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Sir Hector Monro: Policy on the common agricultural policy is the collective responsibility of the United Kingdom Agriculture Ministers. My right hon. Friend and I have regular meetings with a wide variety of bodies to ensure that Scotland's interests are properly taken into account in formulating UK policy on the future of the CAP.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: My noble and learned Friend the Minister of State regularly meets chairmen of health boards. The Government are currently considering responses to its consultation paper on the future of NHS dentistry, including those received from all 15 Scottish health boards, before deciding the way forward.
35. Mr. Rowe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the latest estimate of public expenditure per head in Scotland; and what comparison he has drawn with other parts of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Kynoch: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to my hon. Friend the Member for Gosport (Mr. Viggers) on 2 February, Official Report , columns 1199 1200. In 1993 94 the identifiable general Government expenditure per head in Scotland was £4,185. This figure is 16.8 per cent. higher than the equivalent UK figure.
Mr. Kynoch: Manufacturing in Scotland is not in decline. Manufacturing output and exports are at record high levels. During the four quarters to quarter 3, 1994 manufacturing output rose by 5.3 per cent. Productivity in manufacturing rose by 5 per cent. in 1993 to a record level.
38. Sir David Knox: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much was spent per pupil in primary schools in Scotland in the most recent year for which figures are available; and what were the figures in 1978 79 at constant prices.
Calderglen country park children's zoo, East Kilbride;
Camperdown wildlife centre, Dundee;
Palacerigg country park, Cumbernauld;
Pittencrieff park animal centre, Dunfermline;
The Aviaries, Woodhead park, Kirkintilloch.
Mr. Kynoch: My right hon. Friend has not yet complete his consideration of the comments made on the consultation paper "Training for the Future". However, he expects to do so shortly and will make an announcement at that time.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Education which higher education institutions have taken advantage of qualified indexed securities; what was the value of the capital project supported and the subject matter concerned; and what estimate has been made of the additional cost to each university of the qualified indexed securities package ceasing to be available.
Mr. Boswell: From the information currently available, the higher education institutions in England involved in qualifying index securities schemes are: London school of economics, Kings college London, University college London, University of Greenwich, University of Westminster, University of Bristol, University of Durham, University of Manchester, University of Portsmouth, University of Sheffield. Full details of all schemes are not necessarily kept centrally. The Committee of Vice- Chancellors and Principals has estimated that some £300 million has been raised by about a dozen UK universities through QISs, to finance general building development and student accommodation. Universities concerned have estimated that the savings to them of QISs, by comparison with other available forms of funding, are about 2 per cent. per annum of the value of
Column 243the loans. Assuming an average loan of £25 million, this represents £0.5 million per annum for each university.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many appeals were received in the academic year 1993 94 from parents against non -admission of their child to school; how many were withdrawn before the appeals committee stage; how many were settled to mutual satisfaction before the appeals committee stage; how many were decided in the parents favour by appeal committee; and how many were rejected (a) in each local education authority and (b) nationally.
(2) how many letters were sent to hon. Members last month by each Minister in the Department.
Mr. Boswell: The Department does not collect individual statistics on the number of letters received from, or sent to, hon. Members. However, in January the Department received a total of 1,222 letters which were marked for ministerial reply, including all letters from hon. Members, and signed a total of 1,103. The number sent by each Minister is shown in the following table:
|Number --------------------------------- Secretary of State |288 Minister of State |186 Mr. Boswell |268 Mr. Robin Squire |361
Mr. Robin Squire: The cash limit for class X, vote 1, schools research and miscellaneous services will be reduced by £3.5 million from £787,796,000 to £784,296,000. The reduction will be used to offset an increase in the non-voted cash limit Department for Education/local authority capital--DFE/LACAP--for local authority capital for school building projects. The local authority capital cash limit DFE/LACAP will therefore be increased by £3.5 million from £42,898,000 to £46,398,000.
Mr. Mans : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what were the rates of university student grants and loans in each of the last five years; and what proportion of average earnings do they represent.
Value of the standard maintenance grant and grant plus loan: England and Wales |Standard |Standard |maintenance |maintenance |Standard |Standard |grant as a |grant plus loan as |maintenance |maintenance |percentage of |a percentage of Academic year |grant |grant plus loan |average earnings<3>|average earnings<3> |£<1> |£<2> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1990-91 |2,265 |2,685 |15 |18 1991-92 |2,265 |2,845 |14 |18 1992-93 |2,265 |2,980 |<4>14 |<4>18 1993-94 |2,265 |3,065 |13 |18 1994-95 |2,040 |3,190 |n/a |n/a <1> The standard maintenance grant rate is that applicable to students living away from home and studying outside London. In 1994-95 the corresponding London rate of grant is £2,560 and the parental home rate of grant is £1,615. <2> Since 1990-91 student support has included grant and loan; the grant was frozen at the 1990-91 level (ie £2,265) until 1994-95 when it was reduced to £2,040. Figures include grant plus full year loan for students living away from home. The full year loan for students studying in London in 1994-95 is £1,375 and £915 for those living at their parents' home. <3> Average annual earnings approximated from weekly earnings in April from the New Earnings Survey on full-time employees whose pay for the survey pay period was not affected by absence. The survey may not include bonuses paid at other weeks than the survey week and does not capture seasonal work. Earnings are compiled on the basis of employees on adult rates. <4> These figures correct those given in reply to the hon. Member for Newport West (Mr. Flynn) on 25 October 1994, Official Report column 527.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if Her Majesty's Government will undertake to (a) study and (b) report to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation inquiry into income and wealth; and if he will make a statement.
Column 244My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State commented on the report during the debate on Tuesday 14 February, Official Report , columns 812.
Column 245(2) how many income support order books were reported stolen while in transit in the last year for which figures are available. (3) how many claimants reported the loss of income support order books in the last year for which figures are available.
Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. Frank Field, dated 21 February 1995:
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about the value of all stolen order books, the number of Income Support (IS) order books stolen in transit and the number of IS order books reported lost by customers. In 1993/94, order books with a potential value of £26.6 million were reported stolen.
In 1993/94, 29,817 IS order books were reported lost in transit. Losses in transit may occur between the issuing office and the post office, between the post office and the customer, or between the issuing office and the customer. This figure will include stolen books, though there is no separate record of thefts.
In 1993/94, 52,931 IS order books were reported as lost or destroyed by customers while in their possession. There is no separate record of how many customers made these reports.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Mr. Arbuthnot: The figures requested are not available for any of the past 30 years. However, the Benefits Agency recently conducted a special survey to ascertain how many staff were prosecuted for benefit fraud during 1994. There were 16 such prosecutions.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assessment he has made of whether the Netherlands system for national insurance contributions could be successfully employed in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Arbuthnot: No formal assessment has been made of the Netherlands system for national insurance contributions by this Department. However, we do keep abreast of developments in social security systems which operate in many other countries.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what was the total expenditure on the discretionary social fund for (a) the district offices in Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) the Lothian, Central district office and (c) Scotland for each year since 1988 89;
Column 246(2) what were the total returns in the budget for the social fund for (a) the district offices in Greenock and Port Glasgow and (b) the Lothian Central district office for each year since 1988 89.
Mr. Roger Evans: The administration of the social fund 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.
Letter from Michael Bichard to Dr. Norman Godman, dated 21 February 1995:
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions asking for details of expenditure since 1988/89 on the Social Fund (SF) for the district offices in Greenock and Port Glasgow, the Lothian Central district office and for Scotland; also for information since 1988/89 on the total returns in the SF budget for those offices.
With the advent of the Benefits Agency in April 1991, the former local offices of the Department were grouped into Districts. The Greenock and Port Glasgow offices formed Clye Coast & Cowal District, with the Edinburgh City and Edinburgh North offices forming Lothian Central District.
The information requested is not available for the years 1988/89 and 1989/90. I have provided, at Annex A, SF expenditure for the year 1990/91 by local office; for the years 1991/1992 to 1993/94 information is provided at District level and for the whole of Scotland for the period 1990/91 to 1993/94.
Expenditure on grants for Scotland for the year 1991/92 was less than that for the year 1990/91. This is because, in September 1990, offices received an in-year allocation of funds to help them meet costs resulting from a High Court judgement. Following amended legislation there was no reflection of the High Court judgement in the allocation for the 1991/92 financial year.
I have provided at Annex B information in respect of loan recovery for the year 1990/91 at local office level and at District level for 1992/93 to 1993/94.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Annex A: Expenditure for the year 1990-91 for Local Offices Edinburgh City, Edinburgh North, Greenock and Port Glasgow Year |Local office |Type |Expenditure |£ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1990-91 |Edinburgh City |Grants |337,824.00 |Loans |578,464.82 |Edinburgh North|Grants |173,655.00 |Loans |492,790.00 |Greenock |Grants |321,907.45 |Loans |785,627.34 |Port Glasgow |Grants |174,583.99 |Loans |415,487.98
Expenditure for the years 1991-92 to 1993-94 for benefits agency districts of Clyde Coast and Cowal and Lothian Central Year |District |Type |Expenditure |£ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1991-92 |Clyde Coast and Cowal|Grants |493,975.05 |Loans |1,228,805.08 |Lothian Central |Grants |456,009.00 |Loans |1,092,362.99 1992-93 |Clyde Coast and Cowal|Grants |518,682.69 |Loans |1,337,320.81 |Lothian Central |Grants |486,047.00 |Loans |1,201,102.00 1993-94 |Clyde Coast and Cowal|Grants |544,618.13 |Loans |1,404,186.95 |Lothian Central |Grants |502,749.00 |Loans |1,269,565.00
Expenditure for the years 1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93 and 1993- 94 for the whole of Scotland Year |Type |Expenditure (£) ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1990-91 |Grants |13,883,235.58 |Loans |31,265,101.53 1991-92 |Grants |13,102,422.85 |Loans |32,571,933.75 1992-93 |Grants |13,981,015.30 |Loans |35,250,252.65 1993-94 |Grants |14,629,296.24 |Loans |37,215,640.22
Annex B: Loan recovery data by office 1990-91 and district 1991- 92 to 1993-94 |District |Recovery Year |£ |£ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1990-91 |Edinburgh City |392,637.19 |Edinburgh North |403,199.63 |Greenock |594,882.44 |Port Glasgow |306,772.61 1991-92 |Clyde Coast and Cowal|1,037,612.72 |Lothian Central |897,890.74 1992-93 |Clyde Coast and Cowal|1,086,162.59 |Lothian Central |1,003,600.49 1993-94 |Clyde Coast and Cowal|1,247,536.72 |Lothian Central |1,058,299.28
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many claimants were awarded (a) weekly industrial disablement benefit and (b) reduced earnings allowance in each of the last six years for which figures are available in the North Tyneside district.
(2) how many claims for industrial disablement benefit and reduced earnings allowance were allowed in each of the last six years for which figures are available; and what were the total amounts of (a) lump sum back payments and (b) gratuities awarded in each year in the North Tyneside district.
Mr. Hague: The administration of industrial injuries benefit and reduced earnings allowance 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 248Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. Stephen Byers, dated 21 February 1995:
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about awards of Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit (IIDB) and Reduced Earnings Allowance (REA) in the North Tyneside District.
Information about awards of IIDB and REA is not available for all of the past six years because collection of the data did not begin until October 1991; the information that is available has been provided at Annex A. The figures for 1991 92 cover a period of 5 months and the figures for 1994 95 cover a period of 10 months, that being the year to date.
Information about lump sum back payments and gratuities is not readily available and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Annex A: Industrial injury disablement benefit and reduced earnings allowance claims at the North Tyneside district Year |IIDB|REA ----------------------- 1991-92 |159 |71 1992-93 |219 |103 1993-94 |139 |111 1994-95 |166 |93 Note: 1. These figures are provisional and are subject to amendment.
|Number ------------------------------------------------------------ Secretary of State-Peter Lilley |187 Minister of State-William Hague |276 Minister of State (Lords)-Lord Mackay |45 Parliamentary Under Secretary-James Arbuthnot |404 Parliamentary Under Secretary-Alistair Burt |319 Parliamentary Under Secretary-Roger Evans |388
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many national insurance numbers were in existence in 1965; how many have been issued since; how many in each category have been cancelled by the death of the owner or for other reasons; and what is the total number of people currently (a) eligible for and (b) holding a national insurance number.
National insurance numbers are not cancelled following the death of the owner because the record continues to be needed for a variety of reasons, for example to support payment of a widow's pension. The record is noted with the date of death. We currently hold approximately 9 million such records.
Column 249Information is not held on the number of national insurance numbers cancelled for other reasons.
Information on the total number of people eligible for a national insurance number is not maintained. However, figures supplied by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys advise that at mid 1992 the adult population of the United Kingdom was an estimated 46.6 million.
There are approximately 56 million national insurance numbers in issue. This figure includes numbers issued to people:
(a) who live abroad and are in receipt of retirement pension; (b) who live abroad and have not notified the Department: and (c) who may now be deceased but whose death has not been notified to the Department.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if a national insurance number is cancelled once it is shown that the person to whom it has been issued is fictitious; (2) in what circumstances a national insurance number may be cancelled.
Mr. Arbuthnot: For security purposes, national insurance numbers are not cancelled when it is shown that the person to whom it has been issued is fictitious. This is to prevent applications for a national insurance number being made under the same fictitious identity details at a later date. All such records are collated and held centrally.
National insurance numbers may be cancelled when:
(a) a juvenile has died prior to age 16; or
(b) a national insurance account has been set up erroneously.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the verification procedure for issuing national insurance numbers, detail the changes in verification since 1965 and the minimum level of proof which is required of identification before a number is issued.
establishing that the person does not already have a national insurance number.
Everyone who applies for a national insurance number is interviewed by a DSS officer in order to establish their identity. At the interview the customer is asked to provide documentary evidence to support their application. The level and scope of the interview is determined by the amount and type of documentary evidence the customer provides.
Whilst the acceptability of certain documents has altered since 1965 the basic procedure for establishing a person's identity has not.
In September 1994 the Department introduced a new guide to establishing a customer's identity, a copy of which has been placed in the Library. The handbook, entitled "Evidence of Identity", introduces a change of emphasis. Whilst recognising the value of certain documents such as current valid passports, it encourages staff to adopt a broader view and suggests a method for building up a picture of the person and their circumstances rather than relying solely on documentary evidence. This was seen as essential as some customers legitimately have no documentation at all.
Given that the Department's customers come from a wide variety of backgrounds it is not possible to prescribe a minimum level of proof in terms of the types of
Column 250documents that are acceptable. It is only possible to ask officers to make a judgment on each customer's circumstances.
Having established a person's identity a variety of clerical and automatic checks are made to ensure that the person does not already have a national insurance number.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security pursuant to his answer of 16 February, Official Report, column 739, how many people in work were claiming (a) housing benefit and (b) council tax rebate at the latest available date.