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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 16 February 1995

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Public Appointments

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many public appointments have been made by his Department in the last year; and how many of those appointed were identified by the Public Appointments Unit.

Mr. Goodlad: Nine public appointments were made in the last year by the diplomatic wing of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, of which one was identified by the Public Appointments Unit. Four public appointments were made in the last year by the Overseas Development Administration wing of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, of which one was identified by the Public Appointments Unit.

Corfu

Mr. Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many complaints by British holiday makers have been received by the British consul in Corfu regarding (a) unprovoked attacks and (b) attacks involving theft.

Mr. Baldry: Our records do not show whether attacks were provoked or not. In 1994, our consulate in Corfu were notified of five robberies with assault, and 16 assaults, including five rapes.

Lebanon

Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what advice is currently being given to British citizens wishing to visit Lebanon.

Mr. Baldry: Foreign Office travel advice to British nationals wishing to visit Lebanon is not to travel outside the main towns. We also advise against travel to the southern suburbs of Beirut, south Lebanon and the north and west of the Bekaa valley, particularly the area around Baalbeck and Hermel.

We strongly advise our nationals to register with the embassy.

Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress of the Lebanese track of the middle east peace negotiations.

Mr. Douglas Hogg: Progress on the Lebanese track of the middle east peace process is vital if there is to be a comprehensive settlement. We continue to call for the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 425.


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Middle East Peace Process

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what suggestions for a comprehensive peace in the middle east were put forward by the EU troika in its recent mission to Syria; and what was the response of the Syrians.

Mr. Douglas Hogg: The EU troika reaffirmed the EU's support for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace based on UN Security Council resolutions and the principle of land for peace. They urged both Syria and Israel to reach a negotiated settlement as soon as possible. The EU's support for the peace process was welcomed by Syria.

Syria

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union agreed to remove the arms embargo on Syria; what considerations led to the decision; and how he informed the House of the decision.

Mr. Douglas Hogg: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my noble Friend Baroness Chalker of Wallasey, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in another place, on 7 December 1994 Official Report, House of Lords , column 85 . The arms embargo was lifted as the original grounds for imposing the restrictions no longer existed and to provide a signal of encouragement to Syria with regard to progress in the middle east peace process.

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the removal of the arms embargo on Syria required parliamentary consent.

Mr. Douglas Hogg: No.

Sierra Leone

Ms Harriet Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his policy in respect of British citizens in Sierra Leone.

Mr. Baldry: Since 26 January, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been advising dependents and those with no pressing need to stay in Sierra Leone, to leave. Many have already done so, but we estimate that 200 British nationals with the right of abode in the United Kingdom remain in Sierra Leone.

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the situation in Sierra Leone.

Mr. Baldry: I refer the hon. Lady to my written answer of 30 January, columns 493-94 to the hon. Member for Clydebank and Milngavie (Mr. Worthington).

The security situation in Sierra Leone continues to give cause for concern. Seventeen abducted foreign nationals, including six Britons, remain in captivity: we are working to secure their release. Large numbers of Sierra Leoneans have been displaced by the conflict, with damaging consequences for the economic and social structure of the country. We have given some £500,000 in emergency aid this financial year to help Sierra Leonean victims of this war, and stand ready to provide further such help. Special representatives of the UN and Commonwealth Secretaries-General have now arrived in Sierra Leone, and we continue to give our strong support to efforts to bring about a settlement to the conflict.


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Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people have been killed in Sierra Leone since disturbances started in 1991.

Mr. Baldry: There are no official figures, but unofficial estimates vary between 15,000 and 20,000 deaths.

Sudan

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on the kidnapping of aid workers in southern Sudan.

Mr. Douglas Hogg: Twelve aid workers, including one British national, were kidnapped on 8 February by a rebel group in southern Sudan. By 11 February, all the aid workers had been released unharmed.

Angola

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what practical arrangements have been made to transport UNAVEM III troops to Angola.

Mr. Douglas Hogg: The UN is discussing the practical arrangements for the deployment of UN peacekeeping troops in UNAVEM III with potential troop-contributing countries.

Mrs. Christina Nevan Gando

Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the current position concerning the application by Mrs. Christina Nevan Gando--Ref: R250794--made to the United Kingdom post in Abuja to join her husband in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Baldry: I have asked the entry clearance officer in Abuja to let me have a report on the application by Mrs. Christina Nevan Gando. I shall arrange for the hon. Member to receive a substantive reply from the migration and visa correspondence unit of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as soon as possible.

Mrs. Ushaben Sunil Bhai Patel

Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when a decision is going to be made on the application made by Mrs. Ushaben Sunil Bhai Patel--Ref: AP/94/10/38--to the post in Bombay to join her husband in the United Kingdom; when her application was made; when was she interviewed at the post; if she has been notified of the outcome of her interview; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Baldry: I have asked the entry clearance officer in Bombay to let me have a report on the application of Mrs. Ushaben Sunil Bhai Patel. I shall arrange for the hon. Member to receive a substantive reply from the migration and visa correspondence unit of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as soon as possible.


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LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT

Benzodiazepine Litigation

Mr. Etherington: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will give (a) the total cost to date to the legal aid fund of the Benzodiazepine litigation, (b) the total number of legal aid certificates issued for Benzodiazepine litigation, (c) the average cost per certificate where no proceedings were issued, (d) the average cost per certificate where proceedings had commenced and (e) total generic costs associated with the Benzodiazepine litigation.

Mr. John M. Taylor: The estimated cost to date to the legal aid fund of the Benzodiazepine litigation is £28.6 million. Some 13,500 certificates were issued in total. Of these, approximately 5,000 claims resulted in the issue of proceedings. The average cost per certificate where no proceedings were issued is estimated to be £1, 590. The average cost per certificate where proceedings have been commenced is difficult to estimate because taxations are currently proceeding in these cases and a substantial number of cases have yet to be taxed. Some 3,200 cases have so far been taxed at an average cost of £3,500. This figure is expected to rise as the 1,800 outstanding cases are likely to contain a higher proportion of more expensive cases. The total generic costs paid out to date are £3.9 million.

The costs are now being taxed and, as with all other legal aid bills, the amount to be paid out of the legal aid fund will be that which the court determines to be reasonable. All the above figures include solicitors' costs, counsel fees, disbursements, court fees and VAT.

Judges (Training)

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans the Judicial Studies Board has to introduce additional training for judges on managing rape cases.

Mr. John M. Taylor: The Judicial Studies Board determines what training is appropriate for judges. The courses which it provides cover rape cases. I understand that the board has no plans to introduce additional training.

Legal Aid

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has to order re-examination of all cases where legal aid costs have exceeded £1 million to establish the justification for approving the legal aid to recover the sums involved in cases where resource statements are found to be false.

Mr. John M. Taylor: The grant and discharge or revocation of civil legal aid certificates is the responsibility of the Legal Aid Board. The grant and revocation or withdrawal of criminal legal aid is the responsibility of the court dealing with the case. Legal aid regulations say what may be done if the assisted person's circumstances change or new information about his or her circumstances comes to light.

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what assessment he has made of the amount of public funds available (a) to conduct prosecutions and (b) to conduct defences by barristers.


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Mr. John M. Taylor: The amount of public funds available to conduct prosecutions is a matter for the various prosecuting agencies. It is estimated that the net cost of criminal legal aid paid to barristers in the current financial year to conduct defences is £158 million.

Revenue (Fines)

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how much revenue was collected by way of fines imposed by magistrates courts and the Crown court in England and Wales in each year since 1989; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John M. Taylor: Figures relating solely to fine revenue are not available. The revenue collected by way of fines, fees, confiscation orders, compensation orders and fixed penalties imposed by magistrates courts and the Crown court in England and Wales in each year since 1989 was:


Year      |£ million          

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

1989-90   |241                

1990-91   |269                

1991-92   |241                

1992-93   |232                

1993-94   |233                

Justices of the Peace

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Walthamstow of 6 February, Official Report, column 10, if he will make it his policy to instruct area advisory committees on justices of the peace to record the ethnic origin of all those applying to become a JP.

Mr. John M. Taylor: The Lord Chancellor is reviewing his policy. He has already made it clear that he wishes to see more ethnic minority candidates recommended for appointment. Suitability for appointment remains the overriding consideration.

SOCIAL SECURITY

National Insurance

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when the upper limit on employer's national insurance contributions was abolished; if he will state the additional revenue gained each year since; and if he will make a statement on the outcome of research the Government commissioned on the impact of this change on the employment patterns of higher and lower-paid earners.

Mr. Arbuthnot: An estimate of the amounts raised each year following the abolition of the upper limit on employer's national insurance contributions is in the table.


Year         |£ billion<2>             

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

1985-1986<1> |0.50                     

1986-1987    |1.50                     

1987-1988    |1.75                     

1988-1989    |2.25                     

1989-1990    |2.75                     

1990-1991    |3.00                     

1991-1992    |3.00                     

1992-1993    |3.00                     

1993-1994    |3.00                     

1994-1995    |3.25                     

<1> Upper Earnings Limit abolished on  

6 October 1985.                        

<2> Figures are founded to nearest £  

billion.                               

Abolition of the upper earnings limit for employer's national insurance contributions made it possible for the rates of employees' and employers' national insurance contributions to be reduced, especially at lower levels of pay. This was aimed at improving job prospects for the low paid, particularly among the young and unskilled, by reducing individuals' national insurance payments and reducing the business costs of prospective employers.

Research commissioned by this Department shows that a fifth of employers consider national insurance contributions when setting wage levels and that some employers take contribution rates into account when fixing staffing levels. This supports the view that reducing employers' wage costs in respect of lower-paid workers helps to promote their employment prospects.

Occupational Deafness

Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the total amount spent on disablement benefit for occupational deafness in 1993.

Mr. Hague: Information is not available in the precise format requested. Estimates based on a 10 per cent. sample suggest that in 1992 93, the latest available year, occupational deafness accounted for around £25 million of disablement benefit expenditure. Notes:

(i) This figure has been rounded to the nearest £5 million, but is not accurate to that degree.

(ii) This figure includes cases with aggregate assessments, where occupational deafness was the first, or highest assessment. (iii) This figure does not include any expenditure on reduced earnings allowance/retirement allowance or any of the additional allowances such as constant attendance allowance or exceptionally severe disablement allowance.

Invalidity Benefit

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when his appeal to the European Court over the social security commissioner's April 1992 decision about the rate of invalidity benefit payable to women over the age of 60 years is expected to be finally resolved.

Mr. Hague: The appeal against the social security commissioner's decision--CS 27/91--was made to the Court of Appeal jointly by the Secretary of State and the chief adjudication officer. At a hearing on 18 January 1994, the Court of Appeal decided to refer the case to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling on questions of European law. A date for the European Court hearing has been set for 6 April 1995, but the court's ruling is not expected before July 1995. The case will be referred back for a decision by the Court of Appeal following this ruling.

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will ensure that the invalidity benefit claimants affected will receive the real value of


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back payments of invalidity benefits made to them should the European Court uphold the social security commissioner's decision in respect of the payment of the benefit to women over 60 years.

Mr. Hague: Increased awards of invalidity benefit made as a result of the social security commissioner's decision--CS27/91--are being suspended pending the outcome of the appeal by the Secretary of State and the chief adjudication officer, except in cases of hardship. Any benefit which has been suspended will be paid in full if the commissioner's decision is upheld. There is no provision for the payment of interest in these circumstances.

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many claimants for invalidity benefit have been granted a suspension of his decision in respect of women over 60 years on grounds of hardship, while his appeal to the European Court over the social security commissioner's April 1992 decision is being resolved.

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


Suspensions of increased Invalidity Benefit awarded as a result of                  

Commissioner's decision CS27/91                                                     

                                          |Cases in which                           

Cases in which       |Hardship            |suspension lifted on                     

suspension applied   |applications        |hardship grounds                         

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

41,560               |1,604               |994                                      

Notes:                                                                              

1. Figures relate to 31 March 1994, the latest date for which information is        

available centrally.                                                                

2. Source: Manual count in Benefits Agency offices.                                 

Disabled People

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to publicise the independent living fund for disabled people.

Mr. Hague: The provision of information to potential clients of the independent living (1993) fund is a matter solely for the trustees. I understand from the fund's director that the trustees have a carefully focused programme to ensure that potential clients of the fund, and local authority social services departments which must support applications to the fund, are aware of the eligibility criteria and application procedures.

Social Fund

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assessment he made of the regional variations in the cost of a (a) new grave and (b) funeral in making his decision about funeral payments under the social fund.

Mr. Roger Evans: We took account of a range of factors, including regional variations in costs, before making our proposals. These are now with the social security advisory committee. We expect to receive its report shortly.

Mr. David Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he will make a further allocation of funds to the discretionary social fund budget.

Mr. Roger Evans: I am pleased to announce that due to further improvements in the recovery of social fund loans we have been able to make another additional


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allocation in the current financial year. A total of £2 million in equal amounts of £100,000 is to be made available to the Benefits Agency's area directorates on 16 February 1995. This is on top of the £13 million in additional allocations we were able to make in November 1994.

The whole of the additional allocation will be devoted to social fund loans. We believe that social fund loans offer excellent value for money. They enable us to target available resources on those in most need and to recycle funds to help more applicants.

Since the scheme started, we have been able to make nearly £1.3 billion worth of loans for an outlay of only £286 million. This expansion of the social fund loans budget will ensure that more people receive help and that the fund continues to play a valuable role in complementing mainstream social security provision. Details of individual district allocations have been placed in the Library.

Mortgages (Insurance Cover)

Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations he has received about insurance cover on home mortgages from the insurance ombudsman; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Roger Evans: None, but we will be seeking the views of the insurance ombudsman as part of the consultation process.

Personal Assistants

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what discussions he has had with his colleagues on the employment status of personal assistants, with special reference to personal assistants employed by (a) local authorities and (b) other bodies.

Mr. Arbuthnot: We have had no discussions on this subject.

Jobseeker's Allowance

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make it his policy that people who leave their job because of discrimination or exploitation at work should not be obliged to live on reduced income support or no benefit at all while their case is being investigated.

Mr. Roger Evans: The Government have considered this issue in the context of the introduction of the new jobseeker's allowance. Where a doubt arises as to whether a claimant has left his job without just cause, but the claimant satisfies the conditions of entitlement for jobseeker's allowance, the Government propose to pay benefit in full until a decision is reached on the case by an independent adjudication officer. This change will be introduced from April 1996.

Unemployment Benefit

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make it his policy that suspension from unemployment benefit will not prejudice applications for hardship payments, and that each application will be decided on its merits alone.

Mr. Roger Evans: Unemployment benefit is suspended where a question arises over the claimant's


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entitlement. In such cases, hardship payments of income support are made at the discretion of an adjudication officer on a case-by-case basis. However, hardship payments may be made only to people who are not actively seeking work if they have children, are pregnant or have a pregnant partner, or a sick or disabled or have a partner who is sick or disabled.

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many unemployed claimants (a) immediately draw income support, (b) draw only unemployment benefit, (c) draw unemployment benefit and means-tested support and (d) draw income support as the right to draw unemployment benefit ceases in the last year for which figures are available.

Mr. Roger Evans: The available information is contained in tables 1.1 of the "Quarterly Analyses of Unemployed Claimants", copies of which are in the Library.

Housing Benefit

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many successful housing benefit applications for each district council in Scotland there have been in each financial year since 1985 86; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Roger Evans: Information is not available in the format requested. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to him on Thursday 27 October, Official Report , column 801 . The available case load information for 1994 is set out in the table.


Average housing benefit caseload for each district in    

Scotland                                                 

1994 (based on February, May and August 1994 data)       

                       |Average housing                  

District               |benefit caseload                 

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

Aberdeen               |16,379                           

Angus                  |6,769                            

Annandale and Eskdale  |2,517                            

Argyll-Bute            |5,306                            

Badenoch               |823                              

Banff and Buchan       |5,531                            

Bearsden and Milngavie |923                              

Berwickshire           |1,342                            

Caithness              |2,033                            

Clackmannan            |5,759                            

Clydebank              |6,726                            

Clydesdale             |4,540                            

Cumbernauld            |2,656                            

Cumnock and Doon       |5,329                            

Cunninghame            |13,498                           

Dumbarton              |7,421                            

Dundee                 |23,257                           

Dunfermline            |10,977                           

East Kilbride          |1,233                            

East Lothian           |6,950                            

Eastwood               |1,278                            

Edinburgh              |41,671                           

Ettrick and Lauderdale |2,246                            

Falkirk                |14,297                           

Glasgow                |124,771                          

Gordon                 |2,746                            

Hamilton               |11,483                           

Inverclyde             |11,058                           

Inverness              |4,470                            

Kilmarnock             |8,563                            

Kincardine and Deeside |1,670                            

Kirkcaldy              |14,520                           

Kyle and Carrick       |10,078                           

Lochaber               |1,507                            

Midlothian             |4,920                            

Monklands              |13,659                           

Moray                  |5,487                            

Motherwell             |18,488                           

Nairn                  |790                              

Nithsdale              |4,346                            

North East Fife        |3,729                            

Orkney Isles           |964                              

Perth and Kinross      |8,230                            

Renfrew                |21,121                           

Ross and Cromarty      |4,089                            

Roxburgh               |3,069                            

Shetland Isles         |1,038                            

Skye and Lochalsh      |784                              

Stewartry              |1,416                            

Stirling               |6,695                            

Strathkelvin           |3,948                            

Sutherland             |1,015                            

Tweeddale              |936                              

West Lothian           |10,522                           

Western Isles          |1,728                            

Wigtown                |3,247                            

Source:                                                  

Housing Benefit Management Information System            

Notes:                                                   

1. The above figures refer to benefit units which may be 

a single person or a couple.                             

2. The average case-load is based on 100 per cent.       

inquiries taken at the end of February, May and August   

1994. November 1994 figures are not yet available.       

3. When a local authority has failed to send in a return,

 figures have been estimated.                            

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much money was spent on housing benefit, for each district council area in Scotland in each financial year since 1985 86; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Roger Evans: The available information is set out in the table.


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Housing benefit expenditure                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Scottish authorities |1985-86             |1986-87             |1987-88             |1988-89             |1989-90             |1990-91             |1991-92             |1992-93             |1993-94                                  

                     |£                   |£                   |£                   |£                   |£                   |£                   |£                   |£                   |£                                        

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

Aberdeen             |8,730,000           |10,650,000          |13,280,000          |13,290,000          |14,760,000          |14,530,000          |15,580,000          |16,570,000          |18,330,000                               

Angus                |4,110,000           |4,580,000           |4,880,000           |4,440,000           |5,160,000           |5,390,000           |5,740,000           |6,250,000           |6,970,000                                

Annandale and                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

  Eskdale            |1,760,000           |1,890,000           |2,010,000           |2,040,000           |2,160,000           |2,260,000           |2,570,000           |2,970,000           |3,380,000                                

Argyll-Bute          |3,670,000           |3,890,000           |4,160,000           |4,230,000           |4,970,000           |5,510,000           |6,470,000           |7,900,000           |9,240,000                                

Badenoch             |510,000             |600,00              |620,000             |640,000             |660,000             |670,000             |830,000             |1,090,000           |1,310,000                                

Banff and Buchan     |3,500,000           |4,020,000           |4,110,000           |4,250,000           |4,790,000           |5,000,000           |5,170,000           |5,970,000           |6,470,000                                

Bearsden and                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

  Milngavie          |520,000             |630,000             |750,000             |790,000             |870,000             |930,00              |1,140,000           |1,340,000           |1,510,000                                

Berwickshire         |980,000             |1,010,000           |1,080,000           |1,120,000           |1,170,000           |1,220,000           |1,340,000           |1,530,00            |1,740,000                                

Caithness            |1,200,000           |1,300,000           |1,490,000           |1,590,000           |1,730,000           |1,830,000           |2,060,000           |2,380,000           |2,660,000                                

Clackmannan          |2,470,000           |2,780,000           |3,050,000           |3,110,000           |3,850,000           |4,330,000           |4,720,000           |5,180,000           |5,660,000                                

Clydebank            |3,760,000           |4,530,000           |5,270,000           |5,840,000           |7,040,000           |7,670,000           |7,860,000           |8,110,000           |8,710,000                                

Clydesdale           |2,390,000           |2,590,000           |2,750,000           |2,940,000           |3,280,000           |3,540,000           |3,930,000           |4,540,000           |5,170,000                                

Cumbernauld          |1,190,000           |1,400,000           |1,600,000           |1,760,000           |2,110,000           |2,550,000           |3,180,000           |3,580,000           |3,830,000                                

Cumnock and Doon     |2,440,000           |2,770,000           |3,130,000           |3,090,000           |3,430,000           |3,640,000           |4,290,000           |5,310,000           |5,980,000                                

Cunninghame          |5,950,000           |7,340,000           |9,060,000           |9,240,000           |10,670,000          |11,580,000          |13,100,000          |15,450,000          |17,680,000                               

Dumbarton            |3,160,000           |3,920,000           |4,990,000           |5,900,000           |6,960,000           |8,000,000           |8,660,000           |9,710,000           |11,090,000                               

Dundee               |12,220,000          |14,340,000          |16,680,000          |18,890,000          |24,220,000          |27,750,000          |31,000,000          |34,600,000          |37,570,000                               

Dunfermline          |5,170,000           |6,100,000           |6,870,000           |7,790,000           |9,130,000           |10,020,000          |11,290,000          |12,800,000          |14,290,000                               

East Kilbride        |570,000             |670,000             |690,000             |670,000             |930,000             |1,090,000           |1,310,000           |1,670,000           |2,020,000                                

East Lothian         |3,910,000           |4,540,000           |5,170,000           |5,560,000           |6,430,000           |6,800,000           |7,940,000           |8,410,000           |9,120,000                                

Eastwood             |620,000             |680,000             |700,000             |720,000             |840,000             |910,000             |1,040,000           |1,560,000           |1,820,000                                

Edinburgh            |33,380,000          |38,890,000          |49,370,000          |50,600,000          |57,520,000          |60,470,000          |65,160,000          |73,400,000          |79,750,000                               

Ettrick and                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

  Lauderdale         |1,360,000           |1,400,000           |1,480,000           |1,470,000           |1,550,000           |1,680,000           |1,890,000           |2,290,000           |2,550,000                                

Falkirk              |8,240,000           |9,150,000           |9,910,000           |10,060,000          |11,420,000          |12,040,000          |13,110,000          |14,600,000          |16,300,000                               

Glasgow              |66,190,000          |81,480,000          |96,050,000          |106,050,000         |136,220,000         |153,520,000         |175,490,000         |194,090,000         |207,080,000                              

Gordon               |1,520,000           |1,810,000           |1,940,000           |1,890,000           |2,190,000           |2,180,000           |2,630,000           |3,360,000           |3,690,000                                

Hamilton             |5,820,000           |6,880,000           |7,980,000           |7,860,000           |9,350,000           |9,860,000           |10,680,000          |12,750,000          |14,100,000                               

Inverclyde           |5,860,000           |6,770,000           |7,480,000           |7,760,000           |9,500,000           |10,610,000          |11,580,000          |13,550,000          |14,720,000                               

Inverness            |2,340,000           |2,760,000           |3,230,000           |3,360,000           |4,600,000           |4,480,000           |4,960,000           |5,950,000           |6,980,000                                

Kilmarnock           |4,420,000           |5,240,000           |5,940,000           |6,070,000           |6,970,000           |7,360,000           |8,230,000           |8,920,000           |9,910,000                                

Kincardine and                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

  Deeside            |850,000             |1,020,000           |1,120,000           |1,060,000           |1,080,000           |1,210,000           |1,290,000           |1,610,000           |2,060,000                                

Kirkcaldy            |7,780,000           |8,910,000           |9,880,000           |10,790,000          |12,810,000          |14,220,000          |15,890,000          |19,700,000          |22,080,000                               

Kyle and Carrick     |5,680,000           |6,410,000           |7,020,000           |6,810,000           |8,450,000           |9,280,000           |10,320,000          |11,940,000          |15,170,000                               

Lochaber             |1,090,000           |1,160,000           |1,220,000           |1,170,000           |1,230,000           |1,310,000           |1,520,000           |1,790,000           |2,180,000                                

Midlothian           |2,960,000           |3,140,000           |3,310,000           |3,760,000           |4,330,000           |4,020,000           |4,180,000           |4,720,000           |5,530,000                                

Monklands            |7,120,000           |9,430,000           |10,250,000          |10,920,000          |12,150,000          |12,580,000          |13,920,000          |15,060,000          |16,480,000                               

Moray                |3,440,000           |3,770,000           |4,230,000           |4,480,000           |5,140,000           |5,310,000           |5,190,000           |6,000,000           |7,090,000                                

Motherwell           |9,590,000           |10,730,000          |12,210,000          |12,710,000          |14,180,000          |15,030,000          |15,640,000          |17,910,000          |20,830,00                                

Nairn                |460,000             |550,000             |620,000             |670,000             |680,000             |590,000             |690,000             |900,000             |1,050,000                                

Nithsdale            |2,200,000           |2,540,000           |2,680,000           |2,790,000           |3,240,000           |3,600,000           |4,190,000           |5,220,000           |5,900,000                                

North East Fife      |2,710,000           |3,190,000           |3,420,000           |3,520,000           |3,810,000           |3,790,000           |4,190,000           |4,830,000           |5,270,000                                

Orkney               |530,000             |630,000             |740,000             |760,000             |930,000             |950,000             |1,100,000           |1,260,000           |1,420,000                                

Perth and Kinross    |4,910,000           |5,440,000           |5,790,000           |5,550,000           |6,390,000           |7,160,000           |7,930,0000          |9,440,000           |10,320,000                               

Renfrew              |9,800,000           |11,820,000          |13,510,000          |13,720,000          |15,980,000          |18,930,000          |21,810,000          |25,680,000          |28,620,000                               

Ross and Cromarty    |2,370,000           |2,750,000           |3,000,000           |3,040,000           |3,380,000           |3,570,000           |4,210,000           |5,150,000           |6,160,000                                

Roxburgh             |2,010,000           |2,190,000           |2,200,000           |2,240,000           |2,440,000           |2,520,000           |2,920,000           |3,840,000           |4,120,000                                

Shetland             |590,000             |690,000             |730,000             |730,000             |840,000             |970,00              |1,160,000           |1,410,000           |1,550,000                                

Skye and Lochalsh    |430,000             |520,000             |590,000             |580,000             |690,000             |790,000             |950,000             |1,140,000           |1,340,000                                

Stewartry            |930,000             |1,020,000           |1,050,000           |1,060,000           |1,180,000           |1,260,000           |1,530,000           |1,800,000           |2,000,000                                

Stirling             |3,930,000           |4,680,000           |5,320,000           |5,280,000           |6,030,000           |6,530,000           |7,360,000           |8,460,000           |9,890,000                                

Strathkelvin         |2,480,000           |3,100,000           |3,510,000           |3,790,000           |3,970,000           |4,270,000           |4,860,000           |5,660,000           |6,450,000                                

Sutherland           |610,000             |700,000             |730,000             |750,000             |780,000             |880,000             |1,010,000           |1,220,000           |1,460,000                                

Tweeddale            |520,000             |620,000             |640,000             |730,000             |780,000             |850,000             |950,000             |1,100,000           |1,290,000                                

Western Isles        |1,270,000           |1,300,000           |1,370,000           |1,560,000           |1,710,000           |1,810,000           |2,490,000           |2,650,000           |2,880,000                                

West Lothian         |5,880,000           |6,520,000           |6,920,000           |6,560,000           |7,510,000           |7,890,000           |8,820,000           |10,180,000          |11,310,000                               

Wigtown              |2,140,000           |2,300,000           |2,310,000           |2,390,000           |2,770,000           |2,920,000           |3,560,000           |4,510,000           |5,160,000                                

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Total                |280,340,000         |329,720,000         |380,090,000         |400,440,000         |476,970,000         |519,660,000         |580,630,000         |659,000,000         |727,220,000                              

All figures rounded to the nearest £10,000.                                                                                                                                                                                            

Source:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Audited subsidy claims, except 1993-94 which is final subsidy claim.                                                                                                                                                                   

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people were claiming (a) housing benefit and (b) council tax rebate at the last available date.

Mr. Roger Evans: At the end of August 1994, there were 4,667,000 recipients of housing benefit and 5,606,000 recipients of council tax benefit. A recipient may be a single person or a couple.

Income Support

Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the current policy of his Department regarding payment of deductions from benefits for rent arrears to local authorities; and what changes to the policy he is considering.


Column 740

Mr. Roger Evans: Deductions from income support for rent arrears are paid to local authorities at intervals of 13 weeks and credited to tenants' rent accounts. There are no plans to change this policy.

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what is the total amount of income support annually given to families with (a) one adult working, (b) two adults working and (c) three or more adults working, specifying the amount given to people aged 18 to 24 years in each category; and how much is given to single parents in category (a) ;

(2) how many families currently receiving income support have (a) one adult working, (b) two adults working and (c) three or more adults working, specifying


Column 741

the number of people aged 18 to 24 years each category includes; and how many single parents are included in (a) .

Mr. Roger Evans: The available information is in the table. Information relating to part (c) is not available, as any working adults living in the same household as the claimant and their partner would claim income support in their own right.


                                |Average      |Estimated                  

                  |Number of    |weekly income|annual income              

                  |families     |support      |support                    

                                |£            |£ million                  

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

One adult worker  |117,000      |72.88        |442                        

of which:                                                                 

- single parents  |74,000       |67.08        |257                        

- 18-24 year olds |7,000        |56.16        |21                         

Two adult workers |1,000        |90.17        |2                          

of which:                                                                 

- 18-24 year olds |0            |0            |0                          

Figures rounded to nearest thousand.                                      

Notes:                                                                    

1. Estimated annual income support is calculated as total weekly income   

support-number of families in the inquiry week multiplied by average      

weekly income support-multiplied by 52.                                   

2. Families have been taken to mean a single person or couple with        

dependants. Expenditure figures in the departmental report for families   

are benefits for lone parents only.                                       

3. Adult workers can be either the claimant or partner.                   

4. Figures may not sum to totals due to rounding.                         

5. There may be some 18 to 24-year-old lone parents who will be included  

in both categories but will only be counted once in the overall total.    

Source:                                                                   

6. Income support quarterly statistical inquiry-February 1994.            

Contribution Conditions

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 10 February, Official Report, columns 433 35, if he will publish the calculations of his Department on the number of claimants who lost (a) unemployment benefit, (b) sickness benefit or (c) retirement pension as a result of the changes in the contributory conditions since 1975.

Mr. Arbuthnot: Information relating to unemployment benefit and sickness benefit is not yet available. I will let the hon. Member have such information as becomes available as soon as possible. The information available in relation to retirement pension is as follows.

No existing beneficiary lost entitlement to retirement pension as a result of the changes to the contribution conditions since 1975. For new beneficiaries, comparisons between notional entitlement under the pre-1975 legislation and actual entitlements are not available.

In general, the 1975 changes made it easier for a person to qualify for retirement pension. The financial and explanatory memorandum to the 1972 Social Security Bill stated that the extra cost of the overall changes to the contribution conditions for benefits was likely to be small.

Similarly, no financial savings were anticipated from the 1978 79 change to the definition of a qualifying year; I refer the hon. Member to the Official Report, 29 April 1975, column 355.


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