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Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what benefits of either a financial or emotional nature he believes accrue to children who have been the subject of a CSA assessment.
Mr. Burt: Payment of child maintenance is of direct financial benefit to many parents with care and their children; those who are not in receipt of income support will see an immediate rise in their income as a result of regular maintenance. Even when income support is in payment, the knowledge that maintenance is a portable income is a positive incentive and help for parents with care to seek employment, thereby improving the children's standard of living. In addition, the establishment of regular maintenance helps to reinforce the responsibilities which parents have for their children, even where they live apart.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what consideration he has given to the findings of research carried out by Barnardos's, the Children's Society, NCH Action for Children, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Save the Children on the impact of the Child Support Agency's activities on children; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Burt: We have carefully noted the content of the recent report from these five charities and will take it into account, along with reports from other organisations, in formulating our proposals for changes to the child support arrangements.
Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much will be saved in the social security budget by cutting the entitlement to unemployment benefit from 12 to six months in each financial year from 1 April 1996.
Mr. Roger Evans: Using the most recently published unemployment benefit figures it is estimated that cutting the entitlement to unemployment benefit from 12 to six months will save £70 million in 1996 97 and £220 million in 1997 98.
1. Estimates assume 2.55 million unemployed claimants (GB) and 600 thousand Unemployment Benefit claimants.
2. Savings are estimated using 1990 91 92 FES data and 1994 Unemployment Benefit Statistics.
3. Savings are rounded to the nearest £10 million.
4. 1996 97 savings are in 1996 97 prices. 1997 98 savings are in 1997 98 prices.
5. Figures assume transitional protection in 1996 97.
6. Estimates for years beyond 1997 98 are not available.
Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish figures showing, for the most recent available date, the number of people in receipt of (a) the higher rate and (b) the lower rate of statutory sick pay.
Mr. Hague: During 1992 93, the latest year for which information is available, an estimated 330,000 people received statutory sick pay at any one time. One third--around 110,000--of these cases were estimated to be in receipt of the lower rate, and two thirds--around 220,000--were estimated to be in receipt of the higher rate. Notes:
1. Data from the April 1993 New Earnings Survey (GB) suggests that two thirds of people eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) would have received the higher rate if they had fallen ill; the remaining one third would have received the lower rate. Applying this breakdown to actual
Column 282SSP recipients assumes a constant distribution of sickness across earnings bands.
2. Most SSP recipients receive 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. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what would be the current higher rate of statutory sick pay if it had been uprated annually in line with the retail price index since April 1990.
Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what has been the effect on revenues, expressed in today's prices, of the freeze in the higher rate of statutory sick pay since April 1990 giving figures for (a) each year and (b) total savings to date.
P Estimated savings generated from freezing higher rate SSP --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Hague: The number of sickness benefit claimants whose incapacity is the result of an industrial injury or a prescribed industrial disease who did not satisfy the contribution conditions and are in receipt of benefit is 1,000.
One per cent. sample of claimants in Great Britain at 3 April 1993 rounded to the nearest thousand.
Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how the Benefits Agency proposes to publicise the new incapacity benefit being introduced in April 1995 to Britain's ethnic minority communities, with particular reference to (a) the new medical test for those sick more than six months and (b) those severe medical conditions that will exempt people from the new medical test.
Mr. Hague: In February 1995, a leaflet outlining the new benefit, the medical test and the groups affected will be available from BA offices and via a freephone response line. It will be translated into Punjabi, Urdu and Bengali and produced on audio tape as well as being produced in print in English and Welsh and in braille and on tape.
Column 283An advertising campaign aimed at advisers will also draw attention to the leaflet.
A second leaflet will be produced in June in the same formats and languages providing information about job-hunting and in-work benefits. This leaflet will be included with the letter sent to people who have been assessed as capable for work.
Local information initiatives will be undertaken in the run up to the introduction of incapacity benefit to ensure existing claimants are aware of how the changes will affect them.
Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what facilities will be available under the new incapacity benefit procedures for those referred for medical examination by a Benefits Agency doctor, for those who require an interpreter.
Mr. Hague: All customers who require an assessment by Benefits Agency medical services--BAMS--will be sent an information pack with their appointment. This information pack will include an invitation to the customer to inform BAMS of any special requirements they may have, including the need for specific language skills. BAMS will then arrange for the customer to be seen at a time when someone is available to act as interpreter. In many instances, this will be a member of staff with the appropriate language skills, usually either the examining doctor or the medical examination assistant. However, if no member of staff has the appropriate language skills an interpreter will be provided.
Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish a ready-reckoner, on the same basis as the tax revenue ready- reckoner published by the Treasury, showing the value of benefits in April 1995 assuming normal indexation using the retail price index or Rossi index as appropriate.
Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many claimants of (a) sickness benefit and (b) invalidity benefit received an adult dependency increase on behalf of an adult dependant who is not caring for dependent children.
|Number of |beneficiaries |receiving an |increase for an Benefit |adult but not for a |child ------------------------------------------------------------ Sickness Benefit |24,000 Invalidity Benefit |378,000 Note: Estimates of total number of recipients of adult dependency increases are based on a one per cent. sample of claimants in Great Britain at 3 April 1993, the latest date for which figures are available, rounded to the nearest thousand.
Mr. Hague: Those surveys referred to in the reply given on the 25 October at columns 562 63 , which are already published, have been placed in the Library. Copies of other surveys will be placed there after publication.
Dr. Howells: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if he will give the number of current invalidity benefit claimants in Mid Glamorgan at (a) Porth, (b) Tonypandy, (c) Pontypridd and (d) Aberdare;
(2) how many income support claimants are currently receiving disability premium, with a breakdown of their means of qualification, at Porth, Tonypandy, Aberdare and Pontypridd in Mid Glamorgan in respect of (a) receipt of invalidity benefit or (b) submission of medical certificates only or (c) receipt of severe disablement allowance or (d) receipt of disability living allowance; (3) if he will give the number of invalidity benefit/disability premium claimants found fit for all work and fit for light work in the last 12 months in the Porth, Tonypandy, Aberdare and Pontypridd areas.
Letter from Michael Bichard to Dr. Kim Howells, dated 23 November 1994:
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked Michael Bichard to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about Invalidity Benefit (IVB) and Income Support (IS) customers in Mid Glamorgan. This was in respect of the total number of IVB customers and also regarding the number of IVB and Disability Premium customers found fit for work and the qualifying reason for IS customers being in receipt of a Disability Premium. Mr Bichard is on annual leave and I have, therefore, been asked to reply on his behalf.
I have provided details at Appendix A of the number of IVB customers in the areas you requested.
Information is not readily available regarding Disability Premiums being withdrawn following a reference to the Benefits Agency Medical Services (BAMS); to obtain this information would be at disproportionate cost. This is because the Disability Premium is a component of IS payable to customers in prescribed circumstances, including when they have entitlement to IVB. Loss of entitlement to the Disability Premium does not always result in loss of entitlement to IS. No statistics are maintained to record changes in components of IS entitlement.
However, that information that is available relating to disallowed IVB claims following reference to the BAMS has been provided at Appendix B. Information is not readily available in the exact format requested because to obtain details of those found capable of suitable alternative work as opposed to capable of work would be at a disproportionate cost.
The figure for Aberdare Benefit office in Appendix B relates entirely to that office, whereas that relating to Pontypridd is for the whole Taff Rhonda District comprising of Pontypridd, Porth and Tonypandy. To separate the figure given for Pontypridd into the three offices within the District could only be done at a disproportionate cost.
As you requested, I have attached at Appendix C a table giving at 30 August 1994, the date of the last count, the number of IS customers at the offices named who were receiving the Disability Premium.
However, with regard to your request for details of a breakdown of customers means of qualification for a Disability Premium, I should explain that the full range of information requested is not routinely collected in the format requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. This is because statistics are not maintained about the qualifying condition which was satisfied and
Column 285led to the award of a premium. To identify in each case the precise criteria that was satisfied would be at disproportionate cost.
However, I have placed at Appendix D information which has been obtained from the Quarterly Statistical Enquiry which was based on a five per cent. sample of IS customers at November 1993. The information is for the Wales administrative region but cannot be broken down to a local level. All figures have been rounded to the nearest 1000.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Number of IVB claimants at 31 October 1994 ----------------------- Porth |6,317 Tonypandy |7,017 Pontypridd |6,265 Aberdare |6,189
Number of IVB awards disallowed following reference to the Benefits Agency Medical Service ---------------------- Aberdare BO |391 Pontypridd BO |733
Appendix C |Number --------------------------------- Porth |1,108 Pontypridd |1,184 Tonypandy |1,141 Aberdare |1,257 Total |4,690 Source: Management Information Statistics-August 1994.
@ Appendix D |Number ---------------------------------------------------------------- In receipt of Invalidity Benefit |5,000 In receipt of Severe Disablement Benefit |4,000 In receipt of Disability Living Allowance |10,000 Other |25,000 All cases |44,000 Source: Quarterly Statistical Enquiry-November 1993.
Ms Jowell: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations he has had from building societies and banks about the effect that reducing the eligibility to housing benefit will have on their ability to lend to housing associations.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he is prepared to review the work of the compensation recovery unit to take more note of the future medical, social and financial needs of sick and injured people.
Mr. Roger Evans: The work of the compensation recovery unit is currently the subject of a feasibility study to determine whether all or part of the work should be subject to a market test. Some initial research has been done which merits further careful consideration before any firm decisions are made.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list and date those occasions over the last two years when Ministers or officials in his Department have met lobbying companies, prior to a decision being made on the subject of the meeting with the lobbying company.
Mr. Hague: The Department follows the guidelines in "Questions of Procedure for Ministers". The conditions of service for the staff of this Department incorporate the general principles of conduct that require civil servants not to misuse information which they acquire in the course of their duties; not to make use of their official position to further their private interests or those of others; and not to receive gifts, hospitality or benefits of any kind from a third party, which might be seen to compromise their personal judgment or integrity.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the salary and other emoluments of the civil servant who did the work of, or work comparable to that of, the chief executive of each next steps agency established by his Department before the agency was established.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many claims were submitted for attendance allowance in each year since 1990 for (a) Scotland and (b) the United Kingdom; how many went to appeal; and what percentage were accepted upon appeal; (2) how many claims were submitted for disability living allowance in each year since 1990 for (a) Scotland and (b) the United Kingdom; how many went to appeal; and what percentage were accepted upon appeal.
7 Attendance Allowance Great BritaScotland |All Claims|Appeals |All Claims |Received |Registered|received ------------------------------------------------------- 1990-91 |429,295 |n/a |n/a 1991-92 |594,497 |n/a |n/a 1992-93 |500,388 |2,130 |51,260 1993-94 |439,020 |5,025 |46,636 1994-95 |285,676 |n/a |31,059
Disability Living Allowance New claims Appeals Successful received registered appeals Year |Great Britain|Scotland |Great Britain|Scotland |Great Britain|Scotland ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1992-93 |523,695 |63,631 |6,918 |n/a |33 per cent. |n/a 1993-94 |428,927 |53,716 |29,617 |2,141 |50 per cent. |43 per cent. Source: Analytical Services Division DSS. 1. Prior to 1992 there was no right of appeal for Attendance Allowance claimants. 2. DLA appeal figures for 1992-93 may include a small number of Mobility Allowance cases. 3. Appeals registered in the period shown may not relate to claims made during the same period. 4. Successful appeals are those where the rate of award has been increased, figures include cases where the disabled person's condition has deteriorated since the initial decision was made.
This Department is responsible for social security only in Great Britain. For information relating to Northern Ireland I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Ms Lynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is estimated to be the saving of public money resulting from the introduction of the proposed jobseeker's allowance with reference to existing expenditure on the unemployed.
Mr. Roger Evans: Using the most recently published unemployment benefit figures it is estimated that the introduction of the jobseeker's allowance would reduce expenditure on benefits by about £150 million in 1996 7 and £300 million in 1997 8.
1. Assumes transitional protection in 1996 7.
2. Estimates assume 2.55 million unemployed claimants (GB) and 600 thousand Unemployment Benefit claimants.
3. Savings estimated using 1990 91 92 FES data and 1994 Unemployment Benefit statistics.
4. 1996 7 figures are in 1996 7 prices. 1997 8 figures are in 1997 8 prices.
Mr. Maclean: The Home Secretary does not appoint any members of police authorities. Councillor and independent members of new police authorities will be able to claim £15 per hour for time spent on police authority business, up to a limit of £120 per day and £3,000 per year--£6,000 per year if they are the chairman of the authority. Magistrate members of new police authorities will, as at present, be able to claim financial loss allowance at the rates payable to them as magistrates.
Mr. Maclean: Between August 1992 and August 1994, the latest date for which figures are available, the number of police constables increased by 750. Over the same period, the total numbers of officers fell by 603, reflecting the thinning out of unneeded supervisory ranks.
Mr. Howard: I am firmly committed to encouraging the recruitment of special constables and have set a target of 30,000 by the end of 1996. A national advertising campaign to encourage applications was launched at the end of October. As part of the partnership against crime campaign, police forces will be offering applicants the chance to join the specials as a neighbourhood constable, a special who works only in one particular area. I hope that this will broaden the appeal of the specials to a wider range of volunteers.
This is the largest fall over 12 months for 40 years. This will, I hope, reassure the public that recent rises in recorded crime can not only be slowed but actually reversed.
Mr. Maclean: Between 1981 and 1993, violent crime recorded by the police increased at a rate of 6 per cent. per year, compared with an increase in all recorded crime of 5 per cent. per year. In the 12 months to June 1994,
Column 289violent crime accounted for 6 per cent. of all crimes recorded by the police.
The British crime survey provides an insight into people's experience of crime, whether or not it was reported to the police. The survey suggests that for those offences that can be compared with the police figures, violent crime increased at a rate of less than 3 per cent. per year between 1981 and 1993.
Mr. Maclean: My right hon. and learned Friend is currently seeking views from all the interested parties. He will reach a decision in the light of those views, and in the light of an assessment of the professional policing issues involved from Her Majesty's inspectorate of constabulary.