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Mr. Hague: No. Panel members were made aware of our wish to publish their names in the report. I believe it is appropriate to respect the wish of any panel member that their name should not be made public. I have no plans to ask them to reconsider the matter.
Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many members of the panel on assessment of incapacity were, or are, employed or contracted by (a) the Benefits Agency medical service, (b) the Department of Social Security and (c) the Department of Health.
Dr. Howells: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what number or percentage of claimants are expected to be eligible for incapacity benefit in the Porth, Tonypandy, Aberdare and Pontypridd areas.
Mr. Hague: The information requested is not available. The number of sickness benefit and invalidity benefit claimants in Great Britain expected to transfer to incapacity benefit is just under 2 million.
Column 422reclaimed from recipients of tribunal awards for dismissal from the services for pregnancy, on the same basis as they are reclaimed from recipients of industrial injury compensation; and how much has been reclaimed from such recipients of compensation.
Mr. Evans: The recoupment of benefits for industrial tribunal awards is operated by the employment services. Recoupment applies if benefits are paid as a result of an unfair dismissal from work for which compensation is later awarded. Unlike the compensation recovery scheme, which covers awards made for industrial injury and is administered by Benefits Agency, recoupment is not dependant on the size of settlement. Information on total amounts reclaimed in these circumstances is not available.
Attendance Allowance ------------------------------------- Requests for reviews |375,000 Appeals |8,9000 Note: Source: Analytical Services Division, DSS
Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 4 |Employee<1> |Employer |Weekly rate |Weekly rate Date from |per cent. |per cent. |£ |£ |per cent. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6 April 1980 |6.75 |13.7<2> |2.50 |2.40 |5 6 April 1981 |7.75 |13.7<2> |3.40 |3.30 |5.75 6 April 1982 |8.75 |13.7<2> |3.75 |3.65 |6 6 April 1983 |9 |11.95<2> |4.40 |4.30 |6.3 6 April 1984 |9 |11.45<2> |4.60 |4.50 |6.3 6 April 1985 |9 |10.45 |4.75 |4.65 |6.3 6 October 1985 |5 7 9<3> |5 7 9 10.45<3> |3.50 |3.40 |6.3 6 April 1986 |5 7 9 |5 7 9 10.45 |3.75 |3.65 |6.3 6 April 1987 |5 7 9 |5 7 9 10.45 |3.85 |3.75 |6.3 6 April 1988 |5 7 9 |5 7 9 10.45 |4.05 |3.95 |6.3 6 April 1989 |5 7 9 |5 7 9 10.45 |4.25 |4.15 |6.3 5 October 1989 |2 plus 9<4> |5 7 9 10.45 |4.25 |4.15 |6.3 6 April 1990 |2 plus 9 |5 7 9 10.45 |4.55 |4.45 |6.3 6 April 1991 |2 plus 9 |4.6 6.6 8.6 10.4|5.15 |5.05 |6.3 6 April 1992 |2 plus 9 |4.6 6.6 8.6 10.4|5.35 |5.25 |6.3 6 April 1993 |2 plus 9 |4.6 6.6 8.6 10.4|5.55 |5.45 |6.3 6 April 1994 |2 plus 10 |3.6 5.6 7.6 10.2|5.65 |5.55 |7.3 Notes: <1> Not Contracted-out rates shown. <2> Includes the National Insurance surcharge under the National Insurance Surcharge Act 1976. The surcharge was gradually reduced from 3.5 per cent. until its abolition on 1 October 1984. <3> Lower employee and employer contribution rates were introduced for employees on lower earnings. The Upper Earnings Limit for employers' contributions was abolished. <4> A revised structure for employee contributions was introduced. Employees now pay an initial contribution of 2 per cent. on earnings up to the Lower Earnings Limit and then a main contribution rate of 9 per cent. (now 10 per cent.) on the balance of earnings up to the Upper Earnings Limit. <5> A new Class 1A contribution was introduced in 1991-92. It is paid by employers, at the highest contribution rate, on the cash equivalent for tax purposes of the benefit of cars and fuel provided to their employees for private use.
Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his calculation of the amount that will be paid in each of the next five years in income support job seeker's allowance, presuming that unemployment remains at its present level, and of the amount that would be paid if the present system of income
support/unemployment benefit remained in force.
Mr. Roger Evans: The information is not available in the form requested. I refer the hon. Member to the social security department report, CM2513, for the latest published estimates of expenditure on benefits for unemployment, and to the reply given to the hon. Member for Rochdale (Ms Lynne) on 24 November 1994, Official Report , column 279 , which provides an estimate of the savings resulting from the introduction of the job seeker's allowance.
Letter from Miss Ann Chant to Mr. John Spellar , dated 24 November 1994:
I am replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security about the total number of annual periodic review notices sent out by the Child Support Agency. At present, this information could only be collected at disproportionate cost. Data on the number of periodic review forms issued will be collected on a regular basis in the future, although figures are unlikely to become available before April 1995.
Since August 1994, the Agency has been collecting figures on the number of periodic review forms returned. Latest available figures show that 1,478 forms were returned during August.
Ms Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security from what source and when the money was raised to reimburse the £4, 800 of public funds spent on the lunch held at Plymouth Child Support Agency centre on 25 March; and what disciplinary action was taken against the staff responsible.
Letter from Miss Ann Chant to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 24 November 1994 :
I am replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security about the party held at the Agency's Plymouth Centre.
Staff disciplinary action within the Agency, like the rest of the Department of Social Security is a confidential matter between management, personnel and the staff involved. I cannot therefore provide you with any further details which would not breach that confidentiality. I repeat that appropriate disciplinary action was taken against those officials who had shown poor judgement. The £4, 880 involved was privately donated within the Agency to avoid any loss to public funds. Again, it would not therefore be appropriate for me to provide further information.
Ms Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many claimants have been prevented from receiving benefits as a result of the habitual residence test in the parliamentary constituency of Lewisham, Deptford
Column 424for each month since its inception; of those refused how many went on to appeal; and how many won their appeals.
Mr. Roger Evans: The administration of income support is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information about income support as is available. Information about housing benefit and council tax benefit is collected annually from local authorities and is not yet available.
Letter from Mr. Michael Bichard to Ms Joan Ruddock dated 24 November 1994 :
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking for details of the application of the Habitual Residency Test in Lewisham, Deptford since its inception in August 1994.
The full range of information requested for Income Support (IS) is not routinely collected in the format requested. This is because Benefits Agency boundaries do not correspond with those of Parliamentary constituencies. However, I have placed at Annex A information which has been obtained from the Lewisham District Office which comprises the offices of Lewisham, Brixton, Greenwich, Hither Green and the Oval and handles IS claims from customers resident in the London postcode areas SE6, SE10, SE12, SE23, SE8, SE4, SE14 and part of SE13.
Since 1 August 1994, 34 appeals have been received by the Lewisham District Office following the disallowance of IS as a result of the application of the Habitual Residence Test. To date none of these appeals have been heard by the Social Security Appeals Tribunal.
Information on Housing and Council Tax Benefits is not yet available and is collected by the Department of Social Security from local authorities annually. In the meantime you may wish to contact the London Borough of Lewisham direct.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much the compensation recovery unit has recovered from individuals with an asbestos-related disease in each of the last five years, by region.
Letter from Mr. Michael Bichard to Mr. Alan Milburn, dated 24 November:
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how much the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) has recovered from individuals with an asbestos related disease in each of the last five years by region.
The full range of information you requested is not available. This is because the CRU's computer system records cases involving victims of asbestosis rather than asbestos related diseases. In addition, information relating to cases settled prior to 1993 is no longer held on the computer system and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.
Information is not readily available to break the data that is available down into regions and to obtain this would also be at a disproportionate cost.
The total amounts recovered by CRU relating to victims of asbestosis is:
1 April 93 31 March 1994 -- £408,665.
1 April 94 21 November 1994 -- £651,164.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Mr. Baldry: On account of increasing evidence to show that health risks associated with tobacco consumption will affect developing countries severely, it has been Her Majesty's Government's policy since early 1991 that the overseas aid programme should not be used for any purpose which identifiably supports the tobacco sector, despite its importance as a source of export earnings in some countries. Prior to the introduction of this policy, £1.65 million was committed between 1989 and 1991 to two tobacco projects in Malawi.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about money being made available for educational purposes in Kenya by the Overseas Development Administration; and if he will indicate which projects are aimed at primary, secondary and higher education and the amounts of money allocated to each sector.
Mr. Baldry: Apart from a small amount of continuing assistance to the Kenya and Mombasa polytechnics, and some training, ODA's commitment to higher education in Kenya will end in 1994 95. There is no allocation for secondary education. The focus of our programme now is to strengthen primary education.
Total disbursements this financial year in the education sector are expected to be some £3 million, of which nearly two thirds will be for primary education.
Column 426of gross domestic product spent on overseas aid in each of the European Union countries for the years 1992 93 and 1993 94.
Figures for net ODA expenditure as a percentage of GNP for these countries in 1992 and 1993 are as follows:-
|1992|1993 ------------------------------- Belgium |0.38|0.39 Denmark |1.03|1.03 France |0.63|0.63 Germany |0.39|0.36 Greece |N/A |N/A Ireland |0.16|0.19 Italy |0.31|0.30 Luxembourg |0.29|0.32 Netherlands |0.86|0.81 Portugal |0.31|0.30 Spain |0.28|0.27 United Kingdom |0.31|0.31 Source: OECD Note: These figures exclude assistance to the non-developing countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures he is taking to ensure that aid money is spent on poverty relief, humanitarian aid and economic development.
Mr. Baldry: Aid money will continue to be spent on activities aimed at promoting the economic and social development of other countries, and the welfare of their people. All projects are subject to economic, social and environmental appraisal.
British bilateral aid to Indonesia 1979-1993/94 (£ thousand) |Gross Public |ODA Programme|CDC |Other<1> |Expenditure ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Calendar Year 1979 |7,485 |2,811 |1,424 |11,728 1980 |7,954 |1,635 |1,601 |11,190 1981 |5,809 |7,535 |2,006 |15,350 1982 |8,891 |6,055 |2,273 |17,219 1983 |7,422 |2,843 |2,273 |12,538 1984 |10,546 |15,473 |2,273 |28,292 1985 |<2>29,507 |1,869 |2,273 |33,649 1986 |5,190 |1,435 |2,273 |8,898 1987 |7,121 |2,829 |2,273 |12,223 Total |89,925 |42,485 |18,669 |151,079 Financial Year<3> 1987-88 |7,850 |4,537 |2,273 |14,668 1988-89 |10,743 |4,350 |2,273 |17,366 1989-90 |9,003 |9,707 |2,273 |20,983 1990-91 |17,564 |5,550 |2,273 |25,387 1991-92 |21,200 |10,952 |2,273 |34,425 1992-93 |21,398 |9,041 |2,251 |32,690 1993-94<4> |22,207 |10,439 |2,227 |34,874 Total |109,965 |54,576 |15,843 |180,385 Source: British Aid Statistics Notes <1> This is mainly debt relief, but also includes small amounts of drug related assistance funded by the Home Office and the FCO. <2> This was the final year in which ATP projects were financed as mixed credits. Thereafter they were funded as soft loans. ATP expenditure fell from £15.7 million in 1985 to £0.5 million in 1986. <3> From 1987-88 onward expenditure is only available on a financial year basis. It is not possible to separately allocate 1987-88 expenditure to 1987 and 1988. For this reason it is not possible to give a total figure for expenditure since 1979. <4> The figure for 1993-94 are provisional.
£ million |Export |ATP Project |Value |Value ------------------------------------------------------------------ Steel Bridging |9.930 |6.642 Navigational Aids |9.906 |6.386 Bandung Television Studio |11.735 |9.734 Cigading Port Extension |17.280 |13.266 Scattered Diesels |6.887 |5.891 Citayam/Cibinong Railway |23.000 |20.105 Cigading/Serpong Railway Rehabilitation |31.861 |24.690 Radio Communication System for the Ministry of Forestry |37.234 |34.111 Radio Studio Rehabilitation |6.330 |5.040 Shortwave Radio Transmitters |29.000 |26.911 Flight Simulator Consultancy |0.439 |0.439 Western Universities Equipment |14.284 |13.671 Bali and Medan Airport Security |11.452 |10.455 Jambi Power Station |5.740 |5.345 Flight Simulator |4.969 |4.659 Steel Bridging II |3.831 |3.669 Cikampek/Padalarang Toll Road Consultancy |1.700 |1.700 Western Universities Training Centre Consultancy |2.214 |2.214 Total |227.792|194.928
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has for extending long-term development packages to (a) the countries of the former Soviet Union and (b) other low income countries.
Mr. Baldry: Although the majority of countries of the former Soviet Union are not classified as low-income, they need technical assistance to further their transition to democracy and market economies alongside the resources available from the private sector, the international financial institutions and the European Union. We will continue to provide such assistance through our much respected know-how fund. Concurrently, we will continue to provide substantial long-term development assistance to low- income countries.
Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the current level of British Government aid to Russia; and what plans there are to increase this sum, to help the Russian Government to improve safety within the Russian nuclear industry.
Mr. Baldry: We have committed a total of £1.2 billion in assistance to Russia bilaterally and through the European Union. We also contribute through international financial institutions. There are no current plans to increase this sum to improve safety in the Russian nuclear industry. Though the fundamental responsibility for nuclear safety lies with the Russian Government, we have to date contributed £24.5 million through the nuclear safety account and through EU nuclear safety programmes.
Mr. Baldry: In 1993, United Kingdom net assistance totalled £1,945 million, equivalent to 0.31 per cent. of GNP--higher than the average for all OECD development assistance committee donors of 0.29 per cent. The UN target is 0.7 per cent. Similarly, in 1992, the latest year for which figures are available, the United Kingdom's net assistance to the least-developed countries was 0.10 per cent. of GNP, compared to the DAC average of 0.09 per cent. The UN target is 0.15 per cent.
The Government have not accepted any timetable for reaching these targets. Future levels of aid will continue to depend upon our economic circumstances and on other calls on public expenditure.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to facilitate the process of rehabilitation and reconstruction in Rwanda to ensure peace and stability in the region.
Mr. Baldry: A co-ordinated international effort is needed to rehabilitate and reconstruct Rwanda. We have encouraged the IMF and IBRD to act quickly; missions have already visited. Britain was the first to support the UN programme for human rights monitors. We will play
Column 429an active part in regional meetings to promote peace and stability planned for early 1995.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what steps are being taken to provide bilateral humanitarian aid to (a) Rwanda and (b) to neighbouring countries which have been adversely affected by the influx of Rwandan refugees; and if he will make a statement.
(2) what measures he has initiated in order to assist the plight of the refugees who have fled Rwanda and who remain displaced within Rwanda.
Mr. Baldry: Since the start of the crisis we have committed £60 million of humanitarian aid for Rwanda and for Rwandan refugees in neighbouring countries. We continue to monitor the situation closely and since May 1994 five separate assessment missions have visited the region.
Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will set up a departmental review of the criteria used in making decisions about funding of projects under the aid and trade provision.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 23 November 1994]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer my right hon. Friend the Member for Morecambe and Lunesdale (Sir M. Lennox-Boyd) gave on 21 March 1994, Official Report, column 24 , to the hon. Member for Cyon Valley (Mrs Clwyd). As a result of the ATP review the decision-making processes for aid and trade provision projects have been brought into line with those applied for other bilateral aid projects.
As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary told the House on 17 November, the Overseas Development Administration is reviewing carefully all the projects and activities it funds, including those under the aid and trade provision, to see whether there are any others approved under our previous understanding of the Overseas Development and Co-operation Act 1980 which might also fall outside the interpretation of the Act given by the High Court recently. The Government have no plans for a further review of the criteria for decisions about funding of projects under the aid and trade provision.
Mr. Lang: Following public consultation on the eight fourth wave trust applications, reports have been submitted to me by Argyll and Clyde, Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Greater Glasgow, and Lanarkshire health boards and by the Common Services Agency. These reports did not identify any serious flaws in the proposals for trust status.
As with all trust applications, these have been considered against the published criteria of benefits for patients, management competence, the involvement of
Column 430clinicians and other healthcare professionals in management, and financial viability.
The proposed trust arrangements meet these criteria and therefore I have decided to give my approval to the trust applications from Argyll and Bute unit, Borders Community Health Services, Borders General hospital, Dumfries and Galloway community services unit, Glasgow dental hospital and school, Lanarkshire Healthcare, Dumbarton unit which will become Lomond Healthcare NHS trust, and the Scottish Ambulance Service. These trusts will become operational from 1 April 1995.
I have also approved the proposal by Greater Glasgow health board that its care for the elderly unit should be integrated with the existing acute trusts in the city.
The result of my decisions is that all units on the mainland of Scotland will be operating as NHS trusts from 1 April 1995. There are no plans for the units managed by the three islands health boards, the Scottish Blood Transfusion Service and the state hospital to become NHS trusts at the present time.
The trusts are achieving considerable success and are quickly demonstrating greater benefits to the public with record numbers of patients being treated, waiting lists and waiting times coming down and new services being developed in hospitals and in the community.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland who was responsible for monitoring differing aspects of Health Care Intenational development in Clydebank in Scottish Enterprise National, Scottish Office, Locate in Scotland and Dunbartonshire Enterprise; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Stewart: Officials in the relevant organisations monitored the assistance offered to the company in accordance with the normal procedures relating to the schemes in question. With regard to the offer of regional selective assistance--the largest single element of the assistance package offered to the company--my right hon. Friend's officials made appropriate checks to ensure that the company was complying with the terms of the offer prior to the release of each instalment of grant.
Mr. Stewart: Officials of Locate in Scotland and Scottish Enterprise have been involved in discussions about the company's financial position over the last three months and my right hon. Friend has been kept informed of developments.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what account he took of the Irish Industrial Development Authority's decision on support of Health Care International when he agreed to support Health Care International in Clydebank.
Mr. Stewart: Decisions to offer financial assistance to Health Care International were made after the same rigorous appraisal as applies to all decisions in respect of such assistance, and determined by reference to the same criteria. In the context of the appraisal process, decisions taken by inward investment agencies in other countries are taken into account where, for example, they affect the
Column 431level of grant necessary to secure a mobile project. In this particular case, as the company had already made it clear that its preference was for a Scottish location, no specific account was taken of the indicative offer which the company had previously received from the Irish industrial development authority.
Mr. David Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is now the policy of Locate in Scotland as regards the promotion of the City of Glasgow district council area as a location for consideration for inward investment; and if he will make a statement.
Sir David Steel: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will ensure that financial considerations will not override consideration of other criteria such as architectural and landscape heritage in planning appeal decisions.
Mr. Stewart: Planning appeal decision are made on the basis of a series of considerations put forward by the parties involved. As required by statute, the first among these is the contents of the approved development plan, if relevant; other material considerations, involving environmental, employment and financial considerations, are taken into account. The weight to be attached to each will be a matter of judgment, based on the facts and circumstances of each case.
Sir David Steel: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to alter the level of resources allocated to local authorities for planning responsibilities as a result of the current review of the planning system.
Mr. Lang: Central Government support for local authority revenue expenditure--aggregate external finance--is, with the exception of the specific grants component, not hypothecated to particular local authority services. There are no plans to alter the methodology underpinning the distribution of that support.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many students have been awarded (a) a postgraduate certificate in teaching and (b) a bachelor of education in each year since 1990 91; and if he will make a statement.