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Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations have been made to his Department about the accuracy of the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys findings on extra costs incurred by disabled people as a result of their disability.
Mr. Scott : The findings of the surveys of disability carried out by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys were based on a sample of over 10,000 people. Representations have been received from the Disablement Income Group, the Royal National Institute for the Blind, and the Spastics Society. These organisations carried out three separate studies based on 10 or 13 cases, which suggested that the extra costs of disability were higher than the averages found by OPCS.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many reports his Department has received from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration on matters referred to the commission by hon. Members concerning the administration of his Department in each of the last five years ; and if he will make a statement.
DHSS and DSS cases investigated by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration to conclusion, with reports issued Year |Number --------------------- 1985 |<1>76 1986 |<1>86 1987 |<1>82 1988 |<1>62 1989 |<2>60 These cases include only two-three DH cases each year. Source: <1>Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration Annual Reports 1985-88. <2>Provisional figure, DSS only.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what are the membership and functions of the joint working group on occupational and personal pensions ; when it was set up ; if he will place a record of its proceedings in the Library ; and whether it has considered the need for advice to members of personal and other money-purchase pension schemes on the age at which they should consider discontinuing their contributions to those schemes.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The occupational pensions schemes joint working group was set up and is run by representative bodies in the pensions industry. Its members are the Association of British Insurers, the Association of Consulting Actuaries, the National Association of Pension Funds and the Society of Pensions Consultants. Neither my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security nor departmental officials have any involvement with the group. Inquiries concerning group proceedings should be directed to the group members.
Quite separately, from time to time officials in the Department consult representatives of various organisations concerned with occupational and personal pensions through a consultative group which meets when the need arises. The bodies circulated are the following :
Association of British Insurers
Association of Consulting Actuaries
Association of Pension Lawyers
British Bankers Association
Building Society Association
Friendly Societies Liaison Committee
Government Actuary's Department
National Association of Pension Funds
Nationalised Industries Pension Group
Occupational Pensions Board
Securities and Investments Board
Security of Pensions Consultants
Unit Trust Association
Discussions are informal. No minutes are kept.
On the question of advice to pension scheme members, it is for an individual member of an occupational or personal pension scheme to seek advice appropriate to his or her needs.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : A reform of the system of national insurance contributions for employees was introduced last October. We have no current plans for further major reforms. Some minor changes are proposed in the Social Security Bill.
Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the total amount spent on social security in the United Kingdom, in actual and at 1989 prices, for each of the years 1978-79 to 1990-91, or for the latest year available ; and what was the percentage increase for each year.
Mr. Scott : The information for Great Britain is set out in the table. Information about costs of benefits in Northern Ireland is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
DSS total expenditure |Cash |In 1989-90 |Real terms |(£ million) | prices |percentage |(£ million) | increase over |preceding year ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Outturn 1978-79 |16,437 |38,677 |- 1979-80 |19,416 |39,119 |1.1 1980-81 |23,463 |39,978 |2.2 1981-82 |28,582 |44,319 |10.9 1982-83 |32,451 |46,930 |5.9 1983-84 |35,159 |48,579 |3.5 1984-85 |38,119 |50,176 |3.3 1985-86 |41,487 |51,826 |3.3 1986-87 |44,424 |53,685 |3.6 1987-88 |46,265 |53,094 |-1.1 Estimated outturn 1988-89 |47,595 |50,919 |-4.1 1989-90 |52,600 |52,600 |3.3 Planned 1990-91 |55,600 |52,952 |0.7 1991-92 |59,900 |55,119 |4.1 1992-93 |63,500 |56,729 |2.9
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many episodes of injury attributable to excessive heat or insolation have occurred to members of the forces since 1978 and the last year for which figures are available ; how many of these occurred during military exercises and other forms of training ; and how many deaths were recorded from such causes in the same period.
|1978 |1979 |1980 |1981 |1982 |1983 |1984 |1985 |1986 |1987 |1988 |Total |1978-88 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Injuries only (males and females) Tri-Service Total |25 |42 |51 |26 |34 |86 |83 |73 |81 |100 |62 |663 Non accidental |0 |1 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |1 Accidental: Off duty |2 |3 |8 |4 |9 |9 |6 |6 |11 |6 |2 |66 Exercises |4 |16 |7 |4 |4 |15 |13 |12 |4 |21 |12 |112 Other training |6 |6 |23 |11 |12 |44 |48 |28 |46 |54 |23 |301 Other on duty |3 |16 |12 |7 |9 |18 |16 |27 |20 |19 |25 |172 Not known on/off |10 |0 |1 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |11 Fatalities only (males and females) Tri-Service Total |2 |2 |3 |0 |0 |1 |1 |1 |1 |0 |1 |12 Non accidental |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 Accidental: Off duty |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 Exercises |1 |2 |1 |0 |0 |1 |1 |1 |0 |0 |0 |7 Other training |1 |0 |2 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |1 |0 |0 |4 Other on duty |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |1 |1 Not known on/off |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0
Mr. Neubert : Statistical information specifically relating to injuries on the mud run is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Only one death is recorded in the period 1983-88 which can be attributed to a mud run.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service men taking part in the combat fitness test have collapsed and required medical attention ; and how many have died, since April 1984.
Mr. Neubert : No, but due consideration is given by tri-service medical authorities to any advice or information, from whatever source, which might prove beneficial to the health and safety of service personnel.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions when there has been a collapse of a service man due to heatstroke, disciplinary action has been brought against the senior or junior officers involved.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information was given to the family and the solicitor of Sub-Lieutenant Simon Rowland regarding the circumstances of his collapse ; and if he intends to make publicly available any information on this case of heatstroke.
Column 120comprehensive summary of the Board of Inquiry report will be sent to them as soon as it is possible to do so. It is not Ministry of Defence policy to release outside the Department information of a personal or medical nature, other than to the person concerned or to the nominated next of kin.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made with the disciplinary investigation that was ordered after the collapse from heatstroke of Sub-Lieutenant Simon Rowland.
Mr. Neubert : As a result of the Board of Inquiry held to consider the collapse of Sub-Lieutenant Rowland, the Flag Officer Naval Air Command directed that the Naval Provost Marshall carry out a disciplinary investigation. The report has now been received and is being studied by the Flag Officer Naval Air Command. A decision on any further action will be made as soon as possible.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will introduce automatic courts-martial of training instructors in all cases of death or permanent injury due to heatstroke in training or assessments.
Mr. Neubert : The Department defines "episodes of injury attributable to excessive heat or insulation" with reference to two statistical classifications ; the "Manual of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases,
Column 121Injuries and Causes of Death (ICD)" and the "NATO Armed Forces Supplement to the Manual of the ICD : External Cause of Injury Code, STANAG 2050".
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what cause of death was given by the post mortem in the case of Timothy Lester, a sapper in the Royal Engineers who died in a British military hospital in Hanover, West Germany, on 27 May 1989 ; and how his death was recorded.
(a) cerebral oedema
(b) hepato-renal failure
(c) heat-stroke injury
which was recorded on the death certificate.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the case of the lieutenant in REME who died in Hong Kong on 11 July 1980 was included in the figure of 11 deaths from heatstroke given in the letter of 29 June 1988 to the right hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South.
Mr. David Young : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the Government's policy on the introduction of new weapons into service that are known to be banned under bilateral treaties between NATO and Warsaw pact countries to which Britain is not a signatory.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the conditions of service and methods of determining pay of locally employed teachers in service schools are being reviewed ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what are the considerations which have prompted him to decide that the United Kingdom should participate in the European co-operative long-term initiative for defence ;
(2) what benefits will accrue to the United Kingdom from participation in the European co-operative long-term initiative for defence ;
(3) what sums of money have been committed to the European co-operative long-term initiative for defence ; and what sums are likely to be committed in the next five years.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how much money Her Majesty's Government have committed to the European co-operative long-term initiative for defence ; and if he will make a statement ;
Column 122(2) when parliamentary approval was given for funding for the European co-operative long-term initiative for defence ; under what Vote subhead it appears ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Alan Clark : EUCLID was launched by the Defence Ministers of the Independent European Programme Group in June 1989 to establish a European defence research and technology programme in a number of key areas for the future. Its aim is to improve the value for money from defence research by making more efficient use of the resources available in Europe. This is turn should facilitate co-operation on resulting projects.
No money has yet been committed by any nation to EUCLID. It is expected that the first detailed collaborative programmes will be agreed in the course of this year. The precise extent of United Kingdom funding will then be determined, and will come from moneys voted for by defence research.
I refer to the replies given to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (Dr. Thomas) on 24 July 1989 and to the hon. Member for Leyton (Mr. Cohen) on 14 December 1989.
Mr. David Young : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the purpose of the laser weapon fitted to HMS Coventry; what is its applicability as a weapon for all services ; whether the manufacturer is British ; and if he will make a statement about his policy on the introduction of the laser weapon.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Laser dazzle devices have been developed as an additional, non-lethal means of self-defence for Her Majesty's ships. They are supplied by the British company, Irwin-Desman Limited. The Government's aim in equipping Royal Navy ships with such devices is to safeguard the lives of British service men.
(2) whether Royal Navy ships have used the laser dazzle sight system during naval exercises ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will take steps to ascertain from Major-General McGhie the precise contents of the statement referred to in the Adjournment debate on 29 November 1989, Official Report, column 818.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations have been received concerning a request for a second medical opinion by a doctor, military or civilian, regarding the case of Captain Fred Holroyd, retired.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what undertakings have been given to Captain Fred Holroyd (retired) since September 1976 concerning investigation of his allegations relating to events in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there have been any developments relating to the case of Captain Fred Holroyd following the Adjournment debate on 29 November 1989, Official Report, columns 812-20.
Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Fylde (Mr. Jack) on 9 January, Official Report, column 805, whether a decision on the procurement of a radar for the European fighter aircraft will be made prior to his meeting with the West German Defence Minister.
Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration has been given to the need to maintain sufficient industrial capacity to meet future defence requirements in the procurement plans for the radar for the European fighter aircraft.
Mr. Alan Clark : In accordance with our procurement policy, the objective of the procurement strategy for the radar for the European fighter aircraft (EFA) has been to obtain a radar which meets the operational requirements of the partner nations at the best possible value for money. We always take into account the availability of suppliers to meet future requirements when assessing the value for money offered by competing bids.