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Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what action is being taken to speed up the review hearings for people awaiting the outstanding moneys due to them under the severely disabled premium awards.
Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what percentage of gross domestic product is spent on social security benefits for people unable to work because of sickness or disability in each of the member states of the European Union.
Mr. Scott : Comparable figures for expenditure on sickness benefits are not available in the form requested. The latest information available is in the Eurostat publication "Social Protection Expenditure and Receipts 1980-1991". This publication also shows expenditure on invalidity and disability for the same period. The latest information available on invalidity/disability expenditure, shown as a percentage of gross domestic product for each member state of the European Union, is contained in the Eurostat publication "Digest of Statistics on Social Protection in Europe, Volume 2 : Invalidity/Disability". This publication covers the years 1980- 1988 and includes information about differences of definition which highlight the need for care in interpreting the statistics for comparative purposes.
A copy of each publication has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Scott : As at April 1993, the latest date available, the higher rate of statutory sick pay was £52.50 per week, representing 16.6 per cent. of gross national average weekly earnings of £316.90. Notes :
1. The earnings quoted are the average for all full-time adult employees and taken from the April 1993 New Earnings Survey (GB). The corresponding figure for April 1994 is not yet available. 2. Most SSP recipients get occupational sick pay in addition to SSP when they are sick. In many cases this brings the total payment received up to full pay.
Mr. Scott : The average amount of invalidity benefit in payment on 4 April 1992, the latest date for which information is available was £75.45(i). This represents 24.8 per cent. of the gross average national earnings figure, £304.60(ii), for April 1992.
(i) Based on a 1 per cent. sample of claimants in Great Britain, rounded to the nearest thousand.
(ii) Figure obtained from "The New Earnings Survey (GB)", April 1992.
(iii) Invalidity Benefit was uprated by 4.1 per cent. from 9 April 1992.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the current level of a full war pension ; how many and what percentage of (i) men and (ii) women are currently in receipt of (a) the full war pension and (b) a reduced war pension ; how many reviews of war pensions took place in the past five years ; and how many war pensions were upgraded and downgraded as a result.
From week commencing 11 April 1994 the weekly rate of War Disablement Pension payable to a person assessed as 100 per cent. disabled, is £98.90 per week.
Column 691The amount payable may be increased where there is entitlement to additional allowances or supplements, eg. in respect of age, mobility or attendance requirements.
As of 31 March 1994, there were an estimated 245,445 War Disablement Pensions in payment ; of these 13,648 (5.6 per cent.) were to 100 per cent. disabled pensioners, and 231,797 (94.4 per cent.) to pensioners with lesser disablement.
295,166 reviews of War Disablement Pensions have taken place from April 1989 to March 1994 and, as a result, 59,065 of these were upgraded and 588 were downgraded.
Mr. Lidington : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many applications were made to his Department in 1993 for pensions under the Polish forces pensions scheme ; and how many people are currently in receipt of payments under that scheme.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the outstanding balance of loans and grants of the Lewisham and Brixton district social fund for the financial year 1993-94 ; how many applications for a grant were refused, giving the reasons for refusal ; how many applications for a loan were refused, giving the reasons for refusal ; how many applicants refused went on to appeal ; and how many of these appeals were successful.
Letter from Michael Bichard to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 5 May 1994 :
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Social Fund (SF) in the Benefits Agency's (BA) Lewisham and Brixton District. The balance outstanding on the Social Fund budgets at Lewisham and Brixton District as at 31 March 1994 at the end of the financial year was £295.36 for grants and £19,267.36 for loans. This is an expenditure of 99.97 per cent. and 99.4 per cent. respectively. With regard to the number of grant and loan applications refused in the District, at the end of the financial year 1993 -94 the numbers of grant and loan applications refused were 8,875 and 7,475 respectively.
The Social Fund Computer System (SFCS), introduced to Lewisham and Brixton in July 1993, collects different statistics compared to the old system and are not directly comparable with previous years. The old system recorded reasons for refusal per application whereas the SFCS records reasons for refusal per item applied for, most applications being for more than one item. As such, in cases where a partial award is made, a reason for refusal will also be appropriate. Therefore, the sum of all reasons for refusal will not equal the number of application refusals. The reasons for item refusal are given at Annex A.
There is no right of appeal against discretionary SF decisions. Applicants dissatisfied with a decision may seek a review of the decision and this is initially conducted within the District. If still dissatisfied, the applicant can ask for a review by the Independent Review Service (IRS) which is independent of the BA. For the period 1 April 1993 to 31 March 1994, 4,006 review applications were received by Lewisham and Brixton District. These figures include those that requested a review by the IRS. Overall, 1, 188 resulted in a changed decision.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Appendix A Details of grant and loan refusals for the Lewisham and Brixton District: 1 April 1993 to 31 March 1994 (latest available data). Reason for Refusal |Grants |Loans ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Not in receipt of Income Support (IS) |2,362 |2,167 In receipt of IS for less than 26 weeks |- |5,281 Direction 4 not satisfied |25,067 |- Applicant excluded by Directions |- |31 No serious risk to health or safety |- |2,382 Requested amount below minimum allowable |14 |254 Repeat application |547 |1,545 Item excluded by Directions |316 |1,404 Alternative item available |57 |289 Help available from another source |83 |363 Grant awarded on loan request |- |1,492 Savings over £500 meet cost |5 |7 Savings over £1,000 meet cost (customer or partner over 60) |7 |1 Enough money available to meet crisis |- |17 Total debt exceeds £1,000 |- |68 Inability to repay |- |1,738 Insufficient priority |390 |943 Other reasons |27 |135
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what representations she has had urging her to support an EC orchard grubbing grant ; and if she will make a statement ; (2) what representations she has made to EC authorities about the consequences for United Kingdom apple and pear growers of national aids to assist producers in other EC countries ;
(3) what representations she has received urging more action by the EC and GATT authorities to exclude dumped fruit from non-EC sources from the EC ;
(4) if she will make a statement on the representations received and action taken by her Department on the market in the United Kingdom for United Kingdom Cox apples.
I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my noble Friend Earl Howe, during the debate on apple growing on Friday 29 April Official Report, House of Lords, columns 995-1002, which gives a clear statement of our position on the various points raised.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will list each aspect of the Norwegian EU accession treaty relating to the management, control, catches and policing regime for fishing permitted to Norway in (a) southern and (b) northern waters under the transitional regime ; and what are the comparable provisions for the United Kingdom at the present time.
Mr. Jack : In waters south of 62 deg north--the North sea, Skagerrak, Irish sea and west of Scotland and Ireland--fish stocks will be managed by the European Union from the date of Norwegian accession, but in the Norwegian
Column 693sector of the North sea for one year the current Norwegian technical measures and control system will apply and for three years the current discard ban will apply. Norwegian quotas are fixed as the average shares of each stock over the period 1989 to 1993. The United Kingdom quotas for joint EC-Norwegian stocks in waters south of 62 deg north are calculated on the same reference period as for Norway and thus consolidate the existing relative stability shares. The United Kingdom's control, management and technical conservation measures, applied within the framework of the common fisheries policy, are unaffected by the treaty of Norwegian accession.
In waters north of 62 deg north, Norway will maintain her management responsibility for fish stocks, including negotiations with Russia, until July 1998, after which the European Union will assume management responsibility. The current Norwegian technical measures will apply for one year but for three years the current control system, discard ban, and system of opening and closing fisheries in biologically sensitive zones will apply.
Norwegian and United Kingdom quotas are fixed as the average shares of each stock over the period 1989 to 1993 except for north-east arctic cod and mackerel where the quotas are fixed at the same percentages as in 1994. The United Kingdom's control, management and technical conservation measures in the area of United Kingdom waters north of 62 deg north are unaffected by the treaty of Norwegian accession.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many cases of warble fly there have been in each year since 1990 ; and from which countries the infected animals originated in each case.
|Clinical cases|seropositive ------------------------------------------------------------ 1990 |1 |0 1991 |0 |0 1992 |0 |4 1993 |207 |298 1994 |37 |0
The cases in 1990 and 1992 were not linked to imports. In 1993, all cases were found in cattle imported from France, apart from one clinical case imported from Belgium.
The 37 clinical cases of warble fly confirmed to date are in cattle imported from France all of which are being re-exported.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) when she next plans to visit Wales ; and if she will make a statement concerning the recent losses to cereal growers in the less- favoured areas in Wales as compared with England ; (2) if she will visit Wales in order to study the relative effect of arable aid payments to farmers in Wales as against those in England ; and if she will make a statement.
Decisions on arable regionalisation for the United Kingdom under the arable area payments scheme are taken jointly by my right hon. Friends the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Wales and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. They decided that for 1994 it was in the best interests of the United Kingdom as a whole for each country to determine the yield regions within its own boundaries.
The decision to divide Wales into less-favoured areas and non-LFA yield regions was taken by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales in order to bring levels of compensation for the majority of specialist cereal growers in Wales closer to those in England. I understand, however, that no Welsh cereal grower will receive less this year than last, subject to any changes in the green rate in force on 1 July 1994 which will be used to calculate payments.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when she plans to publish information concerning the new arrangements for the EC directive on animal identification ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Soames : Following the major consultation exercise with the industry last year on how to implement the EC directive on animal identification, EEC 92/102, we have been in close and regular contact with industry organisations on the detailed arrangements. Our aim is to achieve a smooth transition to the new arrangements and to that end we have decided to allow an extra three months between 1 July and 30 September 1994 during which calves may be marked with either the new or old-style ear tags. From 1 October only the new-style tags should be used. To publicise the new arrangements we shall be running a poster campaign at livestock markets and taking advertisements in the farming press and all livestock farmers will be sent a leaflet.
|Eastern |Midlands and |Northern |South Eastern|South Western |Western -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1985 |nil |nil |nil |2 |1 1986 |nil |nil |nil |nil |nil 1987 |nil |nil |nil |nil |nil 1988 |2 |nil |nil |3 |nil 1989 |nil |nil |nil |3 |2 1990 |nil |1 |nil |2 |7 1991 |nil |nil |nil |nil |nil 1992 |nil |nil |nil |nil |nil 1993 |nil |nil |nil |nil |1
There were an additional seven cases of confirmed bovine tuberculosis in deer in Great Britain between 1984 and 1986 and two in 1988. Details on these are not readily available.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will outline the regulations covering those permitted to transport live animals for slaughter within (a) the United Kingdom and (b) the EC ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Soames : Article 5.2(a) of directive 91/628/EEC requires member states to ensure that the person in charge of an animal transport undertaking entrusts the transport to staff who possess the necessary knowledge to administer any appropriate care to the animals. This provision is implemented in this country by article 5(a) of the Welfare of Animals during Transport Order 1992.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many sheep died during a crossing on the night of 25 April from Portsmouth to Le Havre ; what was the cause of those deaths ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will make it her policy to allow for woodland planting on set- aside land for the purpose of establishing new woodlands in the United Kingdom ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Jack : My right hon. Friend the Minister has long been arguing for the EC rules to be changed to allow woodland planting on set-aside land. As a result, the European Commission is now looking into the possibility.