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Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many claims have been made for severe hardship in Wales in each year from 1989-90 ; and if he will indicate (a) total requests, (b) claims accepted, (c) claims refused and (d) the percentage of successful claims.
Year |Awarded |Refused |Total |Percentage |successful ------------------------------------------------------------------ 1991 |1,876 |433 |2,309 |81 1992 |3,696 |813 |4,509 |82 <1>1993 |2,641 |506 |3,147 |84 <1> January-June. Source: Severe hardship claims unit database.
Ms Corston : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the percentage change in income during the period 1979 to 1987, both before and after housing costs, of each percentile group in the population.
Percentage changes in real income by decile group 1979-1987 Decile group medians |Income before |Income after housing |housing costs |costs ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Decile 1 |5 |-4 Decile 2 |4 |0 Decile 3 |5 |2 Decile 4 |9 |7 Decile 5 |12 |11 Decile 6 |14 |14 Decile 7 |16 |17 Decile 8 |19 |20 Decile 9 |24 |25 Decile 10 |35 |38 Note: All estimates are subject to sampling error.
Ms Corston : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 16 July 1992, Official Report, columns 946-47, what was the average equivalised income at April 1993 prices of the poorest 20 per cent. and richest 20 per cent. before and after housing costs for 1979, 1981, 1987, 1988-89 and 1992-93.
Before housing costs |Bottom 20 per cent.|Top 20 per cent. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |98 |294 1981 |96 |303 1987 |102 |382 1988-89 |102 |408 1990-91 |101 |437
After housing costs |Bottom 20 per cent.|Top 20 per cent. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |84 |260 1981 |80 |270 1987 |83 |338 1988-89 |83 |366 1990-91 |81 |390 Notes: 1. The information in the tables, before and after housing costs, for the years 1979, 1981, 1987, 1988-89 and 1990-91 (latest years available). 2. All estimates are subject to sampling error.
Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of the total expenditure in 1993-94 on housing benefit broken down between (a) council tenants, (b) housing association tenants and (c) private tenants ; and what these figures would have been if
Column 723the uprating of the applicable amount for each type of household had been 1 per cent. below the retail prices index.
Mr. Burt : It is not currently possible to disaggregate expenditure of rent allowance between housing association and private sector tenants. Estimates for 1993-94, are that housing benefit expenditure will be £4,920 million in respect of council tenants in the form of rent rebates and £3,250 million in respect of housing associations tenants in the form of rent allowances.
If the 1993-94 uprating had been 1 per cent less than the RPI, the figures would be £4,885 million and £3,240 million respectively. Source : 1989-90-91 Family Expenditure Surveys modelled at 1993-94 prices and benefit levels.
All figures rounded to the nearest £5 million.
Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of total expenditure in 1993-94 on (a) income support, (b) housing benefit and (c) council tax benefit ; and what these figures would have been if the uprating of the applicable amount for each type of applicant had been 1 per cent. less than the retail prices index.
The estimated expenditure, if income-related benefit rates had been uprated in 1993-94 by 1 per cent. less than the RPI, would be £16,390 million, £8,125 million and £1,615 million respectively.
Source : 1989-90-91 Family Expenditure Surveys and the 1991 Annual Statistical Enquiry modelled at 1993-94 prices and benefit levels.
All figures rounded to the nearest £5 million.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the achievements of (a) his policies and (b) his Department in helping small businesses over the last 12 months as against the previous 12 months ; and if he will publish the performance indicators by which his Department monitors those achievements and the statistical results of such monitoring.
Mr. Hague : The Government continue to help small businesses, through improvements to the business climate, through deregulation and through specific programmes of support and assistance. Measures operated by the Department to assist small business include :
Production of a self-employed starter pack "Working for Yourself". This assists the newly self-employed in understanding their National Insurance liability.
Introduction, from April 1993, of a quarterly billing system for self- employed National Insurance contributions.
Other measures aimed at business in general, which should help small businesses, include :
For national insurance contributions (NIC) changes made from April 1993 to align the treatment of certain expenses with PAYE rules. Setting up of a working group, on which small businesses are represented, to consider further options for reducing the
Column 724administrative burden caused by the operation of different rules for PAYE and NIC purposes in defining earnings and expenses. Establishing a working group of employers' organisations, which includes representatives of small business, to examine the scope for removing or easing the administrative burdens imposed by the statutory sick pay scheme.
The Department has a system to monitor proposals which impact on business, to ensure that the needs and costs to small businesses are taken into account, although there are no performance indicators specifically for monitoring achievements in this area. However, we attach particular importance to action taken to help small businesses and will continue to explore further ways of doing so.
Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list all those services or functions contracted out in his Department and agencies, since November 1991, in which the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 were not applied.
The following services have been contracted out since November 1991 without application of the TUPE regulations :
Closed circuit television
Invalid car parts distributors
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what is his Department's policy on which information produced by his Department is published in alternative media to standard print such as Braille, tape or large print ;
(2) what arrangements his Department makes to ensure that blind and partially sighted people have access to information produced by his Department where it has not been published in alternative media such as Braille, large print or tape.
Mr. Scott : Decisions to publish material in forms other than standard print are taken on a case by case basis. Currently the Department has the following number of publications available nationally in leaflets, tapes and Braille.
Column 725Four benefits audio tapes
Two benefits large-print leaflets--individual requests or information obtainable from the benefit inquiry line
Nineteen general social security leaflets
One child Support Agency leaflet in Braille
One child Support Agency tape
Two disability working allowance booklets
One disability working allowance audio tape
One disability working allowance brochure in large print Two family credit leaflet tapes
Blind and partially sighted people and their representatives can ring the Department's range of telephone advice services. In particular, the benefits inquiry line gives free confidential advice and information for all social security benefits for people with disabilities. Callers then receive Braille or large print as required. The benefits inquiry line also completes forms over the telephone and sends Braille copies to the caller for signing. Blind and partially sighted people can also ring or visit their local office for a personal interview. Home visits can be arranged if needed.
The Department's advertising campaigns are supported by tape or Braille publications.
The advertising campaign to publicise the new disability benefits in 1992 was the first such campaign to be signed for deaf people.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his most recent estimate of the number of one-parent families ; and what percentage of the heads of lone-parent families are aged (a) under 20, (b) 20 to 25, (c) over 25 years and (d) female.
Information on the age and sex of lone parents is not yet available from 1991 census of population but is scheduled to be published next year in the Household and Family Composition Volume, a copy of which will be placed in the Library.
However, data from the General Household Survey for the years 1989 to 1991 give the following estimates for the percentages of lone parent families in Great Britain with the stated characteristics.
|Per cent. -------------------------------------------- Aged under 20 |2 Aged 20 to 25 inclusive |11 Aged over 25 |88 Female |92 Note: Totals may not sum due to rounding.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many lone parents there are in (a) Inverclyde, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole ; and how many and what proportion of income support claimants are lone parents in each area.
Data on the number of lone parent families in receipt of income support in individual locations are not available.
Column 726However, the total number of lone parents receiving income support in Scotland in 1992 was 106,000 , representing 20 per cent. of all income support claimants in Scotland.
1991 population census, provisional estimate.
1992 Income Support Annual Statistical Enquiry. The definition of lone parents used excludes those temporarily separated.
Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the numbers of staff by grade that are employed in his Department and agencies in the automatic data processing functional specialism.
Grade |Numbers ------------------------ SEO |326 HEO |937 EO |1,285 AO |596 AA |821 |--- Total |3,965 Notes: The figures show those staff entitled to receive an automatic data processing (ADP) pay allowance as at 22 July 1993. They may: (a) include some staff who have transferred to other duties but retain the ADP pay allowance on a mark-time basis* and (b) exclude some staff in executive grades who have not completed the qualifying period of receipt of the ADP pay allowance.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security which other EC countries have reduced social security spending in the last year ; and what information he has on the changes they have introduced.
Mr. Scott : Measures to contain the growth in social security spending have recently been announced in a number of EC countries, including France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Information on the changes in EC countries is regularly collected by the Department.
Mr. Garnier : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to allow disabled voluntary workers to continue to carry out unpaid work without loss of welfare benefits ; and whether he will make a statement.
Mr. Scott : Disabled voluntary workers can carry out unpaid work without loss of social security benefits as long as they continue to satisfy the entitlement conditions. We are currently reviewing the benefit system and will be looking at benefits for disabled people in that context. No decisions have been taken.
Mr. Dewar : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the number of (i) taxpayers and (ii) tax-paying households in receipt of (a) family credit, (b) housing benefit, (c) community charge benefit, (d) retirement pension, (e) unemployment benefit and income support to an unemployed claimant, (f) statutory sick
Column 727pay, (g) widows' benefits, (h) industrial death benefit, (i) invalid care allowance, (j) invalidity allowance paid with a retirement pension, (k) statutory maternity pay and (l) at least one of those benefits.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many contracted-out rebates to private pension plans are currently outstanding ; how many are due to inadequate or inaccurate information supplied by employers or insurance companies ; how many are due to the application forms APP1 being misplaced ; and when he expects the backlog of rebates will now be paid.
Mr. Hague : The information requested is not available. the Contributions Agency pays rebates outstanding as soon as it is able to establish entitlement. We are actively pursuing a satisfactory solution to the problem of misplaced APP1s with the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how Her Majesty's Government administers the payment of social benefit entitlements to recipients living in Yugoslavia, pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolution 724 ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) how his Department administers the obligations of United Nations Security Council resolution 757 on payment of social benefits to civilians living in Yugoslavia ; and if he will make a statement ;
(3) whether foreign pensions, child and other social benefit entitlement held by persons resident in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia have been frozen ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hague : The United Nation Security Council Committee, established pursuant to resolution 724, ruled that it was up to individual Governments to decide whether to pay social benefits to people in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). In cases where Governments decide to make such payments, it was up to the Government concerned to devise a mechanism for doing so without contravening the mandatory sanctions established by the Security Council under resolution 757. In accordance with this ruling, Her Majesty's Government informed the committee that on humanitarian grounds the United Kingdom would continue to pay social security benefits to beneficiaries in the federal republic. United Kingdom benefit entitlement is not, therefore, frozen. We are continuing to send payable orders to the federal republic by post.
Mr. Alan Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many applications for support have been made to the Independent Living (1993) Fund ; how many offers of support have been made by the trustees ; how many awards are now in payment ; and how many cases there have been where the trustees of the fund have
Column 728been unable to reach agreement on the sharing of responsibility with local authority social services departments.
Mr. Scott : I am informed by the director of the Independent Living (1993) Fund that as of 19 July 1993, 260 applications for support had been received by the fund. Of these 67 were rejected because they did not meet the basic eligibility criteria for help from the fund. The remainder are at various stages in the application process, and 14 offers of help have been made. There are four awards that have been accepted and put into payment. There has been one case where an applicant gained the initial support of a local authority which then failed to agree a care package with the fund.
Mr. Alan Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will set out in detail how accountability is to be made to Parliament for the use of public funds provided to the trustees of the Independent Living (1993) Fund and the Independent Living (Extension) Fund.
Mr. Scott : The published Government accounting rules and procedures, as set out in "Government Accounting--A guide on accounting and financial procedures for the use of Government Departments", apply to both the Department and the funds in accounting to Parliament for this use of public money.
Mr. Alan Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assurances he has received from statutory and charitable services that they will be able to fill the gap created by the decision of the trustees of the Independent Living (1993) Fund to exclude seriously disabled people who are terminally ill from eligibility for support from the fund.
It is the statutory responsibility of health authorities and local social service departments to make provision for people who are terminally ill. Support for such people is also provided by charitable and voluntary organisations.
Mr. Alan Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he is satisfied that care of severely disabled people who are terminally ill will now normally be provided on a cost-effective basis following the decision of the trustees of the Independent Living (1993) Fund to exclude the terminally ill from the scope of the fund.