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Mr. Scott : People receiving sickness benefit, invalidity pension or severe disablement allowance can do work of a therapeutic nature with their doctor's approval without affecting their benefit entitlement, provided that their earnings do not exceed £28.50 per week. This level was last increased in April 1989 and is reviewed annually.
The amount that disabled people can earn without affecting their income support was increased from £4 to £15 per week in April 1988. The same disregard of £15 applies also to housing benefit and will be extended to the community charge benefits. There are no current plans to increase these disregards.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Rugby and Kenilworth, 11 April, Official Report, column 500, when sections 2, 3, and 8 (ii) of the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986 will be implemented.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what has been the rate of successful prosecutions for social security fraud in the North West since the inception of the scheme offering £75 payments to those who supply relevant information to investigating officials ;
(2) what was the rate of successful prosecutions for social security fraud in the North West prior to the introduction of the £75 inducement ;
(3) when his Department's inducement programme in the North West was introduced.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Community charge rebates may be claimed by all people who are liable for a full personal community charge or for collective community charge contributions, including people who are caring for the elderly within the family home. The amount of rebate will depend upon the claimant's financial resources, personal circumstances and community charge liability.
Mrs. Beckett : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what powers social fund officers have to make payments by means of food vouchers ; and what guidance they have received on the use of such powers.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Social fund officers are empowered by section 33(1A) of the Social Security Act 1986 (as amended by the Social Security Act 1988, schedule 3, paragraph 10) to make social fund payments in the form of vouchers.
Guidance on the issue of vouchers is contained in the social fund manual, a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what has been the per capita level of spending on social security benefits (a) in real terms and (b) indexed with 100 as 1979, since 1979.
Mr. Scott : I regret that it is not possible to provide the information requested. There is no reliable precise estimate of the total number of people who receive social security benefits. Many people receive more than one benefit at the same time and detailed records of the numbers of all multiple beneficiaries and the various combinations of benefits held by them is not kept. Information is collected on the numbers in receipt of each individual benefit (table 15.6 of Cm. 615) and some combinations of benefit but it is not sufficiently comprehensive to determine a per capita level of spending.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what information he has on the reasons why 8.5 per cent. of the annual social fund budget for loans and grants was unspent during 1988-89 in the Caerphilly office ; and how many applications for loans or grants in that office during the year in question were refused.
Column 385accounted for 98.6 per cent. of the loans budget allocation, and 91.5 per cent. of the community care grants budget allocation. The underspend on the community care grants budget occurred because the office had anticipated the need to fund start up grants arising from two local housing developments. In the event, the Wales and West housing association development did not result in any applications and the Newydd housing association development was cancelled. Information about the number of loan and grant applications which were unsuccessful may be obtained from data in the Library.
Mr. Allen McKay : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will outline the mechanism for ensuring that social security resources currently spent on private residential care and nursing homes are directed towards community care.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will instruct the Department of Social Security offices to post giro cheques to claimants on Thursdays to increase the chance of their arriving before post offices close at midday on Saturdays.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Paydays for claimants are allocated evenly across the week to spread the work for the benefit of Post Office and local office staff alike. However, it is not normal practice to issue giro cheques on a Friday for the reason cited in the question.
Mrs. Wise : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when Her Majesty's Government were informed by the Soviet Government of the disabling accident to the nuclear reactor of the Echo-2 class Soviet submarine which occurred on 26 June.
This accident was of such a minor nature that no notification from the Soviet Government was expected and none was received.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many air- misses involving military aircraft operating in the night low-flying system were reported (a) between 10 October 1987 and 31 May 1988 and (b) between 10 October 1988 and 31 May 1989.
Mr. Neubert : There were no air miss reports involving military aircraft operating in the night low-flying system for the period 10 October 1987 to 31 May 1988, and one reported for the period 10 October 1988 to 31 May 1989.
Mr. Neubert : The major refinement made to the revised night low- flying system, with effect from 1 June, was to centralise the co-ordination of the system and the responsibility for deconfliction at the tactical booking cell at RAF West Drayton.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures have been taken since October 1988 to separate rotary and fixed-wing low flying over the United Kingdom (a) at night and (b) during the day.
Mr. Neubert : As with all aspects of low flying training, flight safety is under continuous review. Since October 1988, greater separation of rotary and fixed-wing low flying at night has been achieved through the designation of specified geographical areas for either predominantly fixed- wing or predominantly rotary-wing activity. No additional measures to separate fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft during daytime operations have been considered necessary since October 1988.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which units were responsible for (a) co-ordination of the night low-flying system and (b) deconfliction in the night low-flying system prior to the introduction of the revised system on 1 June.
Mr. Neubert : Co-ordination and deconfliction of night low flying during the trial period, to the introducion of the revised night low flying system on 1 June, were the responsibility of HQ strike command, RAF Germany and HQ 3rd air force.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the number of low-flying sorties over the United Kingdom in each year since 1979 by United States air force aircraft, providing a breakdown of the figures by aircraft type.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the scope and purpose of the additional low-flying activity in the Wash area at weekends between 6 May and 25 June.
Mr. Neubert : The only unusual military low flying activity identified in the general area of the Wash over the period in question was of Hercules transit activity on 3-4 June associated with exercise Blue Lanyard, about which those hon. Members, whose constituents were likely to be affected were notified in advance in the customary manner.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the figure for the proportion of RAF Germany low-flying training in 1988 which made use of the United Kingdom low-flying system, provided in the answer from the hon. Member for Romford (Mr. Neubert) to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy of 10 May, Official Report , column 475 , included low-flying sorties by RAF Germany aircraft which originated from and terminated at airfields in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the differences, in terms of the nature and force of their applicability to military low-flying aircraft, between (a) restricted areas for aviation, as shown on Civil Aviation Authority maps, (b) prohibited areas for aviation, as shown on Civil Aviation Authority maps, (c) provost-marshal prohibited areas, (d) provost-marshal restricted areas, (e) avoidance areas and transit areas in the United Kingdom low flying system, as shown on the Civil Aviation Authority chart entitled "Chart of United Kingdom Areas of Intense Aerial Activity and Military Low Flying System", and (f) military low-flying avoidances in force around individual installations and sites but which are not shown on the Civil Aviation Authority chart entitled "Chart of United Kingdom Areas of Intense Aerial Activity and Military Low Flying System."
Mr. Neubert : All restrictions applying to military low flying aircraft are detailed in United Kingdom military low flying regulations and marked, as appropriate, on military low flying charts. There are no differences in the nature and force of the applicability to military aircraft of the categories of restriction listed.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration is being given to authorising low flying at less than 250ft over the United Kingdom during exercises other than work-up training for exercises in the United States of America and Canada.
Mr. Neubert : Training in tactical training areas consists mainly of work-up training for operational low-flying exercises in the United States and Canada. Occasional continuation training may also be carried out to maintain aircrew skills between such exercises, thereby reducing the quantity of work-up training required. There are no plans to change this.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's policy on retaining central records of requests from foreign air forces, including the United States air force in the United Kingdom, for authorisation to fly in the United Kingdom low-flying system at less than the normal minimum height ; and when this policy was first established.
Mr. Neubert : Records of any formal requests by foreign air forces for authorisation to carry out training in the United Kingdom at less than normal height would be handled in accordance with the normal and long- standing arrangements applicable to public records in the Ministry of Defence.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the approximate proportion of RAF Germany low-flying training in each year between 1979 and 1987 which has made use of the United Kingdom low-flying system.
Mr. Neubert : As my answer to the hon. Member on 11 May 1989 at column 475 made clear, accurate figures are not available prior to 1988. It is assessed, however, that for 1987 the proportion of RAF Germany fixed- wing low level sorties that made use of the United Kingdom low flying system was between 20 per cent. and 30 per cent.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of available flying days in the revised night low-flying system from 1 June are allocated to (a) RAF strike command, (b) RAF Germany, (c) RAF support command, (d) the United States air force, (e) other NATO air forces and (f) other users.
Mr. Neubert : With the recent centralisation of co-ordination of night low flying at the tactical booking cell at RAF West Drayton, the use of the United Kingdom night low flying system is not allocated to commands on a daily basis.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will list all provost-marshal prohibited areas which have been (a) established and (b) disestablished since 1979, stating the reason for establishment or disestablishment in each case ;
(2) if he will list all provost-marshal restricted areas which have been (a) established and (b) disestablished since 1979, stating the reason for establishment or disestablishment in each case.
Date |Place |Accident |Category |Cause ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |Red Arrows aircraft crashed during 1. 17/5/1980 |Brighton Seafront |display |5 |Aircrew error 2. 19/8/1980 |Valley Airfield |Tyre burst on landing |4 |Not positively determined 3. 28/7/1982 |Valley Airfield |Aircraft stalled |5 |Aircrew error 4. 20/10/1982 |Chivenor |Birdstrike caused loss of power |5 |Birdstrike 5. 24/6/1983 |Isle of Man |Flew into a ridge |5 |Aircrew error 6. 29/7/1983 |40 NM SWP Brawdy |Engine surge, failed to relight |5 |Not positively determined 7. 29/7/1983 |Barnstaple Bay |Mid-air collision (2 Hawks) |5 |Aircrew error 8. 21/3/1984 |Akrotiri |Hit ground |5 |Aircrew error 9. 31/8/1984 |Sidmouth, Devon |Engine surge, failed to relight |5 |Technical fault 10. 25/10/1984 |4 NM SW Port Madoc |Control restriction |5 |Not positively determined 11. 7/11/1984 |Near Mona Airfield |Birdstrike |5 |Birdstrike 12. 30/1/1985 |Bristol Channel |Reported aileron restriction |5 |Not positively determined 13. 17/4/1985 |Wattisham Airfield |Canopy came off aircraft |5 |Aircrew error 14. 26/9/1985 |Decimomannu |Mid-air collision (2 Hawks) |5 |Aircrew error 15. 7/7/1986 |Valley Airfield |Tyre burst on take off |5 |Not positively determined 16. 3/11/1986 |Scampton |Engine surge, incorrect relight |5 |Aircrew error 17. 16/11/1987 |Welton |Mid-air collision (2 Hawks) |5 |Aircrew error 18. 22/1/1988 |Scampton Airfield |Red Arrows display practice |5 |Aircrew error 19. 13/5/1988 |1/2 NM S of Brawdy |Engine failure on take off |5 |Servicing error 20. 24/6/1988 |Scampton Airfield |Accident on take off |4 |Aircrew error 21. 14/6/1989 |15 NM SE Llanbeder |Mid-air collision |Under investigation Notes : 1. Category 4 Damage not repairable on site. 2. Category 5 Aircraft damaged beyond repair.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Hawk training aircraft are operating with the RAF and other air forces ; and what design modifications have been made to the aircraft as a result of accidents.
Mr. Neubert : A total of 172 Hawk aircraft have been taken into service by the Royal Air Force. The aircraft has met fully its original design specification. As with all aircraft, modifications are introduced from time to time in the light of operational experience. The number of Hawk aircraft operational with other air forces is not a matter for my Department.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he is now in a position to publish in the Official Report details of the military aircraft accident which occurred on 14 June over the Cardigan bay area.
Mr. Neubert : On the afternoon of 14 June, while engaged on a training flight under instruction and practising a formation rejoin at 10,000 feet, two RAF Hawk aircraft from RAF Valley collided some 15 miles south-east of Llanbeder. One pilot, a Royal Navy officer, ejected successfully. Unfortunately, the pilot of the second aircraft--a Royal Air Force officer--did not eject and was killed. Wreckage fell on two sites about eight miles apart. A board of inquiry was convened in the normal way. A summary of the results of the inquiry will be published in due course.
Mr. Sims : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give the figures for smoking prevalence in the armed forces ; if he will estimate the number and type of smoking-related diseases prevalent in the armed forces as a result of these smoking rates ; what plans he has to reduce the incidence of smoking in the armed forces ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Neubert : There are presently no current figures available for smoking prevalences in the armed forces. A recent survey into the health of service men, once analysed, will provide a comparison of smoking rates within the services at home and abroad. A British regional heart survey in 1981 produced the following statistics on smoking incidence in the armed forces : Never smoked 12 per cent, Ex-smokers 30 per cent., Current smokers 58 per cent. Service statistics on illness and causation are not kept in a manner which would enable a true identification of
Column 390smoke-related illness. The Ministry of Defence is ever aware of the need to reduce cigarette smoking by service men and has a continuing health education campaign aimed at all ranks and levels.
Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence where the decommissioned pressurised water reactors removed from British nuclear submarines are stored ; and what is the method of that storage.
Mr. Sainsbury : Only one nuclear-powered submarine Dreadnought, has so far been decommissioned. The defuelled reactor belonging to this vessel is inside the reactor compartment which remains an integral part of the submarine. Dreadnought has been berthed at Rosyth naval base since 1983.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the total area of defence lands in 1979 and to date ; and what plans he has to (a) release more, or (b) acquire further such lands.
Mr. Neubert : On 1 April 1979 the total freehold and leasehold land and foreshore held by the Ministry of Defence was 621,118 acres (251, 358 ha). The equivalent figure on 1 April 1989 was 596,265 acres (241,300 ha) ; some 79 per cent. of this consists of ranges, training areas and airfields.
The MOD continues to keep the size of its estate under review. Land which is surplus to defence requirements is disposed of ; receipts from the sale of land and buildings were £150 million in 1988-89, nearly double that of any previous year.
There remains, however, a shortage of training land for the Army and additional areas are being acquired when they become available.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : It will be some while yet before reliable information becomes available from local authorities on payment levels of the community charge. Such information as is available from local authorities is not a reliable guide to the numbers of people who are declining to pay, because it cannot as yet take account of those who, for example, have decided to pay by lump sum, who may still be awaiting rebated bills or who have decided to delay their first payment until the last moment before they become liable to pay the full annual amount. Local authorities recognise these factors and are, I understand, generally satisfied with the progress so far made in collecting the community charge.
Mr. Hood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what guidance has been given to Scottish members of Her Majesty's forces living in Germany about requirements to pay the community charge in Scotland ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Guidance prepared by the Ministry of Defence on all aspects of the community charge as it affects service personnel has been issued to all units and commands at home and overseas. Copies of this guidance have been placed in the House of Commons Library.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The information requested on levels of nitrate pollution in Scotland is not held centrally. Individual river purification boards will have information on nitrate levels in their areas ; a number of boards publish this in summary form in their annual reports which are available in the Library.
|Warrants to sell|Reports of sale -------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |3,838 |226 1980 |5,829 |231 1981 |4,634 |287 1982 |4,886 |477 1983 |5,195 |403 1984 |5,644 |512 1985 |5,916 |693 1986 |5,836 |678 1987 |6,927 |650
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Arrangements for the enforcement of court decrees for debt were recently reformed in the Debtors (Scotland) Act 1987 following a detailed review by the Scottish Law Commission. The Government have no plans at present for further major reform of these arrangements.
Mr. Hood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has as to how many persons have finance companies initiated proceedings against in each year since 1979 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information is kept on which finance companies have been successful in getting orders for warrant sales in Scotland since 1979 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish in the Official Report the number of patients who have died as a result of AIDS-related diseases in 1989, and for each other year for which figures exist.
|Numbers ------------------------ 1984 |3 1985 |2 1986 |6 1987 |12 1988 |14 1989<1> |14 <1>End of June.
Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish in the Official Report the numbers of patients in Scotland diagnosed as having developed AIDS in 1989, and for each other year for which statistics exist.