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The Prime Minister: The Government plan, in the light of the review of the Treasury's activities, that those central civil service management functions that remain after delegation to Departments should be transferred to the Minister with responsibility for the civil service with effect from 1 April 1995. The functions which it proposes to transfer include responsibility for senior civil service pay; policy on civil service recruitment, retirement and
Column 826redundancy and the central management of the principal civil service pension scheme; and residual central responsibilities for civil service personnel management, industrial relations, conditions of service and allowances, and the collection of civil service manpower statistics. It is envisaged that the Treasury will undertake a last round of national pay negotiations in 1995 and carry through the remaining delegations to Departments up to 1 April 1996. The Treasury's pension benefit calculation work at Basingstoke will be taken over by the Paymaster agency.
These changes, and the delegation of most civil service management functions to Departments, will not affect the Treasury's role in relation to public expenditure, including that on public sector pay. The Government propose to lay before Parliament the necessary transfer of functions order under the Ministers of the Crown Act 1975.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total expenditure on energy for each property owned or leased by his Department for the use of Ministers in each of the last three years for which figures are available.
|1991-92 |1992-93 |1993-94 ----------------------------------------------------------- The Home Office |1.66 |1.78 |1.74 Executive Agencies |29.20 |31.10 |31.80
The figures for 1991 92 exclude the Fire Service college and the United Kingdom Passport Agency as no information is available. Expenditure by these agencies 1992 93 and 1993 94 averaged £353,000 and £297,000 per annum respectively.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the cash and staff resources of (a) the financial intelligence unit and (b) the central authority for mutual assistance in criminal matters; how many reports of suspected money laundering have been made to each in each year since 1987; and how many (i) prosecutions, (ii) convictions and (iii) seizures of arms and drugs have been made in each year since 1987.
Mr. Maclean: The financial disclosures and money laundering section, formerly the financial intelligence unit, of the National Criminal Intelligence Service as 14 staff at a projected cost, including a common services element, of £460,000 in 1994 95. The United Kingdom Central Authority for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters is a part of the Home Office. It has 13 staff in post: estimated staff costs for 1994 95 are £262,000. Figures for non-staff costs attributable to the central authority are not readily available.
All disclosures of suspicious financial transactions under the money laundering legislation are passed to the
Column 827financial disclosures and money laundering section. Figures for numbers of disclosures are as follows:
Year |Disclosures ------------------------------------ 1987 |544 1988 |839 1989 |1,595 1990 |3,150 1991 |4,410 1992 |11,281 1993 |12,750
The available information on prosecutions and convictions relates to the offence, in section 24 of the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986. of assisting another to retain the proceeds of drug trafficking. The figures are:
|Prosecutions|Convictions ---------------------------------------------------- 1987 |8 |0 1988 |18 |7 1989 |11 |3 1990 |10 |5 1991 |15 |4 1992 |11 |8 1993 |16 |7
Statistics on firearms seizures are not recorded centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The most recent information on drugs seizures is contained in Home Office statistical bulletin 30/93: Statistics of Drugs Seizures and Offenders Dealt with, United Kingdom, 1992, a copy of which is in the Library. The figures, information for 1993 is not yet available, are:
|Number --------------------- 1987 |30,690 1988 |38,235 1989 |52,131 1990 |60,859 1991 |69,805 1992 |72,065
Mr. Patnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions there have been for (a) fly-posting and (b) litter offences for each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement.
Information for litter offences is given in the table below. 1994 data will not be available until the autumn 1995.
% Number of defendants prosecuted for dropping litter<1> 1991-1993 England and Wales |1991 |1992 |1993 ------------------------------------- Prosecutions |1,673|1,639|1,170 <1> An offence under Section 1(3) of the Litter Act 1983 repealed by Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will grant extra funds to the North Wales police authority to enable it to fund its national DNA database; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean: The costs and benefits to the police of the DNA database have been taken fully into account in our assessment of future police spending requirements. It will be for chief constables to decide what use to make of the DNA database service on the balances as they see it, of those costs and benefits.
# Year |£ ----------------------------------- 1984-85 to 1987-88 |215,000 1988-89 |60,000 1989-90 |120,000 1990-91 |115,500 1991-92 |215,000 1992-93 |253,000 1993-94 |308,000 1994-95 |273,000
Mr. Butler: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many hours annually, on average, a police constable spends (a) on operational duties and (b) undergoing training in England and Wales as a whole and in each individual police force.
Mr. Maclean: I regret that information on time spent on operational duties is not available. In 1991 92, the latest year for which figures are available, police constables in England and Wales spent, on average, 14.8 days in training. The figures for individual forces are as follows:
Force |Average training |days ----------------------------------------------------- Avon and Somerset |15 Bedfordshire |16 Cambridgeshire |15 Cheshire |11 City of London |21 Cleveland |16 Cumbria |18 Derbyshire |6 Devon and Cornwall |17 Dorset |17 Durham |12 Dyfed-Powys |15 Essex |20 Gloucestershire |20 Greater Manchester |17 Gwent |12 Hampshire |11 Hertfordshire |14 Humberside |22 Kent |24 Lancashire |15 Leicestershire |18 Lincolnshire |14 Merseyside |12 Metropolitan |13 Norfolk |18 Northamptonshire |16 Northumbria |8 North Wales |8 North Yorkshire |18 Nottinghamshire |16 South Wales |14 South Yorkshire |15 Staffordshire |19 Suffolk |12 Surrey |20 Sussex |19 Thames Valley |16 Warwickshire |12 West Mercia |18 West Midlands |15 West Yorkshire |12 Wiltshire |22 Note: Training lasting for less than half a day is not recorded.
Mr. Howard: Her Majesty has been pleased to re-appoint Lord Justice Simon Brown, Sheriff John McInnes and Sir Richard Gaskell as, respectively, president, vice-president and member of the security service tribunal for five years with effect from 18 December.
Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what requests his Department has made to the companies involved in exporting live animals from Millbay docks in Plymouth to contribute towards the policing costs.
The disorder is caused by those seeking to blockade and disrupt the docks not by exporters carrying out a lawful activity.
Mr. Matthew Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will amend the terms of reference for the independent commissioner for the holding centres to permit the commissioner to be present at interviews with terrorist suspects in the police offices.
Sir John Wheeler: Following discussions with the Royal Ulster Constabulary, I have today placed in the Library of the House revised terms of reference for the Independent Commissioner for the Holding Centres to
Column 830permit him to be present at interviews with terrorist suspects in the police offices, subject to certain caveats agreed both by the Commissioner and the RUC.
This represents a very positive response to Sir Louis Blom-Cooper's comments in his first annual report which reflect his view that, to sustain its credibility, such a right must be vested in the post.
Year |Number ------------------------------------ 1991 |132 1992 |138 1993 |150 1994 (to 9 December) |152
Mr. Malone: General practitioner fundholders are required to produce accounts in accordance with the general practitioners fundholders' manual of accounts. These accounts are independently certified by auditors appointed by the Audit Commission. A copy of the general practice fundholders' manual of accounts is available in the Library.
Mr. Bowis: It is estimated that some 5 per cent. of the population aged 65 and over suffer from dementia and over half of these suffer from Alzheimer's disease. We do not collect information about the proportion who reside without any family carer.
Mr. Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the studies undertaken into the National Blood Authority which led to the conclusion that five regional transfusion centres should be closed.
Mr. Sackville: Part of the remit given to the National Blood Authority on its establishment was to provide a strategy to secure an adequate and cost-effective supply of blood and blood products to meet national needs. A
Column 831review of the blood service was therefore undertaken by the authority.
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what specific steps she is taking to improve the equity of medical care, following the report of the Royal College of Physicians, entitled "Ensuring Equity and Quality of Care for Elderly People"; and if she will make a statement;
(2) what specific steps she is taking to ensure a wider knowledge among hospital specialists of the special needs of elderly people with particular reference to those aspects where the development of multiple pathology and poly-pharmacy are relevant; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Bowis: We welcomed the publication of the report as an incentive to improved accessibility and quality of service for elderly people. Aimed primarily at professionals and managers in the sector, it emphasises the need to meet both the acute health care needs of older patients and any special needs arising from the ageing process, with appropriate liaison between specialists. We have cited the report in our priorities and planning guidance for the NHS for 1995 96.
We have repeatedly stressed that the national health service must be open to people of all ages on the basis of clinical need. Since the publication of the Royal College of Physicians' report in May we have met with the British Geriatrics Society to discuss the issues it raises, and other matters relevant to the health of elderly people, and a further meeting is planned at official level. The chief medical officer proposes to host a seminar next spring for senior members of the medical profession to discuss the education and training of all doctors and medical students in the treatment and care of elderly people. In addition, the Department is represented on a Royal College of Physicians working group updating its 1984 publication "Medication for the elderly", which will provide useful guidance to the field in this area.
Mr. Bowis: In England, policy on respite care provided as part of community care services, and that which is provided as part of services for children and their families under part III of the Children Act 1989, is the responsibility of my Department. It is the responsibility of local authorities and health authorities to plan, develop and arrange provision of respite care.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 9 December, Official Report , columns 394 95 , how many of the sample of 18 termination payments failed to comply in every respect with departmental guidance as set out in TEL (94)2.
Mr. Malone: National health service trusts have powers under schedule 2 of the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 to make compensation to, or in respect, of any of the trust's employees who suffer loss of office. They have to exercise these powers within
Column 832the usual disciplines of public spending. The guidance in TEL(94)3 is advisory.
Of the 18 payments sampled, the NHS executive is seeking further information on eight. Of the other 10 cases, where the payments relate to the termination settlements on which TEL(94)3 provides advice the amounts paid are consistent with that advice.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what use her Department has made of executive search agencies in filling vacancies within her Department and executive agencies administered by her Department during the last year; and how much these services have cost her Department.
Mr. Cran: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the study produced for her in 1993 by PE Consultants assessed the difference in projected savings and efficiency increases likely to arise from integrated facility management of the entire NHS supplies authority function as against separate market testing of some NHSSA functions with private sector contractors co-ordinated by the existing NHSSA management; and whether she will commission independent research to assess which supplies model will deliver best service and value for money to the NHS.
Mr. Sackville: No. The study concluded that some of the functions of the national health service supplies authority should be contracted out to make best use of private sector skills and experience; and some functions needed to be rationalised at lower cost to match the standard of commercial best practice elsewhere. The NHS supplies authority has been charged to deliver programmes of market testing and rationalisation in the areas of logistics, information management, purchasing, and customer services, while maintaining continuity of services to all NHS customers. It is also required to match commercial best practice standards by April 1997. Their progress towards these targets is reviewed each year, and progress to date has been encouraging. NHS supplies has also been invited to work in co- operation with the NHS trust federation to identify ways to improve NHS supplies organisation, operation and accountability. This joint work is at an early stage. The National Audit Office will also be reporting in the first half of 1995 on its study of NHS supplies progress since the earlier NAO study of 1991.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many termination payments have been made by NHS trusts to chief executives and senior managers in 1991 92 and 1992 93; and what is the total amount for each trust in each year specified.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will re-consider her decision not to hold an independent inquiry into recent events at Burnley Healthcare NHS trust following the publication of the report into the dismissal of Mr. Ian Mahady; (2) what consideration she has given to the report on Mr. Ian Mahady published by Burnley Healthcare NHS trust.
National Health Service administration costs 1990-91 to 1993-94 by region Region |1990-91|1991-92|1992-93|1993-94 |£000 |£000 |£000 |£000 ---------------------------------------------------------- Northern |55,616 |50,937 |59,823 |76,960 Yorkshire |68,132 |92,103 |81,582 |93,049 Trent |63,721 |59,074 |73,182 |94,392 East Anglian |35,794 |29,092 |33,480 |33,480 North West Thames |69,479 |54,863 |72,817 |100,782 North East Thames |77,782 |80,638 |74,529 |105,158 South East Thames |79,057 |53,584 |61,593 |65,095 South West Thames |58,615 |46,714 |56,592 |66,940 Wessex |48,991 |57,543 |64,525 |76,559 Oxford |38,008 |50,786 |58,273 |76,138 South Western |52,174 |36,372 |41,372 |51,171 West Midlands |91,970 |66,079 |82,139 |88,757 Mersey |37,847 |47,844 |58,136 |46,341 North Western |77,384 |49,775 |58,574 |70,262 Source: Annual accounts of Regional and District Health Authorities, Family Practitioner Committees and Family Health Services Authorities. Notes: 1. The above figures represent the total revenue expenditure on the pay and accommodation costs of staff of all disciplines and their support staff employed at headquarters levels in Regional Health Authorities (RHAs), District Health Authorities (DHAs) and Family Practitioner Committees (FPCs)/Family Health Services Authorities (FHSAs). They exclude administrative support in hospital departments and at other local levels which is regarded as operational expenditure. 2. RHA and DHA costs are those reported in the accounts as "Authority administration and purchasing expenses". This includes capital charges after 1991-92. FPC/FHSA administration costs are those reported in the annual accounts as revenue administration costs and represent that part of total expenditure which is not medical, dental, ophthalmic or pharmaceutical. 3. Changes over the years in the roles and responsibilities of FPCs (which became Family Health Services Authorities in 1990), RHAs and DHAs (which started to transfer provider functions to NHS trusts in 1991-1992), together with changes in accounting policies ( particularly the inclusion of capital charges in Health Authorities' administration and purchasing expenditure) mean that the figures are not comparable. Additionally, there were differences in management practices and geographical size between regions and the numbers of DHAs, FPCs and FHSAs within regions. 4. The figures for 1993-94 are provisional.
Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what protection there will be, under the more stringent tests of availability for work under the arrangements for the new jobseeker's allowance, for claimants who have been deemed capable of work for the purpose of incapacity benefit but whose handicaps may genuinely restrict their availability for work.
A decision in incapacity benefit that a person is capable of work will apply for all other benefits. In our proposals for the introduction of the jobseeker's allowance we recognise, as now, that some people with disabilities may have difficulties in making themselves available for the full range of employment opportunities. They will, therefore, be able to restrict their availability to the type or hours of work they are able to undertake within the limits of their physical or mental condition.
Letter from Michael Bichard to John Battle, dated 15 December 1994:
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about Cold Weather Payments. Social Fund Cold Weather Payments were introduced in April 1988. For the years 1988/89 and 1989/90 the information you have requested is in the Statistical Holdings section of the Library.
From 1990/91 to 1993/94 the information is not held in the format you requested. It is, however, available in the Library broken down by Benefit Office for 1990/91 to 1992/93 and by District Office for 1993/94.
Prior to the introduction of the Social Fund, payments for cold weather were made at local management discretion under Regulation 26 of the Single Payments Regulations. Information by area is not held and the table below shows the total number of payments nationally in this period and the cost.
|Total number ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1983-84 |NIL |- 1984-85 |170,000 |£1.7M 1985-86 |450,000 |£11.6M 1986-87 |2,000,000 |£10.2M 1987-88 |99,000 |£0.5M
I hope you find my reply helpful.
Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what savings he expects in a full year as a result of the proposed withdrawal of mortgage interest payments by his Department (a) in the first two months on income support and (b) at 50 per cent. for a further four months.
Column 836months will be the subject to wide consultation. The financial effect will depend on the outcome of this consultation and the final detail of the scheme.
Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his oral statement of 30 November, Official Report, columns 1205 8, what savings he expects over three years in respect of housing benefit; and what multiplier he used in calculating it.
Mr. Roger Evans: The savings to housing benefit from the restriction on benefit for rents above the average, the increase in non-dependent deductions and the restriction on HB claimants temporarily absent from home are estimated to amount to around £360 million, rounded to the nearest £10 million, over the three financial years from April 1995.
There is no one multiplier used to calculate the savings over three years. Estimation of the build up of savings is specific to each of the policies considered, and depends on a number of factors including estimates of forecast caseload and average rents.
Mr. Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the major changes in housing benefit since it was introduced identifying: (a) the numbers of gainers and losers and (b) the costs and savings of each measure.
|Cost |Saving Major change |Date of change |Gainers |Losers |£ million |£ million ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Responsibility for the housing costs of boarders/hostel dwellers transferred from Income Support to Housing Benefit |April-October 1989 |110,000 |- |489 |- Capital limit doubled to £16,000 |April 1990 |50,000 |- |62 |- Disengagement of students from Housing Benefit |September 1990 |- |- |- |28 Housing Benefit subsidy reduced by 2 per cent.<3> |April 1991 |- |- |- |46 Restrict access to Housing Benefit by persons from abroad and other persons<4> |April and August 1994|- |22,000 |- |40 Notes: Figures on gainers and losers are the estimated figures for the financial year in which each change occurred. Estimated costs/savings are at 1994-95 prices, except for the "disengagement of students" which is at 1990-91 (because the Department no longer collects data on students' incomes and rent levels). <1> Housing Benefit gainers/costs were offset by losers/savings in Income Support. <2> No figures on gainers/losers are available. The changes to Housing Benefit were made as part of an overall package of measures for full-time students and included the introduction of student loans and Access Funds. The overall increase in expenditure on students was over £100 million at the point of change. <3> No information is available on the number of persons affected by the change to local authority subsidy arrangements. <4> Three tests were introduced in 1994-the immigration status test in April 1994, and the habitual residence and Rights of Residence Directives tests in August 1994.
Mr. Roger Evans: There are no plans to do so. Recovery of overpaid housing benefit can be sought from a landlord where payment of such benefit has been made direct. In such circumstances, the local authority will still exercise judgement when deciding whether to pursue recovery in this way. Guidance issued to local authorities by this Department provides for authorities to make clear
Column 836to landlords when offering the opportunity of receiving housing benefit direct, that they may become liable for any overpayment which may occur.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the duration of the trips, undertaken by Ministers in his Department on which they were accompanied by their spouses and paid for at public expense, which was referred to in his answer of 26 October, Official Report , column 706 .
Dr. Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security which of the advisory non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department (i) hold open meetings, (ii) conduct public consultation exercises, (iii) conduct consultation exercises with outside commercial interests, (iv) publish a register of members' interests (v) publish agendas for meetings and (vi) publish the minutes of meetings; and whether this is in each case (a) under a statutory requirement or (b) voluntary.
(ii) The Social Security Advisory Committee and the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council.
The Disability Living Allowance Advisory Board also frequently consults with medical experts and outside organisations representing disabled people.
All consultations are on a voluntary basis.
(iii) The Social Security Advisory Committee. Again, consultations are on a voluntary basis.