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Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what are the latest figures available for people claiming income support (a) by gender, (b) by region, (c) by marital status, (d) with dependants and (e) in total.
Income support recipients Type of recipient |Number |(thousands) ---------------------------------------------------------- Gender Male |2,770 Female |3,001 Region North Eastern |839 London North |1,018 South Western |411 Wales |312 Midlands |912 North Western |812 Scotland |553 London South |915 Living with a Partner Single |4,759 With partner |1,012 Dependants With dependants |1,658 No dependants |4,113 |------------ Total claimants |5,771 Notes: 1. Source: Income Support Statistics Quarterly Enquiry, August 1993. 2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand and may not sum to the total given. 3. Regions are the Social Security Administrative Regions used by the Department prior to 1988. 4. Marital status information from Quarterly Enquiries is limited to whether the recipient is single or living with a partner. 5. Dependants are defined as young people under the age of 19 still living in the parental home.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he will review the working of existing legislation to ensure that widowed fathers and their children are treated equally in social security law with widowed mothers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what plans there are to introduce a standard method by which local authorities can determine equitable hourly rates for care costs for independent living 1993 fund claimants, and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what training is received by staff working in local authority social services departments for assessing the eligibility of independent living 1993 fund claimants to personal assistance packages ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 40services. I understand that the director of the independent living 1993 fund continues to discuss with the Association of Directors of Social Services and others further ways in which they can be helped to do so.
Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many applications to the independent living 1993 fund have been turned down as a result of the failure of a local authority to provide the required £200 worth of services a week.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the cost of calls made on (a) car telephones and (b) portable telephones in 1993-94 ; how much this equipment cost to buy or hire ; and what were the maintenance costs.
1993-94 Costs |Mobile |Telephones<1> |(including Car |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Benefits Agency Annual running costs (including pagers)<2> |625,738.94 Equipment |<3>- Contributions Agency Annual running costs (including pagers)<2> |194,183.18 Equipment |36,574.50 Child Support Agency Annual running costs (including pagers)<2> |41,532.00 Equipment |82,553.30 Information Technology Services Agency Calls |60,868.54 Equipment |21,307.78 Quarterly line rental |161,122.50 DSS HQ (including Resettlement Agency) Calls |5,807.94 Equipment |4,628.80 Quarterly line rental |15,187.50 War Pensions Agency Annual running costs (including pagers)<2> |12,887 Equipment |12,875 Notes: <1>The costs of car telephones and mobile telephones could be disaggregated only at disproportionate cost. <2>The running costs of mobile telephones are included with those of pagers by some of the Agencies and could be disaggregated only at disproportionate cost. <3>This information is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what consideration he has given to how long the owner of a benefits payment card which was incorrectly rejected by a machine reader would have to do without payment of benefit ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hague : This issue will be addressed as part of the detailed design of the proposed payment system. Appropriate back-up procedures will be incorporated into any system, to be activated in the event of mechanical or electronic failure.
Mr. Spellar : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what grants have been made by his Department or its agencies to the National Council for One Parent Families in each year of the last five years.
Mr. Burt : Between 1991 and 31 March 1994 this Department provided £1 million to enable the National Council for One Parent Families to pilot return-to-work courses for lone parents and a consultancy action programme aimed at employers and other key organisations, which was designed to open up work opportunities for lone parents. In 1992 the child support unit--the forerunner to the Child Support Agency--paid about £4,000 to NaCOPF for expenses connected with a joint CSA/NaCOPF guide for lone parents who wished to return to work.
|£ -------------------------------- Diplomatic Wing |268,759 Aid Wing |451,907 Note: this excludes management and financial consultancies awarded under the aid programme.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to investigate cases cited by Amnesty International where refugees from Iraq after the 1991 Gulf war were mistreated by the Saudi Arabian authorities.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The United Nations Commissioner for Refugees has a permanent office in the refugee camp at Rafha and is studying the report. During her visit to Saudi Arabia in January 1993, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mrs. Ogata, expressed her appreciation to the Saudi authorities for the high living standards that they have provided for the refugees.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 6 May, Official Report, column 676, what was the cost of calls made on (a) car and (b) portable telephones in 1993- 94 ; how much this equipment cost to buy or hire ; and what were the maintenance costs.
|Financial year |1993-94 FCO (Diplomatic and |£ Aid Wings) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (a) Car -calls |1,500 -cost of service (air time) |2,076 (b) Portable telephones -calls |12,135 -cost of service (air time) |46,500 (c) Cost of new equipment (not hired) |6,077 (d) Maintenance costs |12,127 |------- Total |80,415
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received, either directly or via the European Union or the United Nations, as to the selling of arms by peacekeeping forces in Liberia to the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy faction ; and what representations he has made to the United Nations about the effect on the peacekeeping process.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give details of the mandate of the enhanced peacekeeping force in Rwanda ; and when it is intended that the force will be in place.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Security Council resolution on Rwanda passed on 16 May--SCR 918--expands the mandate of the United Nations Aid Mission in Rwanda, as set out in SCR 912, to include the following tasks :
(a) To contribute to the security and protection of displaced civilians at risk in Rwanda, including through the establishment and maintenance, where feasible, of secure humanitarian areas ; (
(b) To provide security and support for the distribution of relief supplies and humanitarian relief operations.
SCR 918 requests the Secretary-General to proceed immediately with the deployment of military observers currently stationed in Nairobi, and the strengthening of the United Nations mechanised battalion in Kigali to 800 personnel. The Secretary-General will report again soon to the Security Council on the next stage of deployment.
The Secretary-General is due to report to the Security Council in the near future about, interalia, the resources available for the operation.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what actions are being taken to co-ordinate military and humanitarian activity following the United Nation's decision to increase its military presence in Rwanda.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, working together with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department for Humanitarian Affairs in the United Nations secretariat, is responsible for ensuring effective co-ordination between United Nations military and humanitarian activity on the ground.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The main priority is for an end to the fighting and we continue to urge all parties to implement a ceasefire and end the bloodshed. We fully support the efforts of the United Nations and the Organisation for African Unity and regional leaders to bring the fighting to an end.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what forward planning he and the international community are making to prevent the spread of the Rwandan conflict into Burundi.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The international community is concerned that the Rwandan conflict should not spread into Burundi. A good offices and fact- finding mission has been deployed by the United Nations Security Council and OAU observers are also in place. Their aim is to assist the Government of Burundi to restore democratic institutions, rebuild confidence and stabilise the internal situation.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : No representations have been made to the Government of Rwanda about genocide. A special session of the United Nations Commission for Human Rights will shortly take place at which atrocities committed in Rwanda will be considered.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : On 16 May, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 918 which imposes a mandatory arms embargo on Rwanda. In the United Kingdom this will be administered by the export control organisation of the Department of Trade and Industry.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : No representations have been made to the French Government about the supply of arms to the Rwandan Government. On 16 May, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 918 which imposes a
Column 44mandatory arms embargo on Rwanda. All countries, including France, will be bound to comply with the terms of the embargo.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his analysis of the causes of the conflict in Rwanda and of which party is the main cause of deaths in that country.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Tutsi domination of Rwanda's political and economic life ended in 1959. Since then Rwanda has repeatedly been the scene of mass killings and the flight of large numbers of Tutsis and some Hutus to neighbouring countries. There have also been repeated attempts by Tutsis to come back to power, each attempt giving rise to renewed ethnic violence and hatred. Reports indicate that the worst atrocities in the current conflict appear to be occurring in areas then controlled by the interim Government of Rwanda.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made as to whether the Government of Rwanda is contravening the United Nations convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide ; and what action he is proposing to take to activate article IV of the convention to punish genocide.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : In its declaration of 16 May, the Foreign Affairs Council appealed to all parties to the conflict to bring an end to the genocide. The United Nations Security Council, in its resolution 918, asked the Secretary-General to report as soon as possible on the investigations of serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in Rwanda.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action Her Majesty's Government will take to use their seat at the United Nations Security Council to secure (a) an international arms embargo against the Government of Iran and (b) a boycott of Iranian goods.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made about the adequacy of the mandate of the temporary international presence in Hebron ; and what additional powers he will seek to safeguard the Palestinians.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The mandate for the temporary international presence for Hebron was agreed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation. The agreement signed on 4 May on Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Jericho includes provision for further observers in these areas. We and our European Union partners have offered to participate if requested by the parties.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action Her Majesty's Government will take to use their seat at the United Nations Security Council to secure an international fuel and arms embargo against the Government of Sudan.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The imposition of mandatory measures against Sudan would require a determination by the Security Council that a threat existed to international peace and security. Such a determination has not been made.
The United Kingdom already implements an arms embargo against Sudan, which was imposed by the European Union in March.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the number and functions of labour camps in China ; and what representations he has made to the Chinese Government about the use of such camps.
Mr. Goodlad : We have no precise assessment of the number of labour camps. But the use of forced labour is an area of human rights abuse highlighted in the report produced by my right hon. and noble Friend Lord Howe after his visit to China in December 1992. We have regularly urged the Chinese authorities to take up my noble Friend's recommendations in this respect.
Mr. Marlow : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the position of Her Majesty's Government with regard to a possible governmental working group on EC development including a delegation from the European Parliament.
"a Reflection Group of Representatives of the Foreign Ministers, which should be created by the European Council in Corfu and start its work mid 1995. This Group will work in association with the European Parliament".
We support that declaration, to which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs agreed.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Her Majesty's ambassador in Rome has met representatives from all the political parties in the new Italian coalition Government to discuss with them both internal political developments and foreign affairs issues.
Mr. Winnick : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what views he conveyed over the inclusion of neo- fascists in the Italian cabinet when he met representatives of that Government.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met Signor Martino, his new Italian counterpart, in Brussels on 16 May. They had a wide-ranging discussion on foreign policy issues. They did not discuss individual appointments in the new Italian Government.
Mr. Jon Owen Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had regarding the timetable for admission of South Africa to the Commonwealth with (a) the Government of South Africa and (b) the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.
"While it was for the new, democratically elected government in South Africa to decide on whether it should seek to return to the Commonwealth, Heads of Government looked forward to welcoming a non-racial and democratic South Africa back into the Commonwealth at the earliest possible opportunity".
President Mandela has stated his wish that South Africa return to the Commonwealth. As soon as a formal request seeking re-admission is made by the South African Government, the Commonwealth
Secretary-General will inform member Governments.
Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what level of grant aid the Grant-maintained Schools Foundation Ltd. will receive in 1994-95 ; and who has been appointed as finance director and accounting officer for the foundation.
Mr. Robin Squire : The Grant-maintained Schools Foundation Ltd. is currently in discussion with the Department about grant aid for 1994-95. I will write to the hon. Member when the total level of grant and associated financial responsibilities have been finalised.
Column 47community high school ; whether he has received all the information he requires to enable him to reach a decision on the application ; when he expects to announce his decision ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Robin Squire : The Department received proposals seeking voluntary-aided status for the Bradford Muslim Girls community high school on 30 March. A two-month statutory objection period follows the publication of such proposals. Because of my right hon. Friend's role in these matters, it is not appropriate to comment on proposals which will come before him for decision. We shall make a decision as soon as is compatible with a full and careful consideration of the proposals.
The Attorney-General : The initial decision to charge is usually taken by the police. The Crown Prosecution Service and the police are together developing guidance to help officers to select the right charge at the outset.
The Solicitor-General : Historically, lawyers worked primarily in the magistrates courts. Pilot schemes to bring lawyers, law clerks, and support staff together in teams to handle all types of case in both the magistrates courts and the Crown courts are being set up in one branch of each Crown Prosecution Service area.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Rother Valley (Mr. Barron) of 30 March, Official Report , column 813 , for what reason the information on the average length of time of investigation into workplace deaths is not available.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The amount of time spent by inspectors investigating all accidents is recorded locally and principally used to monitor use of resources. It is not possible to isolate information on the use of resources solely used in the investigation of fatalities.