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Mr. Arbuthnot: Close and effective links are maintained between the Benefits Agency, the Employment Service, local authorities and the police to combat benefit fraud. Through its work with the ministerial group on crime prevention and other initiatives, the Department has also established contact with a number of other Departments and agencies.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many sufferers from asbestosis paid back benefits to the compensation recovery unit of his Department in the period 1 April 1994 to 31 January 1995; and what was the range of repayments they made.
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of the number of residents of care or nursing homes with preserved entitlements to Department of Social Security benefits who have currently insufficient personal resources to meet the costs of their care.
Mr. Roger Evans: The number of residents with preserved rights to the higher limits of income support whose total entitlement to social security benefits does not meet the fees is about 78,500. Some of these residents may have disregarded benefits, income or capital which could be used to meet any shortfalls.
Source: February 1994 quarterly statistical inquiry.
Mr. Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many claimants in each region, for each quarter ending March 1994, were examined by the Benefits Agency medical service; and how many were found capable of (a) all work and (b) alternative work; (2) how many claims for sickness and invalidity benefit were referred to the Benefits Agency medical service in each quarter since March 1994; how many of these resulted in an examination; and what were the outcomes (a) where examinations took place and (b) where they did not.
Mr. Roger Evans: The administration of Benefits Agency medical services is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available.
Column 743Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. Keith Bradley, dated 15 February 1995:
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about examinations made by the Benefits Agency Medical Services (BAMS). This was with regard to the number of customers found capable of work for each quarter ending March 1994; also from March 1994 with regard to the number of sickness and invalidity benefit cases referred to BAMS and the outcomes.
The BAMS are asked to give an opinion on capacity for work by the independent Adjudication Officer (AO). The decision on the claim to benefit is made by the AO and whilst the AO may take the opinion of the BAMS into account in making a decision the AO is not bound by that opinion. An opinion that a customer is fit for work is not given by the BAMS without the customer being examined. If the evidence available to the BAMS suggests that the customer is incapable of all work, then there will usually be no need for an examination. For the year ending March 1994 I have provided information in respect of those cases referred to the BAMS to ask for an opinion on incapacity in relation to Sickness Benefit and Invalidity Benefit. The information for the four quarters ending March 1994 is provided in Annexes A,B,C and D.
The information requested from March 1994 is provided in Annexes E and F. Figures for the quarter ending 31 December 1994 will not be available until the end of February.
It should be noted that the figures given may not accurately reflect cases referred to the BAMS within each quarter at each centre because relevant statistics are compiled at the date a case is cleared rather than the date it is received. All of the Annexes have been placed in the Library.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Mr. Dafis: To ask the Prime Minister if he will set out the conclusions or recommendations of paragraphs 11, 19, 20, 23, 29, 31, 35, 40 and 50 of the first report of the British Government on sustainable development, together with the Government's response in each case.
The Prime Minister: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has welcomed the first report from the Government panel on sustainable development. The Government will consider the recommendations and respond in due course.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has had from Dr. David Fieldhouse, former police surgeon at Bradford, on the discrepancies between the Foreign Secretary's explanation of events concerning himself in relation to Lockerbie in December 1988 and Dr. Fieldhouse's own account of duties as a police surgeon as agreed by the Dumfries and Galloway police.
The Prime Minister: This morning, I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.
Mr. Hutton: To ask the Prime Minister how many ministerial special and political advisers were paid salaries in excess of the highest salary payable to a civil servant in each of the last five years; and what were the total annual salary payments to those advisers in each of those years.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Prime Minister if he will arrange for a copy of a report he commissioned from the head of the Cabinet Office European Secretariat, concerning the policy implications arising from the opt-out negotiated by Her Majesty's Government in 1985 to the Single European Act to be placed in the Library.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Prime Minister, what representations he has received expressing concern at the requirement under the Single European Act on non-British citizens settled in the United Kingdom, to obtain visas before making short visits to other member states of the European Union; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Prime Minister, what action he proposes, in relation to the forthcoming intergovernmental conference, concerning the maintenance by the United Kingdom of its frontier immigration controls; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Alton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures he is taking to address the tax anomaly between football pools operators and the national lottery in respect of the aggregate out-take from receipt for duty and good causes.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: I have no present plans to change the rates of either pool betting duty or lottery duty. In his Budget speech on 16 March 1993, my right hon. Friend the member for Kingston upon Thames (Mr. Lamont) said that, in deciding the tax rate of the national lottery, account was taken of the level of tax on other forms of gambling and the extent to which spending was likely to be diverted from other taxed activities. He went on to say that much would depend on how the lottery developed and the position would be kept under review. In his recent Budget speech, the Chancellor announced that the 1991 reduction in pools betting duty of 2.5 per cent., to help fund the Foundation for Sport and the Arts, should continue for another five years provided that the pools companies also continue to fund sport and the arts at their present level. HM Customs and Excise is monitoring the effect of the national lottery on receipts of pool betting duty and other gambling duties.
Column 746the evasion of sanctions at the time of, or after, the passing of the Iraq sanctions orders in 1990.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: Customs and Excise has prepared a number of lists at different times, based on intelligence currently available, to assist its officers to prevent breaches of the Iraq sanctions orders. It is not Customs' policy to make public such information provided in confidence to support operational effectiveness.
Ms Jowell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the cost of rail travel incurred by civil servants in the course of their duties; and what proportion of this total represents the cost of (a) first class and (b) standard class travel for each year since 1991.
Sir George Young: Government Departments and agencies are responsible for the travel arrangements of staff travelling on official business. Details of the costs of rail travel and the class of travel used by civil servants are not held centrally.
Mr. Hain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects the final adopted version of the EU budget for a 15-member Community; and if he will publish figures showing the level of expenditure for 1995 for all 15 members.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: The 1995 EC budget was adopted by the President of the European Parliament on 15 December 1994 on the basis of 15 member states. It will be published soon in the Official Journal.
The total commitments in 1995 amount to 80.9 billion ecu, or £63.8* billion and total payments to 76.5 billion ecu, or £60.4 billion. The budget does not give details of expenditure receipts by member state.
*Throughout this reply an exchange rate of £1=1.2675 ecu has been used.
Mr. Hain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the process of Her Majesty's Treasury's drawing up a supplementary and amending budget which allocates the additional expenditure to the detailed EU budget headings among new member states.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: The 1995 EC budget which was adopted by the President of the European Parliament on 15 December 1994 includes provision for additional expenditure to take account of enlargement. The Commission will shortly be proposing a preliminary draft supplementary and amending budget which will allocate the additional expenditure to individual EC budget headings, as necessary. The Government will carefully consider the proposal, which will be subject to the usual parliamentary scrutiny procedure.
Mr. Aitken: The estimated cost in 1995 96 of implementing the seventeenth report of the review body on senior salaries is £5.7 million, which includes salary increases and associated national insurance and pension contributions. It will be met from the existing public expenditure provision.
Mr. Dafis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much time the Group of Seven Finance Ministers and central bank governors spent discussing the long-term ecological sustainability of economic activity at their recent meeting in Toronto.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 13 February 1995]: Expenditure by HM Treasury and the Chancellor's agencies on advertising in the period 1988 89 to1993 94 at 1993 94 prices, and the spend to date in 1994 95 is shown in the table. Figures for other years could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
|Privatisation for |which HMT Year |HM Treasury |responsible |Agencies |£ |£ |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1988-89 |64,900 |- |- 1989-90 |70,822 |- |434,550 1990-91 |49,671 |- |779,087 1991-92 |112,096 |13,976,853 |82,255 1992-93 |50,204 |- |399,420 1993-94 |19,651 |10,810,000 |536,046 1994-95 |2,373 |7,603,000 |446,071
1 tiger skin
9 tiger teeth
41 packets of tigerbone plasters
1,726 individual tigerbone plasters
20 70 cl bottles of tigerbone tincture
96 bottles of tigerbone pills
1995 (to date)
10 packets and 1 bottle of tigerbone pills.
Mr. Elliot Morley: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, if he will list the number and type of livestock exported for (a) slaughter and (b) further fattening to Greece in each year since 1984.
Mr. Jack: Official trade statistics for total numbers of livestock exported to Greece between 1984 and 1993, and in the first nine months of 1994, are given in the table. These statistics do not distinguish animals for slaughter or for fattening. However, information derived from the Animo computer system in 1994 shows that health certification issued for sheep and pigs being exported to Greece has been for breeding animals only.
|1994 |1984 |1985 |1986 |1987 |1988 |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 |(part) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cattle |2 |0 |0 |0 |246 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 Sheep |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |265 |0 |0 |334 |0 |287 Pigs |285 |1,041 |717 |598 |643 |817 |859 |796 |264 |184 |1,032 Poultry |43,944 |110,141|151,232|229,701|273,240|325,835|471,649|718,366|762,625|183,018|662,126 Source: HM Customs and Excise
Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the continuing German restrictions on the import of British beef, what representation he has received concerning the legality of the restrictions; and what action the Government can take to resolve the issue.
Column 748which exempt meat from animals born after 1 January 1992 from any special trade conditions. In some German La nder, however, there are voluntary trade bans on the importation of UK beef. The European Commission has written to the German authorities questioning the legality of these voluntary bans under Community law. I welcome this prompt action by the European Commission.
The Government have received no representations about these developments, but will continue to seek the respect of EC law in this area.
Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the real increase in take-home pay of a single man at the lowest 10 per cent. of the earnings distribution, between (a) 1973 74 and 1978 1979 and (b) 1978 79 and 1993 94.
Mr. Oppenheim: Real take-home pay for a single man at the lowest 10 per cent. of the earnings distribution fell by 1 per cent. between 1973 74 and 1978 79 and increased by 23 per cent. between 1978 79 and 1993 94.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether benefit can be reclaimed if a claimant who was taking steps to carry out a reasonable direction for purposes of seeking entitlement to jobseeker's allowance benefit fails to do so.
Miss Widdecombe: If a claimant fails to carry out a jobseeker's direction which was reasonable having regard to his circumstances, the adjudication officer will consider whether he had good cause for doing so in deciding whether to impose a sanction. Jobseeker's allowance will be paid in full until the adjudication officer has made the decision.
If the adjudication officer decides that the claimant failed without good cause to carry out the direction, a sanction will be applied for two weeks. Vulnerable groups will have access to hardship payments during a period of sanction.
Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people, and what proportion of the unemployed, left unemployment in each quarter since 1974 to (a) go into work and (b) leave the labour force altogether; and what figures he has for those in each category who had been unemployed for (i) 0 to six months, (ii) six to 12 months, (iii) one to two years and (iv) two years or more.
Mr. Oppenheim: The information on claimant unemployment by duration is available on a quarterly basis from October 1983 and can be obtained from the NOMIS database in the Library. Information on ILO unemployment by duration can be obtained via the quantime labour force survey service in the Library and is available annually from spring 1984 until spring 1992 and quarterly thereafter.
Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many persons and what percentage of the work force have been unemployed for (a) under six months and (b) six to 12 months, (c) 12 to 24 months and (d) over 24 months, in Islwyn in each year since 1979 expressing the figure quarterly and breaking the data down by gender.
Mr. Oppenheim: Information on the unadjusted level of claimant unemployment by duration in each local authority district or parliamentary constituency is available from October 1983 onwards, for the months of January, April, July and October, and can be obtained from the NOMIS database in the Library. Claimant unemployment by duration cannot be calculated as a percentage of the work-force below the level of travel-to- work-areas.
Mr. Oppenheim: Unadjusted figures for claimant unemployment flows in the United Kingdom are available monthly from June 1986 and can be obtained, together with work force denominators, from the NOMIS database in the Library. No information is available on ILO unemployment flows.