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Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will list, for each of the 12 schools listed in his announcement of 28 February, and for each sponsor's contribution, how much of the value is in the form of (a) cash, (b) goods and (c) services ; and whether the value of each of (b) and (c) is based on (i) the retail or normal commercial value and (ii) the cost to the sponsor.
Mr. Robin Squire : The value and nature of sponsorship pledged by the main sponsors for each of the 12 technology colleges are listed. Information on the retail or normal commercial value of goods and services and the cost to the sponsor is commercially confidential.
School/sponsor |Value |Nature of |sponsorship |£ thousands ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chalvedon grant-maintained school Garfield Weston Foundtion |50.0 |Cash Fairfield Catering |37.0 |Cash Roy Millard Associates |15.0 |Cash SIMS Centre |5.0 |Cash PMD Associates |4.0 |Cash Chatham grant-maintained grammar school for girls Garfield Weston Foundation |50.0 |Cash GEC Marconi Avionics |20.0 |Cash Clifton Reed Consultants |15.0 |Cash, goods and services Research Machines |10.0 |Goods and services Klick Technology |7.5 |Goods and services Data Collection Systems |5.0 |Cash Architects Joint Partnership |3.0 |Cash Collingwood grant-maintained school Garfield Weston Foundation |50.0 |Cash GTi Educational Systems |25.0 |Goods Oracle Corporation (UK) |15.0 |Goods Motorola |10.0 |Cash and goods Deacon's grant-maintained school Perkins Group |49.0 |Goods Database and Apricot Computers |27.0 |Goods Greater Peterborough TEC |20.0 |Cash Pearl Assurance |3.0 |Cash George Spencer grant-maintained school Sir Harry Djanogly |79.0 |Cash Database and Apricot Computers |20.0 |Goods Midland Bank |1.0 |Cash Glyn grant-maintained school ADT Group |100.0 |Cash Harraby grant-maintained school Carnaud Metal Box |25.0 |Cash and goods Cavaghan and Gray |25.0 |Cash, goods or services Talk-Tel Communication |20.0 |Goods Cumbria TEC |10.0 |Cash Kemnal Manor grant-maintained county high school Philip and Pauline Harris Charitable Trust |50.0 |Goods Architects Joint Partnership |12.5 |Cash and services Ballast Nedam Construction |12.5 |Cash Klick Technology |12.5 |Cash, goods or services Research Machines |12.5 |Goods and services Saffron Walden grant-maintained county high school Garfield Weston Foundation |50.0 |Cash Acorn Computers |30.0 |Goods Messrs. Wilby and Burnett |5.0 |Cash, goods or services St. George's grant-maintained technology school Mr. Reg. Brearley |100.0 |Cash Database and Apricot Computers |20.0 |Cash, goods and services St. Peter's Collegiate Church of England voluntary-aided school Garfield Weston Foundation |50.0 |Cash Database and Apricot Computers |20.0 |Goods and services Lucas Aerospace |22.0 |Goods and services Dixons Wallcoverings |5.0 |Cash and goods Unilab |5.0 |Goods and services Saintbridge grant-maintained technology school Garfield Weston Foundation |50.0 |Cash Systems Integrated Research |25.0 |Goods Chartwells |15.0 |Cash, goods or services Denford Machine Tools |35.0 |Goods and services AT (Poeton) Gloucester Plating) |2.5 |Goods and services Permali (Gloucester) |2.5 |Goods and services CM Downton |2.5 |Goods and services
Mr. Robin Squire : No. Applications under the technology colleges initiative were prepared by individual schools and their sponsors for submission to the Department. Management plans were not necessarily prepared with any expectation that they would become public documents.
Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what guidance has been given to schools regarding funding under the technology college initiative ; and what assessment he has made as to the consistency with this of the letter of 11 February from the governors of Prospect school, Berkshire, to parents.
Mr. Robin Squire : My right hon. Friend issued a prospectus to head teachers and chairmen of governors of all maintained secondary schools in September 1993 setting out the principles of the technology colleges initiative. More detailed information was circulated to head teachers, on request, in October and November 1993. Both the prospectus and subsequent information included guidance on funding likely to be available to technology colleges. My right hon. Friend has not seen a copy of a letter of 11 February from the governors of Prospect school, Berkshire, to parents.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) if he will make it his policy to instruct the Higher Education Funding Council to make restructuring funds available to university institutions which are in financial difficulties and where redundancies are likely ;
(2) by what authority the Higher Education Funding Council may fund early retirement packages for university staffs when these include the commitment to re-employ at the same university those staff as consultants fulfilling comparable duties to those they carried out prior to their retirement ;
(3) if the Higher Education Funding Council has made funds available for early retirement packages for senior employees at the university of London ;
(4) if his Department was consulted by the Higher Education Funding Council about the reorganisation of the management structure of the university of London regarding the posts of principal, director of administration, and director of finance.
Mr. Boswell : Universities and colleges are autonomous bodies responsible for the management of their own financial and administrative affairs, including the deployment of staff. Should a university experience financial difficulties, the Higher Education Funding Council for England would take action to monitor the position of the institution concerned to ensure public funds were not at risk.
Column 133The HEFCE does not allocate funds for early retirement packages. It is for the institutions themselves to determine staff salaries and any early retirement payments they choose to make from within the funds at their disposal.
The Department was not consulted about the reorganisation of the university of London's senior management, nor would we expect this. Any such reorganisation is a matter for the institution concerned.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what scrutiny his Department gives to the conduct and funding arrangements of each university following the creation of the Higher Education Funding Council.
Mr. Boswell : The Department for Education does not scrutinise the conduct and funding arrangements of individual universities. This would not be consistent with the Government's limited role of providing the general framework for an efficient higher education system nor with institutional autonomy which is enshrined in law. The Higher Education Funding Council for England is responsible for the allocation of public funds to individual universities ; the terms and conditions for use of the considerable public funds at its disposal are clearly specified in the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 and in a financial memorandum agreed with the Department. The HEFCE is required to ensure all appropriate steps are taken to safeguard the use of public funds.
Mr. Robin Squire : Subject to parliamentary approval of the main estimates, the Government propose to make provision of up to £12 million for the funding agency's running costs in 1994-95. Actual costs will depend on a number of factors, including growth in the number of GM schools. The detailed split of the total between different budget heads will be a matter for the funding agency.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many people (a) graduated or qualified and (b) failed in teacher training in each of the teacher training colleges and universities in 1993.
Ms Coffey : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many inquiries have been received by the Child Support Agency from hon. Members on behalf of their constituents since it was set up ; and how many inquiries have received a full reply (a) within a fortnight, (b) a month, (c) two months and (d) three months and over.
Mr. Burt : If a parent who has given her authorisation makes representations to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, they will be considered in the same way as representations made at the time of the original application. If the Secretary of State considers that there is a risk of harm or undue stress to the parent with care or any child living with her, he will withdraw the requirement to authorise action. Once he has done this, the parent with care may request that action to pursue child support maintenance ceases and the Secretary of State must comply with the request.
Ms Rachel Squire : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many of the cases dealt with by the Child Support Agency to date have resulted in absent parents requesting that their case go before an appeal tribunal ; if there is a target time for dealing with appeals ; what is the average length of time required to complete the appeal process ; and in how many cases the appeal process has exceeded the target time.
Mr. Burt : The responsibility for hearing appeals against child support decisions lies with the independent tribunal service. The president of ITS informs me that during the period April 1993 to 25 February 1994 it received 1,132 appeals. Information is not available on how many of these appeals were made by the absent parent. No target for dealing with these appeals has been set by the president, as in his view there is as yet insufficient information on which to base any target. The average time from lodgment of appeal to issue of the tribunal decision is currently 17 weeks.
Ms Rachel Squire : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the average length of time taken by the Child Support Agency to respond to letters from hon. Members ; and what action he intends to take to reduce this time.
Mr. Burt : The first year of the agency's operations has stimulated a great deal of correspondence and the chief executive of the Child Support Agency has received over 3,700 letters from hon. Members. By 25 February, she had replied to over 1,900. Targets for answering letters are not currently being met, but necessary steps are being taken to ensure that letters to hon. Members are answered as promptly as possible. The average clearance times for such correspondence are in the table.
Cleared |Per cent. ---------------------------------- 1 to 15 days |16.61 16 to 20 days |8.66 21 to 40 days |26.76 Over 40 days |47.98
Ms Gordon : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many single mothers have stopped applying for income support after receiving a maintenance application form from the Child Support Agency.
Ms Gordon : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many absent parents who have no contact agreement with their former family have demanded contact or residence after receiving maintenance assessments from the Child Support Agency.
Mr. Burt : The arrangement of child maintenance is a separate matter from that of contact or residence with former families, which remains with the courts. Consequently, the Child Support Agency does not routinely collect figures on this subject and information in the form requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what is his latest estimate of the total amount of money allocated to each benefit office in Lewisham for 1993-94 that is so far unclaimed for (a) family credit and (b) disability working allowance ; and how many people he estimates are failing to take up their entitlement to the above benefits of each such benefit office ;
(2) what is the total amount of money allocated to each benefit office in Lewisham for 1993-94 for (a) family credit and (b) disability working allowance ; and what is the planned allocation to each benefit office in Lewisham for each benefit for (i) 1994-95 and (ii) 1995-96.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement detailing the circumstances in which pensioners will not receive the full allowances to help with the cost of value added tax on fuel.
Column 136and 60 or over in the case of women and "full allowances to help with the cost of VAT on fuel" as the additional 50p per week for single people and 70p per week for couples payable from April, the circumstances will be as follows.
Where Income Support, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit is not in payment and :
(a) basic retirement pension, invalidity benefit or widows' benefit is in payment at less than the standard rate, the additional amount will be a proportion of 50p or 20p, as appropriate, corresponding to the level of award in accordance with the contributory principle underlying these benefits,
(b) only non-contributory retirement pension or invalid care allowance is in payment the additional amount will be 20p per week, (
(c) only graduated retirement benefit is in payment, or an award of retirement pension, invalidity benefit or widows' benefit consists solely of additional pension, the rate of benefit will not be increased beyond normal price indexation.
Note 1--Pensioners receiving income support, including men aged 60 to 64, will be entitled to 50p per week, 70p for couples. These increases will feed through into housing benefit and council tax benefit.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the (a) maximum and (b) minimum amount of weekly housing allowance paid to a single unemployed person in the Doncaster area during the last 12 months ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Burt : The maximum and minimum amounts of housing benefit paid to single unemployed persons in the Yorkshire and Humberside region, as at May 1992, the latest date for which information is available, were £55.59 and £4.44 respectively.
Data Source :
The housing benefit and community charge benefit management information system and the income support annual statistical inquiry. The inquiries are a 1 per cent. sample of cases in Great Britain in May 1992.
1. The number of sample cases of the single unemployed in receipt of housing benefit from any individual local authority is likely to be very small. Therefore we cannot provide reliable figures for the minimum and maximum amount of housing benefit paid in Doncaster. 2. The data have been obtained from a 1 per cent. sample of cases, therefore, the figures are the maximum and minimum in the sample and the lowest and highest amount payable may not have been included. 3. "Housing allowance" has been assumed to mean housing benefit. 4. "Unemployed" has been defined as those in receipt of unemployment benefit.
5. 100 per cent. of eligible rent is paid for those with incomes at or below income support levels. Housing benefit is withdrawn on a tapered basis for each additional £1 of income above income support levels. This is reflected in the range of housing benefit in the sample.
Mr. Dewar : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Battle) of 3 February, Official Report, columns 837-38, regarding housing benefit, if he will give similar information for each region in Great Britain ;
(2) if he will provide for Scotland similar information to that provided by the Secretary of State for Social Security, in his answer of 3 February, Official Report, columns 837-38, regarding housing benefit.
Column 137Details for May 1992, the latest date for which information is available, are in the table.
Housing Benefit Cases-000s-and average amounts of Housing Benefit-£/week-by tenure and region Local Authority Other Private Housing All Tenures Association |Number |Average |Number |Average |Number |Average |Number |Average |of Cases|Amount |of Cases|Amount |of Cases|Amount |of Cases|Amount ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- South East (excluding London) |327 |30.26 |170 |44.29 |50 |32.52 |547 |34.83 London |404 |39.53 |187 |52.46 |72 |40.14 |663 |43.25 North (including Cumbria) |270 |22.18 |45 |32.38 |36 |29.01 |351 |24.19 Wales |154 |25.86 |48 |33.41 |16 |35.00 |217 |28.18 Scotland |459 |22.12 |57 |36.85 |21 |25.43 |537 |23.81 Yorkshire and Humberside |286 |20.65 |67 |32.86 |24 |29.97 |377 |23.42 East Midlands |190 |22.67 |62 |33.97 |12 |29.52 |264 |25.64 East Anglia |88 |25.59 |37 |38.60 |11 |29.71 |136 |29.44 South West |168 |27.65 |98 |41.75 |15 |34.18 |281 |32.92 West Midlands |338 |25.41 |73 |32.75 |33 |32.43 |444 |27.13 North West (excluding Cumbria) |346 |24.47 |104 |37.04 |52 |26.78 |502 |27.31 |--- |--- |-- |--- |-- |--- |--- |--- Total |3,030 |26.45 |948 |40.69 |341 |32.24 |4,318 |30.03 Data Source: The housing benefit and community charge benefit management information system 1 per cent. inquiry for May 1992 and the income support annual statistical 1 per cent. inquiry for May 1992. Notes: <1> The figures are in benefit units and are rounded to the nearest thousand. A benefit unit may be a single person or a couple. <2> The information for "Other Private Tenants" excludes that of housing association tenants. <3> All cases where the assessed benefit was less than 50p per week have been excluded.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list by year for the last four years how much has been paid in housing benefit ; and to how many households in the Doncaster area.
Financial |Annual |Average year |expenditure|case load |£ ------------------------------------------------ 1989-90 |20,027,000 |23,625 1990-91 |21,028,000 |22,699 1991-92 |23,809,000 |22,571 1992-93 |28,104,000 |23,691 Data source: The housing benefit management information system. Notes: 1. The annual expenditure amounts are the final or audited figures supplied by DSS and DOE. 2. Details of the number of households receiving housing benefit in the Doncaster area are not available. The information provided is in the form of benefit units for the Doncaster area, based on averaged quarterly case load figures over a financial year. A benefit unit may be a couple in receipt of housing benefit or a single person in receipt of housing benefit. 3. Case load is recorded at a particular point in time and will not record successful claims which start and finish between quarterly reporting periods.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many of his Department's offices were temporarily closed for the day, or part of the day during the period 14 to 16 February due to the cold weather ; if he will list the location of the offices involved ; and if he will make a statement.
District |Office(s) |Dates |Times |Reasons ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |Adverse weather conditions affect- Euston |Highgate |15 February 1994 |From 2 pm |ing travel (AWCAT) Hackney and Islington |Hackney |14 February 1994 |All day |Heating failure |Hoxton |14 February 1994 |From 2 pm |AWCAT |Companies House |14 February 1994 |From 2 pm |AWCAT |Shoreditch |14 February 1994 |From 2 pm |AWCAT |Stoke Newington |14 February 1994 |From 2 pm |AWCAT City East |City |14 February 1994 |10 am to 2 pm |Electrical failure Tameside |Hyde |15 February 1994 |All day |Electrical failure Sheffield West District |Sheffield North West |14 February 1994 |From 2.30 pm |AWCAT |Sheffield South West |14 February 1994 |From 2.30 pm |AWCAT The decision to close an office to the public is the responsibility of each individual manager. Such decisions are not taken lightly and are only made where it is felt that there may be a risk to the health or safety of the staff involved. Where there is any disruption to public service, this is kept to a minimum.
Column 138average earnings in 1994-95, excluding the estimated effect of extending home responsibility protection to state earnings-related pension scheme entitlements, and including the effect of that proposed change.
Column 139As explained in the earlier reply, the amounts of additional pension quoted related to an individual who had average earnings in each year of his or her working life. In these circumstances extension of home responsibilities to SERPS would have no effect.
|1994-95 |1994-95 |2015-16 |2025-26 |2035-36 |2045-46 |Per cent.|£ |£ |£ |£ |£ --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Basic Pension |17.1 |57.60 |42.15 |36.30 |31.30 |26.95 Average additional pension (women) |11.5 |38.75 |46.10 |43.25 |42.10 |41.25 Average additional pension (men) |18.7 |63.10 |68.50 |56.95 |48.60 |43.75 Notes:- The amounts of additional pension are based on the amounts of SERPS payable in each respective year to an individual who had average earnings in each year of his or her working life. They are not based on average additional pension awards to new pensioners as these cannot be estimated. Assumes real terms earnings growth of 1.5 per cent. per annum.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate for the Doncaster area the number of people who will be affected by the decision to reduce the entitlements to unemployment benefit from 12 months to six months ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Angel Knight : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will announce proposals for bringing maternity benefits in line with the EC directive on the protection of pregnant women at work.
Mr. Lilley : In August last year, I issued a consultation document which described options available for adapting our maternity benefits schemes to the requirements of the EC directive on the protection of pregnant women at work.
I am grateful to all those organisations and individuals who responded. Their contributions proved very valuable in helping us to reach our final decisions.
The main proposals of the new scheme are :
Any woman who has been continuously employed in the same job for 26 weeks will be entitled to statutory maternity pay. This simple test replaces the present three tests which currently result in different rates of maternity pay depending on whether a woman has worked for 26 weeks, two years or five years in the same job.
All women who qualify for SMP will now receive
the higher rate--90 per cent.--of earnings for the first six weeks of their maternity leave, and
for the remaining 12 weeks, the standard rate of SMP, which is increased by £3.70 per week to £52.50 in line with statutory sick pay.
Maternity allowance is increased to £52.50 for qualifying employees ; other recipients not covered by the directive will continue to receive £44.55.
Women claiming MA will have a longer period before their baby is due to satisfy the 26-week contribution conditions--66 weeks instead of the present 52.
Maternity leave and pay can begin at any time after the start of the 11th week before the week the baby is due. However, if a woman is on sick leave because of her pregnancy and there are fewer than six weeks before the baby is due, she will be deemed to be on maternity leave and entitled to maternity pay.
To pay for the additional cost of around £55 million a year, the rate by which employers are reimbursed for the SMP they pay out is to be reduced to 92 per cent. from 4 September 1994. However, small employers will be completely protected. They will continue to be fully reimbursed for the cost of any SMP they pay. The
Column 140definition of "small employer" will be the same as the improved SSP definition from April--employers who pay £20,000 or less annually in gross national insurance contributions. Two thirds of
employers--approximately 750,000 businesses--will be helped. As a whole, employers will not be out of pocket. The reduction in employers' national insurance contributions announced in the Budget will more than compensate employers for the abolition of SSP reimbursement as well as the reduction in SMP reimbursement. The result of this package is a net gain for employers of some £125 million.
Allowing women to receive SSP in the later stages of pregnancy if they are sick for reasons other than pregnancy will also add an extra £10 million in SSP costs. The combined cost of these changes means a total cost for industry of £65 million a year--less than 0.03 per cent. of the national wage bill, or approximately £230 per expectant mother receiving maternity benefits.
The new arrangements will apply to women expecting a baby on or after 16 October 1994. The first payments for these women under the new rules will be made from the end of July--since women can take maternity leave up to 11 weeks before their baby is expected. These improved maternity payments will benefit 285,000 women. At the same time we have simplified the scheme to make it easier for employers to administer and women to understand.
I will shortly be laying regulations to give effect to these proposals.
Mr. Simpson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 1 March, Official Report, column 691, how many people in (a) Nottingham city, (b) Nottinghamshire and (c) nationally would be affected if the proposed job seeker's allowance came into operation on 1 March, or the most recent date for which figures are available.
Mr. Burt : The information is not available in the form requested. Nationally, when job seeker's allowance is fully operational, it is estimated that at any one time around 250,000 people could be affected.
1. Estimates rounded to nearest 10,000 cases.
2. Estimates assume :
(a) 2.75 million unemployed.
(b) 1994-95 benefit rates.
3. Estimates relate to a point in time rather than the number who could be expected to be affected at some point during a year.