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Column 253additions are not reduced when children in local authority care return home temporarily on leave. Until they are in place, extra-statutory payments will be available.
Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will update to April 1990 the information provided in the reply of 28 November 1988 to the hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett), Official Report, columns 93-94, relating to child support, giving figures in columns (g) and (h) in September 1989 prices.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Although upratings of benefit are calculated by reference to the movement in the index of retail prices to September, comparisons in the value of benefits are more meaningful if made at general uprating dates. The figures requested as at April 1989 were given in the reply of 6 November 1989 to the hon. Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Clay) at columns 459-60.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services, further to his reply of 27 November, Official Report, column 154, who is responsible for setting his priority of community care grant clients' needs.
Mr. Scott : The Secretary of State's general guidance on priorities and priority groups is in the social fund manual, a copy of which is in the Library. As I explained in my previous reply, local office managers give social fund officers further guidance on priorities taking account of local circumstances. Guidance is not binding on social fund officers. Each case must be considered on its merits. A social fund officer may decide, for example, that an item normally classed as of low priority should, in the light of the applicant's circumstances, be treated as high priority.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what guidance is issued to social fund officers about the dietary requirements of (a) adult men, (b) adult women, (c) children and (d) those persons aged 16 and 17 years when considering a claim for a crisis loan or income support under severe hardship rules.
Mr. Scott : Social fund officers are not provided with guidance on the dietary requirements of different categories of people. We expect social fund officers to use their experience and judgment in deciding how much an applicant needs in a crisis to avoid serious risk to the health and safety of the individual or his family. This will depend on the circumstances of each case including any particular health problems.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many British nuclear test veterans are in receipt of (a) attendance allowance, (b) mobility allowance and (c) invalidity allowance.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list all office relocations of his Department's staff since May 1979, stating in each case the location of origin and the location of transfer, together with the numbers of staff transferred.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what relocations of his Department's staff, or agencies relating thereto, are currently being considered ; and what are the numbers of staff affected.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 14 November 1989 that 150 posts from the office of the chief adjudication officer in Southampton, and 650 London-based posts are to be relocated to Leeds starting in late 1991. The latter posts include those required for the headquarters of the forthcoming benefits agency, the chief medical adviser's divisions and some other administrative functions, such as liaison with agencies, pay and records, staff training and estate management.
I should emphasise that these movements are of posts rather than of staff as such. All London-based staff will be asked whether they are prepared to move whether their particular post is affected or not. The Department hopes that sufficient staff will move voluntarily to avoid the need for any compulsory transfers.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the number of applications made by applicants claiming to suffer from vibration white finger, under regulation 13 of the Social Security (Industrial Injuries and Diseases) Miscellaneous Provisions Regulations 1986, at local offices of his Department in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) Glasgow, (c) Dundee, (d) Sunderland, (e) Newcastle and (f) Liverpool in each of the the past two years and in the current year up to the most recent date ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many additional families would qualify for family credit if the £6, 000 capital limit were increased to £8,000 or abolished ; and what would be the cost of each of these changes.
|Increase in FC |Full year cost at |caseload |current rate ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Capital limit increased to |Less than 500 |Less than £100,000 £8,000 Capital limit abolished |Approx. 1,500 |Around £1 million
Column 255ages at which it would pay the person concerned to cease contributing to a personal pension or other money purchase scheme, assuming rates of return of 0.5 per cent. and 2.5 per cent. above the annual increase in average earnings and, in other respects, making the same assumptions as were made in calculating the similar figures given in the letter dated 10 October from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Social Security to the hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett).
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The table provides the first age at which the projected pension from the invested rebate is less than the corresponding GMP. These estimates are critically dependent on a number of illustrative assumptions which should not be taken as predictions of what future policy might be. These are :
(i) the contracted-out rebate for illustrative purposes only is assumed to be 5.8 per cent. of earnings between the lower and upper limits for NI contributions, declining to 3.75 per cent. by 2018 ; (
(ii) the lower and upper earnings limits are assumed to increase in future in line with prices ;
(iii) the contracted-out rebate is boosted by a 2 per cent. incentive addition for personal pensions and newly contracted-out occupational schemes up to 1992-93 ;
(iv) men are assumed to take their pension at 65, women at 60.
First age at which the projected pension from the invested rebate is less than the corresponding GMP Personal pension Money purchase rate of return<1> rate of return<1> Age at April 1988 |" per cent. |2" per cent.|" per cent. |2" per cent. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Male 16 |31 |49 |36 |54 20 |34 |50 |36 |54 30 |35 |50 |40 |53 40 |45 |48 |45 |50 Female 16 |21 |38 |24 |42 20 |25 |40 |25 |43 30 |35 |41 |35 |45 40 |40 |45 |40 |45 <1> Rates of return are in excess of increase in earnings. Source: Government Actuary's Department.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the estimated additional cost in benefit payments for the people who will lose their jobs in the British American Tobacco factory, Liverpool ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the estimated cost of benefit payments to his Department for the unemployed in (a) Liverpool and (b) Merseyside for the latest available date.
Mr. Patchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to unify the application procedure, medical examination and appeals system for attendance allowance and mobility allowance for claimants ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Scott : We will announce our proposals to improve the balance and structure of disability benefits within the next few months. Any changes in benefit administration will need to be considered in the light of those proposals.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what changes will be made to the residence conditions for social security benefits in respect of periods spent in other member states of the European Community following the completion of the internal market in 1992 ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what changes will be made to the residence conditions for social security benefits in respect of citizens of other member states of the European Community following the completion of the internal market in 1992 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Community citizens who are employed or self- employed may be able to take advantage of the co-ordination arrangements which already cover social security for migrant workers throughout the Community. In the case of those social security benefits where residence conditions apply, there are at present no plans to make any changes as a result of the completion of the internal market in 1992.
Mr. John Patten : In the course of 1989, we have authorised the creation of 82 additional court clerk trainee posts ; and we have made provision in public expenditure for a further increase next financial year. I have also approved for grant purposes the pay agreement from1 July 1989 reached in the joint negotiating committee for magistrates courts staff which recognises the recruitment and retention requirements for court clerks. We are additionally seeking to raise the recruitment profile of the service by publishing two new careers booklets and by funding stands at two major careers fairs in collaboration with the Association of Magistrates Courts, whose work in co-ordinating the efforts of magistrates courts committees to recruit court clerks we fully endorse.
Ms. Richardson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been arrested in the last six months as a result of picketing outside abortion clinics ; and how many people have been charged with an offence as a result of these arrests.
Mr. Mellor : Subject to detailed scrutiny of estimates and parliamentary approval, we are to set up a new central fund of £1 million in 1990-91 to enable the Government to meet some of the additional costs of international drugs efforts, including investigations by the police and rewards to major informants.
Mr. Meale : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will place in the Library the findings of the Lloyds merchant bank inquiry into the feasibility of privatising the Tote ; (2) if he will publish the findings of the Lloyds merchant bank inquiry in to the feasibility of privatising the Tote.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : No. The advice in the report by Lloyds merchant bank on the feasibility of privatising the Tote will not be made public because it was given in confidence to my right hon. and learned Friend, and contains commercially and managerially sensitive information.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The advice from Lloyds merchant bank on the feasibility of privatising the Tote is at present still under consideration, and the Government's conclusions will be made known in due course.
Column 258Grand Metropolitan/William Hill merger, published by it on 23 August ; and whether the Director of Fair Trading is continuing to keep concerns mentioned in the report under review ;
(2) what steps he has taken in relation to the explicit concerns highlighted within the Monopolies and Mergers Commission report of 23 August into the merger of the Grand Metropolitan and William Hill organisations ; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 23 August that he had accepted the recommendations of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's report on the acquistion by Grand Metropolitan plc of William Hill. Action is being taken to implement those recommendations, including action by the Director General of Fair Trading. The Director General will also continue to monitor developments in the betting industry under those parts of the competition legislation for which he is responsible.
Mr. Meale : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on (a) the current position of Satellite Information Service and (b) the future powers of horse and dog racecourses and stadia to enter into commercial deals.
I understand that the Director General of Fair Trading is continuing to monitor developments in the betting and racing industries in accordance with the provisions of United Kingdom competition legislation. In general we take the view that commercial deals are matters for the parties concerned, subject to the provisions of the competition legislation (the Fair Trading Act 1973, the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976, and the Competition Act 1980).
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his estimate of the current extent of delays in the probation service in worst and best cases in dealing with (a) conciliation cases and (b) child welfare reports, both in divorce cases.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has for the work of the probation service in conciliation and child welfare reports in civil divorce cases ; what studies he has commissioned on this work ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : There are no proposals at present to alter the arrangements under which this work is done. Her Majesty's inspectorate of probation, as part of their continuing programme of inquiries into specific themes of probation service work, will shortly be starting on an investigation of the civil work of the probation service.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to withdraw passports issued to British subjects or restrict their use ; and how many have been withdrawn or restricted in each of the last five years and 1989 to date.
(a) a minor whose journey was known to be contrary to a court order, to the wishes of a parent or other person or authority to whom a court had awarded custody, care and control or to the provisions of section 25(1) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, as amended, or section 56 of the Adoption Act 1976 ;
(b) a person for whose arrest a warrant had been issued in the United Kingdom or who was wanted by the police on suspicion of a serious crime ;
(c) in very rare cases, a person whose past or proposed activities were so demonstrably undesirable that the grant or continued enjoyment of passport facilities would be contrary to the public interest ;
(d) a person repatriated at public expense until the debt has been repaid.
Records of withdrawals are maintained only for category (c). These are extremely rare and there were none in the period specified. United Kingdom passports are valid for travel to all countries in the world, and there are no plans to restrict their use.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what changes he has made in the application of the prior ventilation rule in respect of writing to a solicitor complaining about a member of prison management ; when each change was made ; and by what means each change was announced ;
(2) whether the prior ventilation rule in respect of writing to a solicitor complaining about a member of prison management has been abolished.
Mr. Mellor : The prior ventilation rule, under which all complaints by prisoners had to be pursued through internal channels before a prisoner could take his complaint outside, was replaced in 1981 by the simultaneous ventilation rule, which required complaints to be raised internally at the same time as they were raised with an outside body. Notice of this change was given to prison establishments in circular instruction 34/1981, which took effect in December 1981.
In December 1983, the Divisional court ruled in the case of Anderson that the simultaneous ventilation rule should not apply to a complaint made by a prisoner to his legal adviser. The implications of this judgment were explained in a letter from the prison department to all establishments on 22 December 1983. Circular instruction 48/1984 formally confirmed that correspondence with legal advisers which referred to unventilated complaints or allegations against staff should no longer be stopped unless it was clear from the content that the inmate was writing for some purpose other than obtaining legal advice about possible proceedings.
On 24 January 1989, my hon. Friend the Member for Grantham (Mr. Hogg), announced in a written reply at
Column 260column 516 that it had been decided to abolish the simultaneous ventilation rule in respect of all correspondence. Details of the change, and of accompanying amendments to the prison rules governing adjudications, were set out in circular instruction 9/1989, which took effect on 1 April 1989.
Financial |Expenditure (£) year |(£) ------------------------------------------------ 1977-78 |3,672,701 1978-79 |4,903,175 1979-80 |5,939,083 1980-81 |6,931,731 1981-82 |7,526,822 1982-83 |8,306,586 1983-84 |8,718,454 1984-85 |9,280,549 1985-86 |9,444,957 1986-87 |10,530,039 1987-88 |10,946,831 1988-89 |11,273,825
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any proposals for charging fees for (a) indefinite leave to remain, (b) extension of visitors' visas, (c) extension of student visas or (d) extension of business persons' visas.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Section 9 of the Immigration Act 1988 makes provision for the charging of fees in connection with applications for, or the grant of, indefinite leave to remain. The Government are considering how and when that provision might be implemented and an announcement will be made at the apropriate time. There are no plans for the introduction of fees in connection with any category of limited leave to remain.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Guidance has been issued to all chief police officers which states that no member of a police force should counsel, incite or procure the commission of a crime. Furthermore, all police forces are aware of the need for care to avoid plain clothes officers placing themselves in situations where accusations could be made that they have acted as agents provocateur. I understand that briefing is normally given to all police officers taking part in such operations to ensure they avoid behaviour which could be so construed.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the objectives of the safer cities campaign ; what were the results in 1988 ; and whether the programme will be continued.
Mr. John Patten : The objectives of the safer cities programme are to reduce crime, lessen the fear of crime, and to create safer cities within which economic enterprise and community life can flourish. In 1988, the programme was announced, nine areas agreed to take part and project development began in all of them. Twelve projects are now operational, with four more due to become so shortly. We plan to establish four further projects during 1990.
Mr. Mellor : Convicted adult prisoners and convicted young offenders are entitled to a minimum of one half-hour visit every 28 days and 14 days respectively. More, and longer, visits are allowed wherever practicable.
Unconvicted prisoners are normally allowed a 5-minute vsit every day excluding Sunday (in some establishments), Christmas day, Boxing day and Good Friday. Longer visits are allowed wherever possible. In the event of particular difficulties at an establishment the regional director may authorise a reduction in the frequency of visits as long as the aggregated entitlement of one and a half hours per week is maintained.
Relatives on income support or on low incomes are able to claim travelling expenses for one prison visit every 28 days.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : My right hon. and learned Friend announced on 23 November at column 12 that he had approved an increase of 26 police posts for the Nottinghamshire constabulary with effect from 1 April 1990.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many probationary policemen are currently operating in the Metropolitan police force ; what percentage of the force they represent ; what the situation is in other parts of the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.