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Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has to strengthen the scientific, technological and engineering qualifications and know how available to his advisory panel on applications for assistance under the SMART scheme.
Mr. Redwood: I am satisfied that its combined professional qualifications and experience, and the additional expertise that it is able to call upon when necessary, suitably equip the appraisal team for the task of judging the SMART competition.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the scientific and engineering qualifications of his advisory panel on applications for assistance under the SMART scheme; when he last assessed the quality of the science and engineering qualifications required to make appropriate assessment of such applications; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood: The members of the appraisal team together possess the following qualifications: BSc, PhD, DipSH, ONC(Eng), IEng, MIMechE, AMIEE. Each also has direct experience of having worked in industry.
In addition, the panel is able, as necessary, to consult specialist advisers within other Government Departments, the research establishments and the Patent Office, thus affording them access to expertise of worldwide repute.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he expects to announce the appointment of a chairman and the board for the (a) Dental Hospital trust, Cardiff and (b) Cardiff Community and Priority Services trust.
Mr. Redwood: Interviews for the post of chairman of both trusts will be held shortly, and I shall make an announcement as soon as possible thereafter. I hope to announce the names of non-executive directors by 31 March.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will place in the Library copies of the reports from (a) his Department, (b) S4C and (c) the Association for Business Sponsorship in the Arts in Wales into the funding of cultural organisations in Wales via matching grants.
Mr. Redwood: My Department has not prepared any reports into his matter. Any reports relating to S4C or the Association of Business Sponsorship in the Arts in Wales are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for National Heritage.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairman of the Welsh Development Agency concerning past expenditure on out-sourcing computer systems and relevant infrastructure expenditure on dedicated land lines which required but did not receive (a) board approval, (b) advertisement in the contracts supplement of the Official Journal of the European Union and (c) his Department's approval; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood: I have written to the chairman of the WDA expressing my concern about the breaches of the rules on the procurement of information systems. The chairman shares that concern and the agency has taken steps to ensure that such breaches do not recur. The chief executive of the agency has reported on these matters to the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and has taken disciplinary action. My Department is discussing with the agency what further action may be necessary.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer of 20 January, Official Report , column 717 , if he will give the equivalent out-turn figures for 1993 94 and the anticipated out-turn figures for 1994 95 for the management running costs of each of the non- departmental public bodies he sponsors.
NDPB Running Costs |Forecast out-turn Executive NDPB |Out-turn 1993-94 |1994-95 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Housing for Wales |2.9 |2.9 Sports Council for Wales |<1>not available |1.016 Arts Council of Wales |- |1.719 Further Education Funding Council |2.7 |2.8 Higher Education Funding Council |1.091 |1.4 Cardiff Bay Development Corporation |4.094 |4.0 Land Authority for Wales |1.882 |1.882 National Museum of Wales |9.895 |10.24 National Library of Wales |4.224 |4.339 Royal Commission for Ancient and Historic Monuments |1.18 |1.18 Welsh National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting |0.987 |0.957 Wales Youth Agency |0.38 |0.386 Welsh Language Board |- |0.872 ACAC |- |1.573 Wales Tourist Board |3.859 |4.14 Welsh Development Agency |15.09 |14.13 Development Board for Rural Wales |3.27 |3.253 Countryside Council for Wales |8.72 |9.2 <1> The definition of running costs for the Sports Council for Wales has been revised, effective from 1994-95.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the eligibility of (a) the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Cardiff and (b) the Cardiff area as a whole for designation under the Konver scheme.
Mr. Alton: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people have had their claims for invalidity benefit withdrawn in Liverpool each quarter during the last five years for the reason for being found fit for work within limits; what is the average weekly loss of income incurred by a claimant who has invalidity benefit withdrawn.
The average weekly amount of invalidity benefit in payment at 3 April 1993, the latest date for which information is available, was £79.34.
Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what the consequential effect will be to claimants of the proposed changes from invalidity benefit to incapacity benefit; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hague: Existing invalidity benefit recipients will be protected. Incapacity benefit will be paid at the same rates as the preceding invalidity benefit. The rates will continue to be uprated annually with the exception of the earning-related addition, which will be frozen at the rate in payment at the point of change.
Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the total annual amount paid to those people in receipt of invalidity benefit; and if he will break the figures down in percentage terms for payments to (a) single claimants, (b) additions for spouses or partners, (c) additions for children or dependants and (d) additional component element, and age additions.
Mr. Hague: The information is not available in the form requested. In 1993 94 the total amount paid to people in receipt of invalidity benefit was £6,967 million. Data are not collected on the breakdown of expenditure
Column 425between each of the components of invalidity benefit. Estimates of the breakdown are in the table:
Breakdown of invalidity benefit expenditure at 1993-94 prices |£ million|Per cent. --------------------------------------------------------- Personal benefit |4,610 |66 Adult dependency increase |780 |11 Child dependency increase |120 |1.7 Invalidity allowance (net) |210 |3 Additional Pension |1,200 |17 Graduated benefit |40 |0.6 Note:1. Estimates rounded to the nearest £10 million. Totals may not sum due to rounding. 2. The invalidity allowance figure is the net amount paid. Invalidity allowance is extinguished by additional pension and /or guaranteed minimum pension entitlement.
1995-96: £410 million
1996-97: £1,185 million
1997-98: £1,720 million
Note: Estimates rounded to nearest £5 million, expressed in cash terms.
Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what resources he has made available to the Social Security Benefit Agency and the Independent Tribunal Service to cope with appeals arising out of the change from invalidity benefit to incapacity benefit.
Mr. Hague: The total amount provided to the Benefits Agency to deal with incapacity benefits in the first year is £37 million. This includes resources to deal with appeals. The amount provided for the independent tribunal service for incapacity benefit appeals in the first year is £8.17 million.
Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many of the current invalidity benefit claimants will be exempt from the new test for incapacity benefit, by virtue of (a) age, (b) receipt of disability living allowance care allowance--higher rate--and (c) prescribed list of severe medical conditions.
Mr. Ingram: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much revenue has been collected by the Child Support Agency as fees in the first half of 1994 95; how much in the way of fees is outstanding; and how many actions have been taken by the CSA to enforce outstanding fees.
Letter from Ann Chant to Mr. Adam Ingram, dated 27 January 1995: I am replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security about the collection and enforcement of fees due to the Child Support Agency.
During the period April 1994 to September 1994 the Agency collected in excess of £1 million in fees. At the end of November 1994, the total for the year to date was £1.45 million and the amount of outstanding fees due to the Agency, including fees charged in 1993/94 was £11.6 million.
The Agency has sought or is seeking Court action for the recovery of outstanding fees in approximately 1,350 cases.
I hope that this is of help.
Mr. Arbuthnot: The most recent published, audited figure on the cost to the national insurance fund of incentive payments for those opting out of SERPS into appropriate personal pensions for the period 1988 to 1993 is £2.4 billion, up to the end of 1992 93.
The Government Actuary's report on the contributions uprating order for 1994 95 estimated to total additional cost for 1993 94 and 1994 95 as £0.7 billion.
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what evaluation he has made of the experience of the Australian Government in the detection and eradication of fraud by benefit claimants; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Arbuthnot: As part of the six nations social security interchange scheme, a senior official from the security, fraud and control division of the Australian Department of Social Security has been seconded to this Department since 1993. He has been assisting in the development of the security strategy, modelled on the equivalent Australian fraud control plan.
A small team from Australia is currently working with the Information Technology Services Agency and the Benefits Agency as part of the security strategy.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much his Department spent during 1994 on recruiting staff to his Department and its executive agencies; and how many staff were recruited.
Column 427invalidity or severe disablement allowance are (a) single, (b) in receipt of additional payments for their spouses or partners, (c) in receipt of an additional earnings-related element and (d) in receipt of additional payments in relation to age bands; and if he will make a statement.
The number of Invalidity Benefit and Severe Disablement Allowance recipients in Great Britain on the 3 April 1993 (latest date for which information available) Benefit |Number of |recipients --------------------------------------------------- Invalidity Benefit |1,580,000 Adult dependency increase |457,000 Additional pension |1,384,000 Invalidity allowance<1> |584,000 Severe Disablement Allowance |316,000 Adult dependency increase |4,000 Additional pension |1,000 Age related addition |310,000 Notes: <1>736,000 recipients entitlement to invalidity allowance is extinguished by their additional pension and/or guaranteed minimum pension. Source: Based on a one per cent sample of claimants within Great Britain, rounded to the nearest thousand.
Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much family credit expressed (a) in overall cash terms and (b) as a percentage of total expenditure on family credit, has been given to families with (i) one child, (ii) two children, (iii) three children, (iv) four children and (v) five or more children in each of the past five years.
Family credit expenditure £ million |1989-90 |1990-91 |1991-92 |1992-93 |1993-94 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Family with one child |129 |145 |178 |277 |335 Family with two children |141 |162 |212 |329 |390 Family with three children |88 |105 |131 |188 |219 Family with four children |41 |49 |61 |82 |92 Family with five or more children |27 |33 |44 |53 |55 All families |425 |494 |626 |929 |<1>1,091 <1> Estimated outturn.
Percentage |1989-90|1990-91|1991-92|1992-93|1993-94 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Family with one child |30 |29 |28 |30 |31 Family with two children |33 |33 |34 |35 |36 Family with three children |21 |21 |21 |20 |20 Family with four children |10 |10 |10 |9 |8 Family with five or more children |6 |7 |7 |6 |5 All families |100 |100 |100 |100 |100 Source: Five per cent. sample of Family Credit awards and the Departmental Report 1994.
Miss. Widdecombe: Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given. Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mr. Malcolm Bruce, dated 27 January 1995 :
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the location of every Jobcentre in Scotland by region, stating in each case if the Jobcentre runs Jobclubs.
Column 428In Scotland, Jobclubs are run both directly by the Employment Service (ES) and on behalf of the ES by external contractors. The following table shows the location of Jobcentres by Regional and Island Council Authorities and those which run Jobclubs.
I hope this is helpful.
Regional Authority |Jobcentre ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Strathclyde |<1>Irvine |<1>Kilbirnie |<1>Kilmarnock A and B |<1>Kilwinning |Largs |Saltcoats |<1>Ayr |<1>Cumnock |Girvan |Troon |<1>Bridgeton |Cambuslang |<1>Castlemilk |Central |<1>Langside |<1>Laurieston |<1>Rutherglen |<1>Shawlands |<1>South Side |<1>Easterhouse |<1>Shettleston |<1>Parkhead |<1>Cumbernauld |<1>Kirkintilloch |Kilsyth |<1>Springburn |<1>Govan A and B |Hillington |<1>Renfrew |<1>Alexandria |<1>Anniesland B |<1>Clydebank |<1>Drumchapel |<1>Dumbarton |Helensburgh |<1>Maryhill A and B |Oban |<1>Partick |Dunoon |<1>Greenock A and B |<1>Port Glasgow |Rothsey |Carluke |<1>Lanark |<1>Larkhall |<1>Motherwell A and B |Shotts |<1>Wishaw |<1>Airdrie |<1>Bellshill |Blantyre |<1>Coatbridge |<1>East Kilbride |<1>Hamilton |<1>Uddingston |<1>Barrhead |Campbeltown |<1>Johnstone |<1>Paisley |Paisley A and B Lothian |<1>Dalkeith |<1>Haddington |Loanhead |<1>Musselburgh |Penicuik |<1>Edinburgh A, B and C |<1>Leith |<1>Portobello | Andrew Street |<1>Wester Hailes |<1>Bathgate A and B |Broxburn |<1>Livingston Borders |Eyemouth |<1>Galashiels |<1>Hawick |Kelso |Peebles Dumfries and Galloway |Annan |Castle Douglas |<1>Dumfries |Lockerbie |Newton Stewart |Sanquhar |<1>Stranraer Fife |<1>Cowdenbeath |Cupar |<1>Dunfermline |<1>Glenrothes |Inverkeithing |<1>Kirkcaldy |<1>Leven |St. Andrews Central |<1>Alloa |Bo'ness |<1>Denny |<1>Falkirk |<1>Grangemouth |<1>Stirling Highland |<1>Fort William |<1>Portree |<1>Thurso |Wick |Dingwall |<1>Elgin |Forres |<1>Invergordon |<1>Inverness A and B |Nairn Grampian |<1>Aberdeen A, B, C and D |Banff |<1>Buckie |<1>Fraserburgh |<1>Peterhead Tayside |<1>Arbroath |Blairgowrie |<1>Dundee A, B, C and D |Forfar |Montrose |<1>Perth Western Isle Island Council |<1>Stornoway Shetland Islands Council |Lerwick <1> Denotes the Jobcentres which have linked Jobclubs.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how much his Department spent during 1994 on recruiting staff to his Department and its executive agencies; and how many staff were recruited.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what research has been carried out into the feasibility of safety screens for Employment Service staff dealing with the jobseeker's allowance; and if he will make a statement.
Column 431Service under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mr. Ian McCartney, dated 27 January 1995:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about what research has been carried out into the feasibility of safety screens for Employment Service (ES) staff who would administer the proposed Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA).
The ES is currently considering what safety measures will be appropriate as and when the proposed JSA is introduced.
A generic risk assessment has concluded that most JSA processes can be handled in an open plan environment. Local risk assessments will be carried out in all of our local offices.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. McCartney : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many assaults have been committed on staff in the Employment Service and Department of Employment in each year since 1979 (a) nationally, (b) by region and (c) by individual office; and if he will make a statement.
Miss Widdercombe: I am able to supply statistics for the period 1989 to September 1994. No earlier statistics are available. I am sorry that details at individual office level could be obtained only at disproportionate cost to the taxpayer.
Employment Service 1989-September 1994 reported assaults (all types) Region |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 |<1>1994 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yorkshire and Humberside |46 |79 |112 |81 |126 |104 North west |125 |144 |170 |199 |185 |168 London and south east |695 |608 |520 |455 |593 |440 Northern |51 |86 |60 |72 |52 |102 South west |72 |117 |83 |131 |149 |113 Wales |21 |30 |45 |57 |41 |47 Scotland |56 |73 |67 |83 |85 |52 East Midlands |93 |118 |79 |103 |99 |148 West Midlands |50 |135 |98 |208 |115 |114 Total |1,209 |1,390 |1,234 |1,389 |1,445 |1,288 This table includes statistics of all reported assaults. These include actual physical assaults, attempted physical assaults and verbal abuse. Of the 7,955 incidents reported during the period, 1,065 were actual assaults, 1,197 were attempted assaults and 5,693 were incidents of verbal abuse. Most of the actual assaults do not result in an injury and only a small proportion of injuries require any kind of medical treatment. <1> This is a nine month figure
Department of Employment Statistics: 1990-1994 |1990- |1991- |1992- |1993- Department |91 |92 |93 |94 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Health and SafetyExecutive |6 |1 |7 |13 ACAS |nil |nil |nil |1 Employment Department |nil |nil |nil |nil
All parts of the Department regard any assault as serious. Those parts of the group that experience assaults are keenly aware of the issues and take appropriate steps either to eliminate the risk or to reduce it, so far as is reasonably practicable. Such steps would include providing information on the risks, appropriate training and the issue of protective equipment such as attack alarms and mobile telephones.
Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if the Government will provide training, rehabilitation and assistance from the Employment Service to provide for those taken off invalidity benefit.
Miss Widdecombe: People whose claims to invalidity benefit are disallowed and who register with the Employment Service have immediate access to a full range of provision to help them return to work. This help includes referral to training programmes run by training and enterprise councils and local enterprise companies as well as the advice, assessment and guidance, and where necessary specialist services for people with disabilities, which are available directly from the ES. These arrangements will continue and be expanded following the introduction, from April 1995, of incapacity benefit.
Mrs. Maddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many employees for which his Department is responsible were women (a) in 1991, (b) in 1992, (c) in 1993 and (d) in 1994; and of these, how many were (i) at grade 7 level, (ii) at grade 3 level, (iii) at executive officer level, (iv) at administrative officer level and (v) at administrative assistant level.
Civilian women |1 April|1 April|1 April|1 April |1991 |1992 |1993 |1994 ------------------------------------------------------------- Non-Industrial women |33,639 |33,914 |32,301 |30,602 Industrial women |9,251 |8,933 |7,285 |7,118 Total women |42,890 |42,847 |39,586 |37,720
: |1 April|1 April|1 April|1 April |1991 |1992 |1993 |1994 ---------------------------------------------------------- Grade 3 |1 |2 |2 |2 Grade 7 |136 |148 |156 |157 Executive officer |4,252 |4,325 |4,185 |4,225 Admin officer |14,004 |14,160 |13,388 |13,532 Admin assistant |11,320 |11,156 |10,426 |10,007 <1> Non-Industrial staff only, including grade equivalents.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement regarding the payment arrangements for military, security and police equipment supplied by United Kingdom companies for
Column 433the Al-Yamamah contract with special reference to electronic batons.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out for each of the next steps agencies in his Department, whether they have acquired their own headquarters buildings and, if so, at what purchase cost or annual rental; how many support staff they have required which were not required when their operations were within his Department; how many of them published periodical journals and at what annual cost; how many have fleets of executive cars or single executive cars and at what annual cost; how many have specially designed logos and at what cost; how many have corporate clothing and at what cost; and what is the cost of specially designed and printed corporate stationery.
Letter from Mike Dymond to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 26 January 1995:
1. As part of his co-ordinated reply to your question concerning the operation and costs of Next Steps Agencies, Minister of State (DP) has asked me to provide you with the details for the Defence Accounts Agency.
2. The Agency was launched under the title of its predecessor organisation (Director General Defence Accounts) on 1 April 1991 and was restyled the Defence Accounts Agency on 1 July 1993.
3. We occupy the same buildings as we did before becoming an Agency. No new buildings have been acquired.
4. Staff numbers have been reduced steadily since the Agency's launch, from 2,184 on 1 April 1991 to an expected 1,808 on 31 March 1995. No additional staff have been required as a result of agency status.
5. We continue to publish a monthly staff newsletter (Snapshot) which was originally introduced by the Director General Defence Accounts in September 1989 as a means of improving communication within the organisation.
6. The Agency has no executive cars.
7. The badge which we use as our logo is an amended version of that granted by the College of Heralds to the Director General Defence Accounts in 1980. The amendment, to reflect the Agency's change of title in July 1993, was made at a cost of £500. 8. The Agency has no corporate clothing.
9. The Agency does have a small stock of its own letterheaded paper. The letterhead was designed in-house; the cost of printing was £2,016.
Letter from Paul Altobell to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 23 January 1995:
PO NO. 5744G Dated 20 January 1995
Minister of State (DP) has asked me to reply to your question about Next Steps Agencies and how this relates to my Agency. Taking the individual parts of your question in the order put to me:
DASA has not acquired its own headquarters building.
No additional support staff were employed since becoming an Agency. All work associated with our status was absorbed by