotiations we shall be seeking to ensure that full account is taken of the structure of farming in the less-favoured areas of Scotland.
Mr. Stern : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next intends to announce the designation of an area either as a site under the Ramsar convention on the conservation of wetlands of international importance or as a special protection area under EC directive 79/409 on the conservation of wild birds, or both.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will detail the involvement of his Department in announcing on 22 June the plans for the future of Scotland's three dental schools.
Mr. Rifkind : I was extremely concerned at the premature and regrettable disclosure in a television programme on 22 June of the recommendations of the report of the working party on dental provision in Scotland, chaired by Sir Donald McCallum. My Department was, of course, not involved in that disclosure.
Mr. Pendry : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list, by district health authority (a) the current nursing staff establishment, (b) the number in post at the latest available date and (c) the number who have left the National Health Service in the preceding year.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : There are no district health authorities in Scotland. The equivalent is a health board. The whole-time equivalent number of nursing staff employed in each health board at 30 September 1988 is set out in the table. Information about nursing staff establishments is not held centrally and the number of nursing staff who leave the NHS could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Number ---------------------------------------- Scotland |63,782.4 CSA |196.4 Argyll and Clyde |4,782.7 Ayrshire and Arran |3,376.0 Borders |1,146.6 Dumfries and Galloway |1,856.9 Fife |3,598.5 Forth Valley |3,530.7 Grampian |6,030.5 Greater Glasgow |15,283.4 Highland |2,369.8 Lanarkshire |5,391.4 Lothian |9,471.1 Orkney |197.1 Shetland |221.0 Tayside |6,034.7 Western Isles |295.6
Dr. Reid : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has to bring craft and design education into the curriculum for Scottish schools ; what plans there are for the teaching of art ; and by what date he expects such subjects to be part of the curriculum.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Current guidance for secondary schools is that the curriculum of every pupil up to the age of 16 should include subjects within the modes designated creative and aesthetic activity, which includes art, and technological activity and applications, which includes craft and design. Scottish certificate of education courses are available in both subjects at O-grade, standard grade and higher levels. Art and design may be taken at the level of certificate of sixth-year studies. Consideration is being given to the introduction of a certificate of sixth-year studies course in craft and design. Craft and design and art are also aspects of the primary curriculum, which is presently being reviewed.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : My right hon. and learned Friend plans to announce his proposals for community care in Scotland at the same time as decisions are announced on the Griffiths report. As has been indicated in the House, this will be before the summer recess.
Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many cases of (a) botulism, (b) salmonella enteriditis, (c) salmonella typhimurium and (d) other types of food poisoning have been reported or detected in Scotland for each month since January.
|Number ----------------------- January |150 February |181 March |114 April |165 May |160 June |255
The cause is not always known but those recorded include :
|Botulism |Salmonella enteriditis|Salmonella typhimurium ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- January |Nil |54 |32 February |Nil |85 |31 March |Nil |60 |21 April |Nil |43 |9 May |Nil |81 |27 June |Nil |96 |32