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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations he has received from charities for the homeless regarding his proposals for changes in income support for mortgage interest.

Mr. Roger Evans: We have received one representation from a charity for the homeless. We hope that all interested parties will take the opportunity to make representations to the Social Security Advisory Committee during its consultation on these proposals.

Invalidity Benefit

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people are currently on invalidity benefit in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) Wales, (c) each Welsh county and (d) each Welsh constituency; in each case, what percentage of the population this represents; what were the figures in (i) 1979, (ii) 1983 and (iii) 1987; and if he will make a statement.


Column 536

Mr. Hague: No information is available in respect of the Welsh counties and constituencies.

Information for Great Britain, and Wales is in the table. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible for Social Security statistics in Northern Ireland.


The number of Invalidity Benefit recipients in Great     

Britain and                                              

Wales at a particular time, and the percentage of the    

population                                               

they represent                                           

               |Number of    |Percentage of              

               |recipients   |population                 

---------------------------------------------------------

Great Britain:                                           

1979           |610,000      |1.7                        

1983           |737,000      |2.0                        

1987           |968,000      |2.6                        

1993           |1,580,000    |4.2                        

                                                         

Wales:                                                   

1979           |69,000       |3.8                        

1983           |87,000       |4.8                        

1987           |122,000      |6.6                        

1993           |172,000      |9.2                        

Notes:                                                   

1. The number of recipients figure is at June for 1979,  

and April for 1983, 1987 and 1993.                       

2. The Welsh 1979 figure may contain a small number of   

claimants not in receipt of benefit.                     

3. The estimated population figures used are mid-year,   

and are in respect of men aged 16 to 69 and women aged   

16 to 64.                                                

Sources:                                                 

1. Invalidity benefit information is based on a one per  

cent. sample of claimants, rounded to the nearest        

thousand.                                                

2. Estimated mid-year population figures supplied by     

population estimates unit, OPCS.                         

Retirement Pensions

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many women received (a) a full and (b) a partial retirement pension on the contribution record of their husbands in each of the last 30 years.

Mr. Arbuthnot: The available information is in the table.


Column 535


Number of women receiving full (a) or partial Retirement Pension on their husbands contribution record payable in Great Britain   

              Category B widows         Category B                                          Total                                 

              (b)                       married women (a)                                                                         

                                        Category B (L)            Category                                                        

                                                     A/B(L)(e)                                                                    

             |full rate   |reduced rate|full rate   |reduced rate|full rate   |reduced rate|full rate   |reduced rate             

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

31.12.64(c)  |1,269,900   |62,420      |1,098,320   |25,480      |-           |-           |2,368,220   |87,900                   

31.12.65(c)  |1,281,280   |64,180      |1,139,800   |27,360      |-           |-           |2,421,080   |91,540                   

31.12.66(c)  |1,288,820   |62,820      |1,180,120   |28,500      |-           |-           |2,468,940   |91,320                   

31.12.67(c)  |1,301,100   |60,560      |1,226,620   |31,660      |-           |-           |2,527,720   |92,220                   

31.12.68(c)  |1,316,800   |59,840      |1,272,780   |33,660      |-           |-           |2,589,580   |93,500                   

31.12.69(d)  |-           |-           |-           |-           |-           |-           |-           |-                        

31.12.70(d)  |-           |-           |-           |-           |-           |-           |-           |-                        

31.12.71(c)  |1,378,350   |55,370      |1,398,890   |53,900      |-           |-           |2,777,240   |109,270                  

30.11.72(c)  |1,423,145   |58,402      |1,434,781   |59,172      |-           |-           |2,857,926   |117,574                  

30.11.73     |1,475,288   |60,138      |1,471,773   |61,303      |-           |-           |2,947,061   |121,441                  

29.11.74     |1,510,945   |62,962      |1,518,145   |63,959      |-           |-           |3,029,090   |126,921                  

28.11.75     |1,582,473   |44,250      |1,556,967   |39,419      |-           |-           |3,139,440   |83,669                   

26.11.76     |1,639,875   |42,820      |1,611,094   |39,973      |-           |-           |3,250,969   |82,793                   

25.11.77     |1,716,099   |39,873      |1,652,205   |40,438      |-           |-           |3,368,304   |80,309                   

30.11.78     |2,020,940   |76,140      |1,685,220   |39,830      |-           |-           |3,706,160   |115,970                  

30.11.79     |2,045,650   |75,730      |1,707,440   |40,910      |7,920       |70          |3,761,010   |116,710                  

28.11.80     |2,055,980   |71,290      |1,716,800   |40,270      |30,040      |230         |3,802,820   |111,790                  

30.08.81     |2,073,950   |69,780      |1,715,520   |40,020      |45,080      |180         |3,834,550   |109,980                  

31.05.82     |2,073,740   |66,660      |1,703,970   |38,550      |72,980      |330         |3,850,690   |105,540                  

31.03.83     |2,068,690   |64,370      |1,671,020   |39,760      |102,560     |960         |3,842,270   |105,090                  

31.03.84     |2,024,830   |59,330      |1,623,660   |40,360      |139,610     |820         |3,788,100   |100,510                  

31.03.85     |2,033,850   |70,970      |1,602,710   |40,130      |182,690     |1,010       |3,819,250   |112,110                  

31.03.86     |2,013,410   |65,910      |1,554,690   |37,750      |264,360     |1,510       |3,832,460   |105,170                  

30.09.87     |1,981,230   |53,830      |1,490,620   |37,790      |366,450     |1,910       |3,838,300   |93,530                   

31.03.88     |1,962,880   |53,100      |1,463,630   |38,350      |394,110     |1,950       |3,820,620   |93,400                   

31.03.89     |1,933,910   |51,420      |1,417,850   |38,480      |445,040     |2,210       |3,796,800   |92,090                   

30.09.90     |1,876,810   |50,040      |1,375,150   |39,180      |522,530     |2,790       |3,774,490   |92,010                   

31.03.91     |1,859,670   |48,990      |1,349,990   |39,680      |543,530     |2,800       |3,753,190   |91,470                   

31.03.92     |1,823,070   |50,810      |1,320,390   |42,680      |586,870     |2,770       |3,730,330   |96,260                   

31.03.93     |1,783,330   |51,640      |1,284,950   |45,790      |625,560     |2,930       |3,693,840   |100,360                  

31.03.94     |1,736,610   |52,090      |1,243,940   |47,800      |661,200     |2,910       |3,641,750   |102,800                  

Notes:                                                                                                                            

(a) Full rate category BL and category A/B(L) pension is equal to approximately 60 per cent. of the full rate of category B       

pension.                                                                                                                          

(b) Excluding pensions paid at a reduced rate on the basis of age at widowhood and pensions based on a combination of the woman's 

own contributions and those of her late husband.                                                                                  

(c) Figures include a small number of pensions paid to persons overseas.                                                          

(d) Figures not available.                                                                                                        

(e) Category A/B(L) retirement pension based on a combination of the woman's own contributions and those of her husband was       

introduced with effect from 6 April 1979.                                                                                         

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people claimed the retirement pension who have incomes from work in the last year for which figures are available.

Mr. Arbuthnot: It is estimated that, on average, 630,000 people in the United Kingdom receiving state retirement pension also have income from earnings.

Source: 1992 family expenditure survey.

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Security (1) what assessment he has made of the causes for 9 per cent. of people over retirement age failing to qualify for a national insurance retirement pension; if he will break down the main failures in a claimant's contributory record, signifying the significant changes over time; and if he will divide these data according to whether the non-pensioner claimants are men or women;

(2) how many pensioners drew a reduced retirement pension because of an inadequate insurance record for each of the last 30 years; if he will divide these data by gender; if he will give the totals as a percentage of all those drawing a retirement pension; and if he will list the main causes of the inadequate contributions records.

Mr. Arbuthnot: The information is not available in the form requested. The available information is in the table.

As stated at footnote 5 to my answer of 7 February, Official Report, columns 202-204, the "People without RP" at column 6 of tables 1A and 1B includes people receiving invalidity benefit and widows' benefit in place of retirement pension. The information for 1993 is that there are 314,000 men aged 65 or over and 630,000 women aged 60 or over, who do not receive a retirement pension. Of these, around 229,000 men are in receipt of invalidity benefit or sickness benefit while around 101,000 women are receiving invalidity benefit, sickness benefit or widows benefit. In addition, married women aged over 60, with a husband aged less than 65, or who has not yet claimed retirement pension, would be entitled to a retirement pension only if they satisfied the contribution conditions in their own right. The main causes of inadequate contribution records are:

non-liability due to:

earnings, if any, being below the threshold for payment of contributions

periods spent outside UK


Column 538

full time education

exercise by a married women or a widow of the right to pay contributions at a reduced rate giving no pension entitlement In the case of the self- employed, a small earnings exception from payment of contributions.

Source :

Retirement pension biannual inquiry

Sickness benefit/invalidity benefit one per cent. sample. Population figures from OPCS.


Number of claimants receiving less than 100 per cent. standard   

rate contributory Retirement Pension in Great Britain in the     

last                                                             

30 years                                                         

              Men                                                

             |All Category                                       

             |A men       |Reduced rate|Per cent.                

-----------------------------------------------------------------

31.12.64(a)  |2,048,160   |63,420      |3.10                     

31.12.65(a)  |2,120,780   |68,120      |3.21                     

31.12.66(a)  |2,191,560   |71,900      |3.28                     

31.12.67(a)  |2,291,460   |79,780      |3.48                     

31.12.68(a)  |2,373,320   |84,780      |3.57                     

31.12.69(e)  |-           |-           |-                        

31.12.70(e)  |-           |-           |-                        

31.12.71(a)  |2,591,360   |121,620     |4.69                     

30.11.72(a)  |2,653,509   |126,277     |4.76                     

30.11.73     |2,719,684   |136,217     |5.01                     

29.11.74     |2,784,488   |147,528     |5.30                     

28.11.75     |2,796,047   |98,129      |3.51                     

26.11.76     |2,883,681   |102,198     |3.54                     

25.11.77     |2,932,847   |103,394     |3.53                     

30.11.78     |2,993,060   |103,660     |3.46                     

30.11.79     |3,049,140   |105,850     |3.47                     

28.11.80     |3,084,590   |105,800     |3.43                     

30.06,81     |3,099,920   |105,530     |3.40                     

31.05.82     |3,107,940   |103,650     |3.34                     

31.03.83     |3,096,620   |107,670     |3.48                     

31.03.84     |3,078,490   |107,480     |3.49                     

31.03.85     |3,107,140   |118,520     |3.81                     

31.03.86     |3,160,600   |122,310     |3.87                     

30.09.87     |3,219,820   |123,300     |3.83                     

31.03.88     |3,215,530   |124,590     |3.87                     

31.03.89     |3,224,120   |128,450     |3.98                     

30.09.90     |3,263,520   |136,220     |4.17                     

31.03.91     |3,260,930   |139,080     |4.27                     

31.03.92     |3,280,200   |148,730     |4.53                     

31.03.93     |3,293,560   |161,030     |4.89                     

31.03.94     |3,302,300   |172,310     |5.22                     


Number of claimants receiving less than 100 per cent. standard rate contributory Retirement Pension in Great Britain in the last 30 years                                                   

             Women                                                                                                                                                                          

                                                                              |All                                                                                                          

                       |All                  |All                             |Category  |Category             |All       |Category             |All       |Category                        

            |All       |reduced              |Category  |Category             |A/B(L)    |A/B(L)               |Category  |B                    |Category  |B(L)                            

            |women     |Categories|Per cent. |A women   |A reduced |Per cent. |(b)(c)    |reduced   |Per cent. |B(a)      |reduced   |Per cent. |B(L)(b)   |reduced   |Per cent.            

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

31.12.64(d) |4,110,160 |263,040   |6.40      |1,654,040 |175,140   |10.59     |-         |-         |-         |1,332,320 |62,420    |4.69      |1,123,800 |25,480    |2.27                 

31.12.65(d) |4,236,340 |275,380   |6.50      |1,723,720 |183,840   |10.67     |-         |-         |-         |1,345,460 |64,180    |4.77      |1,167,160 |27,360    |2.34                 

31.12.66(d) |4,348,420 |286,280   |6.58      |1,788,160 |194,960   |10.90     |-         |-         |-         |1,351,640 |62,820    |4.65      |1,208,620 |28,500    |2.36                 

31.12.67(d) |4,477,720 |301,420   |6.73      |1,857,780 |209,200   |11.26     |-         |-         |-         |1,361,660 |60,560    |4.45      |1,258,280 |31,660    |2.52                 

31.12.68(d) |4,600,120 |313,220   |6.81      |1,917,040 |219,720   |11.46     |-         |-         |-         |1,376,640 |59,840    |4.35      |1,306,440 |33,660    |2.58                 

31.12.69(e) |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-                    

31.12.70(e) |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-         |-                    

31.12.71(d) |4,907,490 |373,480   |7.61      |2,020,980 |264,210   |13.07     |-         |-         |-         |1,433,720 |55,370    |3.86      |1,452,790 |53,900    |3.71                 

30.11.72(d) |4,999,553 |384,259   |7.69      |2,024,053 |266,685   |13.18     |-         |-         |-         |1,481,547 |58,402    |3.99      |1,493,953 |59,172    |3.96                 

30.11.73    |5,092,180 |391,267   |7.68      |2,023,678 |269,826   |13.33     |-         |-         |-         |1,535,426 |60,138    |3.92      |1,533,076 |61,303    |4.00                 

29.11.74    |5,177,185 |404,000   |7.80      |2,021,174 |277,079   |13.71     |-         |-         |-         |1,573,907 |62,962    |4.00      |1,582,104 |63,959    |4.04                 

28.11.75    |5,181,664 |323,429   |6.24      |1,958,555 |239,580   |12.23     |-         |-         |-         |1,626,723 |44,250    |2.72      |1,596,386 |39,419    |2.47                 

26.11.76    |5,263,672 |328,126   |6.23      |1,929,910 |245,333   |12.71     |-         |-         |-         |1,682,695 |42,820    |2.54      |1,651,067 |39,973    |2.42                 

25.11.77    |5,327,166 |323,574   |6.07      |1,878,553 |243,265   |12.95     |-         |-         |-         |1,755,972 |39,873    |2.27      |1,692,641 |40,436    |2.39                 

30.11.78    |5,399,160 |330,020   |6.11      |1,577,030 |214,050   |13.57     |-         |-         |-         |2,097,080 |76,140    |3.63      |1,725,050 |39,830    |2.31                 

30.11.79    |5,474,400 |355,130   |6.49      |1,596,680 |238,490   |14.94     |7,990     |70        |0.88      |2,121,380 |75,730    |3.57      |1,748,350 |40,910    |2.34                 

28.11.80    |5,590,800 |407,370   |7.29      |1,676,190 |295,810   |17.65     |30,270    |230       |0.76      |2,127,270 |71,290    |3.35      |1,757,070 |40,270    |2.29                 

30.06.81    |5,674,060 |438,810   |7.73      |1,729,530 |329,010   |19.02     |45,260    |180       |0.40      |2,143,730 |69,780    |3.26      |1,755,540 |40,020    |2.28                 

31.05.82    |5,761,550 |490,690   |8.52      |1,805,320 |385,480   |21.35     |73,310    |330       |0.45      |2,140,400 |66,660    |3.11      |1,742,520 |38,550    |2.21                 

31.03.83    |5,830,760 |547,530   |9.39      |1,883,400 |443,400   |23.54     |103,520   |960       |0.93      |2,133,060 |64,370    |3.02      |1,710,780 |39,760    |2.32                 

31.03.84    |5,913,380 |626,280   |10.59     |1,987,760 |526,590   |26.49     |140,430   |820       |0.58      |2,121,170 |59,330    |2.80      |1,664,020 |40,360    |2.43                 

31.03.85    |5,966,010 |659,080   |11.05     |2,034,650 |547,980   |26.93     |183,700   |1,010     |0.55      |2,104,820 |70,970    |3.37      |1,642,840 |40,130    |2.44                 

31.03.86    |6,036,480 |687,300   |11.39     |2,098,850 |583,640   |27.81     |265,870   |1,510     |0.57      |2,079,320 |65,910    |3.17      |1,592,440 |37,750    |2.37                 

30.09.87    |6,074,680 |680,850   |11.21     |2,142,850 |589,230   |27.50     |368,360   |1,910     |0.52      |2,035,060 |53,830    |2.65      |1,528,410 |37,790    |2.47                 

31.03.88    |6,066,410 |682,570   |11.25     |2,152,390 |591,120   |27.46     |396,060   |1,950     |0.49      |2,015,980 |53,100    |2.63      |1,501,980 |38,350    |2.55                 

31.03.89    |6,062,620 |681,660   |11.24     |2,173,730 |591,780   |27.22     |447,250   |2,210     |0.49      |1,985,330 |51,420    |2.59      |1,456,310 |38,460    |2.64                 

30.09.90    |6,107,570 |709,320   |11.61     |2,241,070 |620,100   |27.67     |525,320   |2,790     |0.53      |1,926,850 |50,040    |2.60      |1,414,330 |39,180    |2.77                 

31.03.91    |6,096,910 |716,090   |11.75     |2,252,250 |627,420   |27.86     |546,330   |2,800     |0.51      |1,908,660 |48,990    |2.57      |1,389,670 |39,680    |2.86                 

31.03.92    |6,122,330 |740,270   |12.09     |2,295,740 |646,780   |28.17     |589,640   |2,770     |0.47      |1,873,880 |50,810    |2.71      |1,363,070 |42,680    |3.13                 

31.03.93    |6,130,820 |764,210   |12.47     |2,336,620 |666,780   |28.54     |628,490   |2,930     |0.47      |1,834,970 |51,640    |2.81      |1,330,740 |45,790    |3.44                 

31.03.94    |6,114,590 |782,760   |12.80     |2,370,040 |682,870   |28.81     |664,110   |2,910     |0.44      |1,788,700 |52,090    |2.91      |1,291,740 |47,800    |3.70                 

Notes:                                                                                                                                                                                      

(a) Paid to widows on the basis of the late husbands' contributions-excludes pensions paid at a reduced rate on the basis of age at widowhood.                                              

(b) Full rate Category B(L) and A/B(L) paid to married women is equal to approximately 60 per cent. of the full Category B pension.                                                         

(c) Category A/B(L) is based on a combination of the woman's own contributions and those of her husband was introduced with effect from 6 April 1979.                                       

(d) Figures include a small number of pensions paid to persons overseas.                                                                                                                    

(e) Figures not available.                                                                                                                                                                  

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what recent assessment he has made of the age profile of those pensioners eligible for, but not claiming, income support or housing benefit.

Mr. Arbuthnot: Reliable information on the age profile of pensioners eligible for, but not claiming, income support or housing benefit is not available.

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give a breakdown of the 1993 data showing the age profile of retirement pensioners drawing (a) income support, (b) income support and housing benefit and (c) housing benefit only.

Mr. Arbuthnot: The available information is in the table.


                            |Retirement                               

                            |Pension cases                            

              |Retirement   |with Income  |Housing                    

              |Pension cases|Support and  |Benefit and                

              |with Income  |Housing      |Retirement                 

              |Support<1>   |Benefit<2>   |Pension<3>                 

----------------------------------------------------------------------

All cases     |1,386        |712          |952                        

60-64         |62           |39           |46                         

65-69         |154          |95           |189                        

70-74         |216          |124          |294                        

75-79         |283          |161          |218                        

80 and over   |671          |293          |206                        

Notes:                                                                

1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand.                 

<1> Includes all income support claimants in receipt of a state       

retirement pension, whether or not receiving housing benefit.         

<2> Represents only those recipients in column 1 also in receipt of   

housing benefit.                                                      

<3> Includes all housing benefit claimants in receipt of a state      

retirement pension but not in receipt of income support.              

Sources:                                                              

Income support annual statistical inquiry-May 1993, 5 per cent.       

sample; housing benefit management information system, 1 per cent.    

sample.                                                               

Reduced Earnings Allowance

Mr. Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many reduced earnings allowance claims are outstanding for the benefits offices of Phoenix house, Dunn house, Houghton-le-Spring and South Shields.

Mr. Hague: Information is not available and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

Compensation Recovery Unit

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security for what reasons the £2,500 threshold limit for the compensation recovery unit has not been adjusted to take account of inflation; and what plans he has to increase the threshold.


Column 541

Mr. Roger Evans: Frequent adjustments to the limit could create a disproportionate administrative burden and raise costs. Consequently, we have no immediate plans to increase it.

Statutory Sick Pay

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the number of successful


Column 542

claims for statutory sick pay for each year since the scheme's inception; and if he will classify the data according to the rate of benefit paid.

Mr. Hague: The information is not available in the form requested. For the available information, I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to him on 7 February, Official Report , columns 203 - 10 . Further information is in the table.


Column 541


Estimated proportion of GB labour force eligible for standard rate SSP                          

compared with proportion eligible for higher rate SSP 1987-88 to 1993-94                        

                                |1987-88|1988-89|1989-90|1990-91|1991-92|1992-93|1993-94        

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Average weekly earnings cut                                                                     

  off lower rate: standard rate |£76.50 |£79.50 |£84    |£125   |£185   |£190   |£195           

Proportion eligible for lower                                                                   

  rate                          |0.1    |0.1    |0.1    |0.2    |0.4    |0.4    |0.3            

Proportion eligible for higher                                                                  

  rate                          |0.9    |0.9    |0.9    |0.8    |0.6    |0.6    |0.7            

Notes:                                                                                          

1. Information is not available for years prior to 1987.                                        

2. Proportions have been rounded.                                                               

3. Proportions apply to GB employees as a whole eligible for SSP on earnings grounds only, not  

to SSP recipients.                                                                              

4. To apply the proportions to actual SSP recipients would require the assumption of a constant 

distribution of sickness across earnings bands.                                                 

5. 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.                               

Source:                                                                                         

Government Actuary's Department estimates.                                                      

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to continue collecting data on the number of claims for statutory sick pay.

Mr. Hague: We have recently received a report of a joint DSS-- employers' working group, which has considered changes and improvements to the administration of the statutory sick pay scheme, including the amount of mandatory records which employers are required to keep for SSP purposes. We are currently considering the group's report, but no changes will be made without consultation with both sides of industry.

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people annually gain national insurance credits; and what estimate he has made of the cost of these credits if taxpayers contributed the sums which such individuals would have paid into the national insurance scheme from their own employer's contributions if they were on (a) two thirds and (b) average earnings.

Mr. Arbuthnot: In 1992 93, the most recent year for which information is available, some 4.5 million people were awarded an average of 47 national insurance contribution credits. If these individuals were receiving earnings and paid employees' national insurance contributions at current rates, those on two thirds of average earnings would have paid £932.48 and those on average earnings would have paid £1,505.88 in contributions.

Notes:

(a) Calculations based on weekly male average earnings of £366--new earnings survey April 1994.

(b) Calculations assume that contributions were paid at the not contracted out rate of 2 per cent. + 10 per cent.


Column 542

National Insurance

Mr. Home Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many exemptions from class 2 national insurance contributions from self-employed people have been granted on grounds of low earnings in each of the last five years.

Mr. Arbuthnot: The administration of national insurance is a matter for Mr. George Bertram, the acting chief executive of the Contributions Agency. He will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from George Bertram to Mr. John Home Robertson, dated 13 February 1995:

As Acting Chief Executive of the Contributions Agency, I have responsibility for answering questions about operational matters relating to the National Insurance scheme. I have been asked to reply to your question asking how many exemptions from Class 2 National Insurance contributions from self-employed people have been granted on grounds of low earnings in each of the last five years.

Small Earnings Exceptions have been granted as follows: 1989 90: 93,300

1990 91: 80,400

1991 92: 82,900

1992 93: 99,800

1993 94: 73,100

A sample statistical interrogation of the National Insurance Recording System was used to extrapolate these figures.

Advertising

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the total expenditure on all forms of advertising by his Department and its agencies for each year since 1979 in 1994 prices.

Mr. Hague: The Department of Social Security did not exist independently prior to August 1988.


Column 543


Advertising costs in 1994     

prices on behalf of the       

Department and                

including its agencies for    

each of the following years   

is as follows:                

Year      |£                  

------------------------------

1989-90   |8,532,000          

1990-91   |5,298,000          

1991-92   |6,333,000          

1992-93   |4,748,000          

1993-94   |4,824,000          

Unemployment Benefit

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many of the unemployed have failed to qualify for the unemployment benefit due to them exhausting their right to 12 months' benefit in each of the last three years for which figures are available.

Mr. Roger Evans: The information is not available.

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assessment he has made of trends in the proportion of the unemployed who failed to qualify for national insurance unemployment benefit; if he will list the main reasons for the failure for claimants to have a full contributory record; what significant changes over time he has identified in the causes for failure to gain full contribution records; and if he will divide these data into information about men and women claimants.

Mr. Roger Evans: Statistics covering the reasons why men and women fail to qualify for unemployment benefit due to a lack of national insurance contributions are not kept. The main reasons for an insufficient contribution record in the relevant tax years include: non-payment of class 1 contributions due to long-term unemployment and/or sickness; self- employment; and periods spent outside the labour market.

Family Credit

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 27 January, Official Report, column 428, if he will list by benefit office areas and by region how much family credit, expressed in both cash terms and as a percentage of total expenditure on family credit, has been given to families with (a) one child, (b) two children, (c) three children, (d) four children and (e) five or more children, breaking the information down into occupational groupings.

Mr. Roger Evans [holding answer 6 February 1995]: The precise information is not available. Information on a pro rata basis for each of the five years given in my answer of 27 January to the hon. Member for Peckham (Ms Harman), Official Report, column 428, has been placed in the Library. Information by benefit office and for larger families is not reliable at this level of disaggregation. The tables, therefore, show spending by region and combine spending on families with three or more children.

DEFENCE

Defence Sales

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contributions his Department made to the Export Credits Guarantee Department in respect of credit arrangements for defence sales in each year since 1981.


Column 544

Mr. Freeman: Since 1986 87, the Ministry of Defence has made contributions to the Export Credits Guarantee Department to provide interest rate support for the Jordan defence package. These contributions, which have been reported in the Defence appropriation accounts each year, are as follows.


Year        |Expenditure            

            |£000                   

------------------------------------

1986-87     |894                    

1987-88     |972                    

1988-89     |1,118                  

1989-90     |993                    

1990-91     |1,058                  

1991-92     |1,356                  

1992-93     |1,054                  

1993-94     |852                    

International Military Services Ltd.

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what legal powers he used to set up the International Military Services Ltd. export finance house; when the finance house was set up; and what external legal advice from which source he received before it was being set up.

Mr. Freeman: International Military Services Ltd. set up its export finance house, with MOD agreement, in 1985. This business initiative was judged to fall within the financial guidelines laid down for the company by the Ministry. No external legal advice on the scheme was considered necessary.

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the total liabilities and assets of International Military Services Ltd. at the time it ceased trading activity; and what they are now.

Mr. Freeman: I refer the hon. Member to the company's annual reports and accounts filed at Companies House.

Royal Marines

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has (a) to purchase and (b) to review the purchase of additional armoured vehicles for the Royal Marines; and at what date an order is likely to be placed.

Mr. Freeman: Options for procuring armoured vehicles for the Royal Marines in the United Kingdom landing force are currently under review.

Low Flying

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 10 January, Official Report, column 105, who authorised the passes made over Her Majesty's prison, Stocken.

Mr. Soames: The passes made over the prison on 27 September 1994 were made at the request of Her Majesty's Prison Service, and were authorised by the Officer Commanding RAF Cottesmore.

Falkland Islands

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the cost of maintaining British armed forces on the Falkland Islands in each of the last 10 years.


Column 545

Mr. Soames: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Gordon (Mr. Bruce) on 6 February, Official Report , columns 37 39 .

Regimental Silver

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what has been the cost of purchasing and restoring regimental silver in each of the last five years.

Mr. Soames: Army regimental silver is maintained by the relevant regiment or corps using money from mess funds or other non-public funds. In the case of the Navy, it is referred to as "naval silver" and the cost of maintenance is borne by a registered charity through donations, and hire charges levied on ships and establishments for the loan of items. In common with the Army, Royal Air Force silver is purchased and restored using mess funds and other non-public funds. In the light of this, I can confirm that there is no cost to the public purse for the purchase or restoration of regimental silver, naval silver or silver belonging to the Royal Air Force.

Eurofighter 2000

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 1 February, Official Report , column 744 , if he will list the production costs of the Eurofighter 2000 for each of the last five years.

Mr. Freeman: No production costs have been incurred.

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 1 February, Official Report , column 744 , whether his Department has agreed fixed price contracts for the Eurofighter 2000 project.

Mr. Freeman: The existing main development contracts for Eurofighter 2000 are not generally on a fixed price basis. As part of the reorientation of the project agreed by the Defence Ministers of the partner nations in December 1992, revised fixed price contracts are being negotiated with industry; these contracts are due to be placed shortly. It is the intention of the partner nations to agree with industry fixed or firm price contracts for the production investment and production phases of the project.

Expenditure (Germany)

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of his Department's current defence expenditure arises from the United Kingdom's military presence and responsibilities in Germany.

Mr. Soames: The planned costs for 1994 95 of the two primary budgets in Germany, United Kingdom Support Command (Germany) and RAFSTC 2 Group Germany, are identified in table 1.3 of "UK Defence Statistics" 1994 edition as £1,233,800,000 and £262,100,000 respectively, representing 6.57 per cent. of the Defence budget.

Vehicle Blinde Modulaire Programme

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how much the British contribution to the Franco-German vehicule blinde modulaire programme is expected to be (a) as a percentage of the total projected programme cost and (b) in financial terms; (2) what is his Department's policy towards the Franco-German vehicule blinde modulaire programme; and if he will make a statement.


Column 546

Mr. Freeman: The Government are considering whether the Franco- German vehicule blinde modulaire/ gepanzerte

transport-kraftfahrzeuge programme offers the basis for trilateral collaboration in meeting our future requirement for armoured utility vehicles. No decisions have been made.

European Communications Satellite

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's policy towards the new generation European communications satellite; and how much the British contribution will be (a) as a percentage of the total projected programme cost and (b) in financial terms.

Mr. Freeman: Feasibility studies are currently under way to examine how the United Kingdom's military satellite communications requirement, after 2000, could be met. Various collaborative options are being examined as part of these studies. No decision on the way forward is expected to be made before 1996.

Phoenix Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's policy concerning the Phoenix UAV; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman: The Phoenix project is currently under review.

French-British Co-operation

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many procurement programmes are currently being developed through co-operation between his Department and the French Government; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman: I refer the hon. Member to the "Statement of Defence Estimates (SDE) 1994", table 8, which lists collaborative projects involving the United Kingdom.

Increases in the cost of developing and producing modern high technology equipment, coupled with budgetary constraints make armaments co-operation with other nations a vital component in meeting our future defence needs. We shall therefore pursue co-operation where this makes military and economic sense and we would expect France to be an important partner.

Farnborough Airfield

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 11 January, Official Report, column 160, what financial commitment his Department will make for Farnborough airfield after it becomes surplus to requirements; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman: My Department will make available sufficient funds to meet its commitments at Farnborough airfield between now and the end of the century.

WE177 Bomb

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's policy concerning the WE177 bomb; and in what year they will be withdrawn from service.


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