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Sir Peter Large Esq. CBE

Joint Council on Mobility for Disabled People

Bert Massie OBE

Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation

Brian McGinnis Esq.

MENCAP

Mrs. Dorothy Rhodes

Age Concern

Mrs. Jean Williams

Welsh Council on Disability

Mrs. Jane Wilmot

Royal National Institute for Deaf People

Industrial Diseases

Mr. Etherington : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the industrial diseases which are under review by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council or its research working group.

Mr. Scott : The council is currently investigating hand/arm vibration syndrome, process injuries, disorders of the knee, osteoarthritis of the hip and occupational rhinitis and keeps scientific evidence on all other industrial diseases under review on an ongoing basis.

Benefits Tourism

Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his Department's estimate of the current scale and volume of benefits tourism.

Mr. Burt : Information is not held centrally on the number of foreign nationals who are in receipt of benefits without having contributed either taxes or national insurance contributions.

War Pensions

Dr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the hospitals where medical examinations are carried out for the purpose of assessing entitlement to war pension.

Mr. Hague : The majority of examinations are carried out by medical boards or medical specialists at local medical boarding centres or consulting rooms. In such instances hospital referral is not necessary.

Where examinations are to be carried out at hospitals all attempts are made to have this done at a hospital convenient for the claimant.

Child Support Agency

Ms Gordon : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many assessments have been made by the Child Support Agency up to 2 February.

Mr. Burt : Figures for the latest period available, to the end of December, are already in the Library and information relating to January will be placed in the Library in due course.

Personal Pensions

Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what proportion of the money contributed to an average personal pension at the rebate-only level by a


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man of 30 years would be absorbed in expenses, charges and commission during the lifetime of the contract if it were terminated after five years ;

(2) what proportion of the money contributed to an average personal pension at the rebate-only level by a man aged 30 years would be absorbed in expenses, charges and commission during the lifetime of the contract up to maturity ;

(3) what proportion of the money contributed to an average personal pension at the rebate-only level by a man aged 30 years would be absorbed in expenses, charges and commission in the first year of contract.

Mr. Hague : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Langbaurgh (Mr. Bates) on 30 November 1993 at columns 432-33.

Elderly Population

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what change is projected in the population of those aged (a) over 65 years, (b) over 75 years and (c) over 85 years in each of the next 10 years.

Mr. Hague : The information is in the table.


Year        |Number of  |Number of  |Number of              

            |people aged|people aged|people aged            

            |65 and over|75 and over|85 and over            

            |(000s)     |(000s)     |(000s)                 

------------------------------------------------------------

1993        |8,961      |3,917      |963                    

1994        |8,992      |4,092      |1,202                  

1995        |9,030      |4,028      |1,038                  

1996        |9,069      |4,134      |1,071                  

1997        |9,095      |4,215      |1,101                  

1998        |9,105      |4,271      |1,134                  

1999        |9,115      |4,320      |1,168                  

2000        |9,139      |4,362      |1,196                  

2001        |9,172      |4,407      |1,211                  

2002        |9,212      |4,442      |1,211                  

2003        |9,263      |4,471      |1,194                  

Source: OPCS and Government Actuary's Department: based on  

mid-1992 Great Britain population projections.              

Disability Benefits

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many children there were in families in Wales receiving invalidity benefit or its equivalent in 1979 and at the latest available date.

Mr. Scott : Information for 1979 is unavailable. The latest date for which information is available is 4 April 1992, but not in the form requested. Such information as is available is the following : Number of child dependency increases in payment to invalidity benefit recipients in Wales--24,000

Source : 1 per cent. sample of claimants in Great Britain, rounded to the nearest thousand.

Mr. Alan Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what arrangements he intends to make for an equivalent premium after 28 weeks for those recipients on income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit who are incapable of work following the introduction of incapacity benefit in 1995 and the award of a higher rate of short-term benefit after 28 weeks.

Mr. Burt : The rules for the disability premium will be changing to be consistent with the incapacity benefit rules.


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In particular, the new long-term incapacity benefit will act as a passport to the premium and for those who have no other means of entitlement to the disability premium, the period of incapacity needed to qualify will increase from 28 to 52 weeks. The new definition of work and assessment of incapacity will apply. We have no plans to introduce an additional premium payable after 28 weeks incapacity.

Mr. Alan Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what additional resources he plans to provide to fund the Benefits Agency medical service, to take account of the operational costs of incapacity benefit ;

(2) what additional resources he plans to provide to meet the costs of additional medical assessors and social security appeal tribunals following the introduction of incapacity benefit.

Mr. Scott : The estimated additional administrative costs and manpower consequences of the introduction of incapacity benefit appear in the financial memorandum accompanying the Social Security (Incapacity for Work) Bill. Further refinement of these figures will depend upon decisions still to be taken by Parliament. We are still considering the additional resources that may be required for the appeals system for incapacity benefit.

Mr. Alan Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his Department's budget for disability working allowance in 1993-94 and 1994-95 and the expected budget in 1995-96 and 1996-97.

Mr. Scott : Planned expenditure for disability working allowance was £16 million in 1993-94, and £50 million in 1994-95 and 1995-96, rounded to the nearest £50 million. Figures for 1996-97 will be available in the departmental report which is expected to be published in March.

Mr. Alan Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much has so far been paid in disability working allowance in 1993-94.

Mr. Scott : Disability working allowance outturn figures for 1993-94 will not become available until the departmental report is published in March.

Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what are the arrangements for claimants currently in receipt of severe disablement allowance whose incapacity for work is due for review after April 1995.

Mr. Scott : From April 1995 people in receipt of severe disablement allowance will no longer have to undergo any kind of review of their capacity for work.

Income Support (Giro Payment)

Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many giro payments of income support are reported missing in each year ; what percentage of total giro payment this is ; and how many giros remain missing without being cashed.

Mr. Burt : The payment of income support by girocheque is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available.

Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. John Fraser, dated 10 February 1994 :


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The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking about payments of Income Support made by girocheque.

Payments of Income Support are frequently combined with payments of other benefits therefore it is not possible to identify the number of payments made by girocheque that are for income support alone. However, figures relating to the issue and losses of all girocheques issued by the Benefits Agency are available and are detailed below.


                   |1988-89|1989-90|1990-91|1991-92|1992-93        

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Issues millions    |30.844 |34.484 |34.470 |36.190 |27.863         

Losses             |84,901 |89,176 |83,849 |86,004 |135,546        

Losses (Per cent.) |0.275  |0.259  |0.243  |0.283  |0.490          

No. missing/                                                       

not cashed                                                         

or traced          |6,100  |3,855  |9,290  |12,078 |36,641         

The Employment Service acts as our agent in the provision of girocheques to those who are unemployed and claiming Income Support; the above figures relate only to girocheques issued by the Benefits Agency.

I hope that you find this reply helpful.

Incapacity Benefit

Mr. Alan Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what rules he proposes to apply for the award of disability premium for people on income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit, following the introduction of incapacity benefit in 1995.

Mr. Burt : The disability premium provides extra help in income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit for long-term sick and disabled people.

For those claiming these benefits as long-term sick the rules for the disability premium will be changed from April 1995 to reflect the incapacity benefit changes announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 1 December 1993. The new long-term incapacity benefit will act as a passport to the disability premium. Severe disablement allowance will continue to bring entitlement to the disability premium. For those who have no other means of entitlement, the period of incapacity needed to qualify will increase from 28 to 52 weeks and the new definition of work and assessment of incapacity will apply.

Disability living allowance, attendance allowance and mobility supplement are other passporting benefits to the disability premium, which can be awarded on other grounds--for instance, if the person is registered blind. These routes to the disability premium will not be affected by the incapacity benefit changes.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

International Military Services Ltd.

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Attorney-General what services he or his predecessors have performed under the Treasury Solicitor Act 1876 on behalf of International Military Services Ltd.

The Attorney-General : I know of none.


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Treasury Solicitors' Department

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Attorney-General if he will list the size, grades and costs of the staff of the Treasury Solicitors' Department in each of the last three years ending on 31 March and the current figures for numbers and grades.

The Attorney-General : The following table sets out the size and grades of the staff of the Treasury Solicitor's Department in each of the first three years ending on 31 March and the current figures :


         |1991    |1992    |1993                      

Grade    |31 March|31 March|31 March|Present          

------------------------------------------------------

1        |1       |1       |1       |1                

2        |1       |1       |1       |1                

3        |10      |9       |8       |8                

4        |-       |2       |3       |3                

5        |38      |40      |39      |40               

6        |59      |64      |58      |63               

7<1>     |78      |86      |91      |101              

SEO      |13      |13      |17      |19               

HEO      |33      |32      |32      |36               

EO       |68      |69      |67      |72               

AO/AA    |69      |74      |75      |75               

Support  |69      |74      |78      |77               

         |---     |---     |---     |---              

Total    |439     |465     |470     |496              

The costs of staff of the Treasury Solicitor's        

Department in each of the last three years ending on  

31 March were:                                        

1990-91  £12.559 million<2>                           

1991-92  £14.088 million                              

1992-93  £15.073 million                              

<1>Includes legal officers and senior legal           

assistants.                                           

<2>1990-91 includes notional figure for               

superannuation of £1.642 million. Superannuation was  

only charged in cash terms from 1 April 1991.         

WALES

Bryn Melyn Home

Mr. Marland : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what public funding is provided for the Bryn Melyn home in Wales.

Sir Wyn Roberts : I am not aware of any public funding for this private children's home. No funding has been provided by the Department or other agencies for which the Welsh Office has direct responsibility.

School League Tables

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations on school league tables he has received from the Institute of Welsh Affairs ; what reply he has sent ; and if he will review current policies as a result.

Sir Wyn Roberts : None directly, but the report published by the institute in January, "Towards an educational policy for Wales", makes reference to the publication of school performance information.

Before decisions are taken on the extent of school/college performance information to be published in autumn 1994 there will be consultations with schools, FE colleges, and education interests.

Open-heart Surgery

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give the present waiting list for open-heart surgery in Wales.


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Mr. Gwilym Jones : Information on waiting lists is collected centrally on the basis of specialties recognised by the royal colleges. Open heart surgery is not one of these recognised specialties and hence the information requested is not available. However, at 30 September 1993, the latest date for which information is available, there were 301 people waiting for in-patient treatment in Wales in the specialty of cardiac surgery.

Cardiff BUPA Hospital

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairman of the South Glamorgan health authority concerning the provision of University Hospital of Wales staff at the Cardiff BUPA hospital to provide immediate post-operative care for NHS cardiac surgery patients operated on at the BUPA hospital at NHS expense ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : None.

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultation he has had with the chairman of the South Glamorgan health authority concerning the training of BUPA nursing staff in post-operative cardiac surgery recovery techniques at the University Hospital of Wales ; and what remuneration he has arranged for the South Glamorgan health authority for such training activities.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : None. It would be for the Health Authority and the University Hospital of Wales to negotiate an appropriate charge for any services provided to private hospitals.

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give the present numbers who were treated at the BUPA hospital, Pentwyn, Cardiff, for open-heart surgery at the expense of the South Glamorgan health authority ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : In 1992-93, almost 1,000 adult open-heart operations were performed on NHS patients in South Wales, 50 of them under contract with the BUPA hospital in Cardiff. Commissioning authorities are fully funded to secure that level of service. Fifteen NHS open heart operations on patients from South Glamorgan were carried out at the BUPA hospital in Cardiff in 1992-93.

Training and Enterprise Councils

Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the total number of chairpersons and board members of the training and enterprise councils in Wales.

Sir Wyn Roberts : There are seven chairpersons and 85 board members of the training and enterprise councils in Wales.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Public Bodies

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the President of the Board of Trade who are the members currently appointed to the London regional passengers' committee.

Mr. McLoughlin : The members of the London regional passengers committee as at 21 January 1994 are :


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Professor Eric C. Midwinter (Chairman)

Mr. David R. Bruck

Mrs. Delia M. Buckle

Mrs. Beverley J. Davies

Mr. Lekh C. Dindayal JP

Mr. Nicholas P. Ellis

Mrs. Stella A. Fowler

Sir Alan Greengross

Mr. Karl T. Gurney

Mr. Michael J. Harris

Mr. I. Haynes

Mr. Andrew J. Holt

Mr. Ernest C. King

Miss Faith C. Lawson

Mr. Stepehen J. A. J. Le Bras

Mr. Laurie Mack

Mrs. Suzanne C. May

Mr. Peter Nichols

Mr. Peter L. Noble

Mrs. Dawn Penso

Mr. John A. K. Phillips

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the President of the Board of Trade who are the members currently appointed to the Advisory Committee on Telecommunications for Small Businesses.

Mr. McLoughlin : Appointments to the Advisory Committee on Telecommunications for Small Businesses are the responsibility of the Director General of Telecommunications. However, I understand that the current members are :

Chairman :

Mr. Michael Ashton

Members :

Miss Joy Allan

Mrs. Judith Barden

Mr. Sefton Bennett

Mr. Robert Frenzel

Mr. Patrick Frymann

Mr. Richard Furey

Mr. Michael Jordan

Mr. Sean Mayo

Mrs. Pamela Parker

Mrs. Margaret Seymour

Mr. Michael Taylor


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