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Mr. Heppell : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security which organisations were consulted by his Department, on each of the recommendations of the business deregulation task forces before they were agreed and action proposed in the DTI document "Deregulation : Cutting the Red Tape".
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was, in each year since 1991, (a) the number and (b) the percentage of claimants of sickness and invalidity benefit in (i) the north of England and (ii) in the United Kingdom who had transferred from unemployment benefit ; and what was the numbers of claimants of unemployment benefit in each standard region who in each year since 1991, ceased claiming unemployment benefit and were not returned to either work, income support or other benefits.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the subjects on which his Department or its predecessors formerly answered parliamentary questions but which are now referred by him to an executive agency.
Column 34day-to-day operational matters of their agency and on subjects for which they have delegated responsibility, as set out in their agency's framework document.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will set out (a) the list of tendering organisations, (b) the successful organisation, (c) the value of the contract and (d) the criteria used for determining the successful organisation, in relation to the provision of health screening for Benefits Agency staff at their headquarters at Quarry house, Leeds.
Mr. Burt : The health screening exercise currently being carried out at Quarry house, Leeds, is part of a three-year DSS nationwide health screening programme due to be completed by March 1994. For reasons of commercial confidentiality, it is not possible to provide a list of the tendering organisations, but they comprised four private sector health care providers and one national health service regional health authority .
The successful tenderer was the British United Provident Association--BUPA.
The Department is contractually obliged to pay for each screening carried out on volunteer personnel, aged 35 and over. BUPA's success in encouraging take-up therefore dictated the final cost, which will total almost £3 million.
The criteria used to determine the successful tenderer were : (
(i) financial stability ;
(ii) overall approach to quality to ensure integrity of service ; (
(iii) logistical planning ;
(iv) quality of mobile units ;
(v) previous experience of similar programmes ;
(vi) capacity to meet the Department's specification ;
(vii) overall value for money within a predetermined budget. The NHS regional health authority withdrew its bid as it could not provide fully equipped and self-contained mobile screening units.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the combined value of child dependency addition and child benefit for the child of a widow or invalidity pensioner at current and April 1993 prices and as a percentage of average earnings in November 1979 and at each subsequent uprating date.
Table 1 Uprating date |Rate of Child |Gross adult |As a |Equivalent |Benefit plus |weekly |percentage of |value of |Child |average |gross adult |benefit at April |Dependency |earnings<2> |weekly |1993 prices |Increase for |average |first child<1> |earnings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |£ |£ |£ November 1979 |11.10 |100.60 |11.0 |25.90 November 1980 |12.25 |120.20 |10.2 |24.79 November 1981 |12.95 |132.40 |9.8 |23.40 November 1982 |13.80 |142.40 |9.7 |23.47 November 1983 |14.10 |156.70 |9.0 |22.87 November 1984 |14.50 |167.00 |8.7 |22.42 November 1985 |15.05 |178.70 |8.4 |22.06 July 1986 |15.15 |189.10 |8.0 |21.84 April 1987 |15.30 |198.90 |7.7 |21.13 April 1988 |15.65 |218.40 |7.2 |20.80 April 1989 |16.20 |239.70 |6.8 |19.93 April 1990 |16.90 |263.10 |6.4 |18.99 April 1991 |17.95 |284.70 |6.3 |18.96 April 1992<3> |19.40 |304.60 |6.4 |19.65 April 1993 |19.80 |316.70 |6.3 |19.80
Table 2 Uprating date |Rate of Child |Gross adult |As a |Equivalent |Benefit plus |weekly |percentage of |value of |Child |average |gross adult |benefit at April |Dependency |earnings<2> |weekly |1993 prices |Increase for |average |subsequent |earnings |children<1> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |£ |£ |£ April 1992<3> |18.65 |304.60 |6.1 |18.89 April 1993 |19.05 |316.70 |6.0 |19.05 Source: The abstract of social security statistics 1993 <1> The figures apply to both widows and invalidity pensioners. <2> Rounded to the nearest 10p. <3> From April 1992, the combined rate of child benefit and child dependency increases for the first child and subsequent children diverged. Table 2 reflects the rate in payment for subsequent children from that point.
Mr. Denham : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what action he is taking to ensure that employers take back into occupational schemes staff who have been wrongly advised to transfer to a private pension.
Mr. Hague : Whether employees who have transferred out of an occupational pension scheme are allowed to rejoin the scheme is for the trustees of individual schemes to decide in the light of their scheme's rules.
Mr. Hague : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has no paper shredding machines in his private office. The information for his Department is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Letter from Ros Hepplewhite to Mr. Peter L. Pike, dated 31 January 1994 :
Dear Mr. Pike
I am replying to your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security asking for details about the cost of the leaflets produced by the Child Support Agency.
To date, the total cost of the first editions and, if appropriate, reprints of the leaflets published by the Agency has been £769, 716.23. I have provided a breakdown of the figures on the attached Annex.
I hope that you find this information useful.
Leaflets and |Cost £ brochures ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Parents who live apart |356,239.00 Advice for employers |23,114.00 Reviews and Appeals |39,450.00 Guides to Child Support |82,696.00 Notes for advisors |84,669.00 Feedback |14,758,87 Maintenance assessment information |72,914.10 Framework document |14,633.88 Business Plan |16,491.38 CSA Charter |30,644.00 Paying child maintenance direct from earnings |8,595.00 Proposed changes to legislation |25,511.00 |----- Total |769,716.23
Mr. Sproat : My Department is in regular contact with the Sports Council to discuss matters relating to the distribution of national lottery funds. I shall soon be formally consulting the chairman of the Sports Council on directions under section 26 of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 regarding matters to be taken into account when distributing lottery proceeds.
Mr. Sproat : I understand that the director general has received seven letters of intent. Although I cannot give details of these, I can confirm that six organisations have made public their intention to bid for the main licence to run the lottery. These are : Camelot Group plc
Games for Good Causes plc
The Great British Lottery Company
N. M. Rothschild
Rainbow UK Ltd.
The UK Lottery Foundation
I understand that the director general will make public the list of those who have bid after tenders have been returned on 14 February.
Mr. Sproat : In accordance with my statutory obligations, I will be consulting all the distributing bodies, including the Sports Council, on the directions I intend to issue to them under section 26 of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993. I will consider whether to meet the Sports Council as part of that process.
21. Mr. Harvey : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what plans he has to bring public funding of tourism promotion in England up to the levels per tourist head awarded to other parts of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Sproat : We have no such plans. My right hon. Friend will continue to set the level of tourism funding in England according to his judgment of relative spending needs and priorities in England. The levels of spending in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are matters for the respective Secretaries of State.
Column 38is a consequence of increasing affluence and improved travel services. My Department will continue to support the work of the British Tourist Authority and the English tourist board in ensuring that both overseas residents and our own citizens are aware of what this country has to offer.
Mr. Sproat : The south-east, especially London, is one of the country's most important destinations for both domestic and overseas visitors. It is the role of the tourism industry, with support from the English tourist board and the regional tourist boards, to maximise the visitor potential. The British Tourist Authority features the south-east, and particularly London, strongly in its overseas promotion activities.
The London tourist board has created a London visitors council to strengthen the input of its commercial members to the work of London First.
On 14 January we launched a royal parks competition asking for ideas and designs for refurbishing the Marble arch area including Speakers' corner. This area has international importance with hundreds of thousands of people visiting it each year.
On 28 January, I announced plans to encourage more public events within the royal parks. The royal parks will soon be unveiling its largest ever programme of summer entertainment. To complement this, I intend to encourage medium to large-scale events that would add to the public's enjoyment of the royal parks, while not detracting from their unique character.
24. Mr. Willetts : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what discussions he has had with the Southern tourist board about celebrating the 50th anniversary of D-day ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Sproat : My officials and I have been in regular contact with the Southern tourist board about the organisation and promotion of D-day commemoration events in the south of England, and will continue to do so.
Mr. Sproat : In accordance with the criteria set out in "Government Accounting", a grant is written off by my Department only after a most careful appraisal of the facts, if there is no feasible alternative and once all reasonable action has been taken to effect recovery.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what was the total cost of maintenance and running costs of the royal palaces in each of the last five years ; and how much his Department has received for each of those years from the royal household to assist with those costs.
|£ million ------------------------------ 1988-89 |19.7 1989-90 |17.2 1990-91 |22.5 1991-92 |24.0 1992-93 |21.9
As part of the bargain struck with successive sovereigns, all surplus revenue from the Crown estates is surrendered to the Exchequer. This income is around £70 million a year.
Mr. Brooke : Changes in ownership do not alter the provisions of the Broadcasting Act 1990 and the terms of the Indepedent Television Commission licences. These should ensure original programmes nationally as well as regional programmes and production.
Mr. Khabra : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what recent discussions he has had with the chairman of the Independent Television Commission over proposals to alter the timing of "News at Ten".
Mr. Brooke : I have no plans to meet the chairman of the Sports Council to discuss the funding of athletics. Financial support for individual sports is a matter for the Sports Council to determine in accordance with its own policies and priorities.
Ms Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will publish the report of his Department's consultants Kennedy and Donkin into the British Library project ; if he expects the completion date for the project set to be adhered to ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Brooke : Construction of the first phase of the project is substantially complete. A start has been made on the final phase of construction, and its structural frame is 75 per cent. complete. This completion phase is on schedule and I do expect the building to be completed in 1996 as planned.
The handover of the first phase of the building to the library has been delayed, first by problems with the bookshelving and more recently by problems with the electrical wiring. The bookshelving problem has been overcome, at the contractors' expense, and the installation is now complete. The essence of the wiring problem is that inspections have revealed installed low voltage wiring with damaged insulation. Plans for rectifying the faults in the installation of the wiring are being agreed with the contractor concerned.
I do not propose to publish the Department's report commissioned from the consultants Kennedy and Donkin. It is a contractually sensitive document.
Ms Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage for how many of English Heritage's properties there have so far been negotiations concerning the transfer of their management to local authorities.
Mr. Brooke : Since the publication of its forward strategy in October 1992, English Heritage has held negotiations for the alternative management of 102 sites, of which 46 would involve the transfer of management to local authorities. Of these, 40 are currently the subject of active discussion with 28 local authorities and one agreement has been completed. For the remaining five, interest has either been withdrawn or negotiations are in abeyance. Prior to October 1992, English Heritage had reached agreement with local authorities over some form of local management for 11 properties.
Mr. Brooke : There is nothing I can usefully add to the answer I gave on 6 December to a question on the same subject by my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton), Official Report , column 2 .
Ms Abbott : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the (a) accountancy firms and (b) merchant banks to which her Department awarded private consultancy work in 1992 and 1993, together with a list of the consultancies concerned and the amount paid.
Coopers Lybrand Deloit
Ernst and Young
We are unable to list the consultancies concerned and the amounts paid as this would breach contractual agreements and jeopardise future value for money.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Health on which occasions since 1979 her Department has employed the services of external consultants ; and if she will give details of the purposes for which they were employed and the cost of employing them.
Mr. Sackville : It is not possible to list the use of external consultants back to 1979 and to list them giving details of purpose and cost would require commercial in confidence information to be made public in a way that would breach contractual agreements and jeopardise future value for money. We can however state that the use of external consultants in the Department must be justified under one of the following headings :