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Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairmen of (a) the Welsh Health Common Services Authority and (b) the Cardiff Bay development corporation concerning the repayment of part of the grant paid to Grosvenor Waterside plc for the development of Crickhowell house in cognisance of (i) roof leaks, (ii) wall leaks, (iii) window leaks and (iv) basement leaks in Crickhowell house; and what notification his Department has had of negotiations in relation to such building defects.
Column 693carried out in that section of the Crown Buildings, Cathays park occupied by the information technology branch of NCM Ltd. prior to its transfer to Llanishen.
capital--WO/LACAP--and Housing for Wales--WO/HFW--cash limits for his Department in the current financial year.
Mr. Redwood: The cash limit for WO/LACAP will be reduced by £5,437,000 from £490,215,000 to £484,778,000 and the cash limit for WO/HFW will be increased correspondingly by £5,437,000 from £120,740,000 to £126,177,000.
These changes reflect a transfer a provision from local authorities to Housing for Wales which enables housing associations to provide additional housing units.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security pursuant to his answer of 22nd February, Official Report, column 245, if he will give details of the charges made against the 16 staff of his Department prosecuted for fraud and the outcome of the legal actions.
Case |Charges |Outcome No. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1 |Theft and deception |Awaiting trial 2 |Deception |Awaiting trial 3 |Deception |Awaiting trial 4 |Deception |Warrant out for arrest 5 |Deception |Awaiting trial 6 |Deception |Awaiting trial 7 |Deception |Adjourned 8 |Deception |Final hearing awaited 9 |Deception |Awaiting trial 10 |Deception |Warrant out for arrest 11 |Deception |Conditional discharge 12 |Deception |Awaiting trial 13 |Deception |£110 fine and £120 costs 14 |Conspiracy to defraud |Awaiting trial 15 |Aiding and Abetting |£150 fine and £30 costs 16 |Conspiracy to defraud |Awaiting trial 17 |Conspiracy to defraud |Awaiting trial 18 |Conspiracy to defraud |Discharged 19 |Conspiracy to defraud |Awaiting trial 20 |Conspiracy to defraud |Awaiting trial 21 |Conspiracy to defraud |Awaiting trial 22 |Conspiracy to defraud |Awaiting trial 23 |Conspiracy to defraud |Awaiting trial 24 |Conspiracy to defraud |Two years imprisonment 25 |Conspiracy to defraud |Adjourned 26 |Conspiracy to defraud and deception|Awaiting trial 27 |Conspiracy to defraud |Awaiting trial 28 |Conspiracy to defraud |Awaiting trial 29 |Conspiracy to defraud |Awaiting trial 30 |Conspiracy to defraud |Awaiting trial 31 |Conspiracy to defraud |Awaiting trial 32 |Conspiracy to defraud |Awaiting trial 33 |Theft and deception |9 months imprisonment 34 |Theft and false accounting |Awaiting trial
Sir Trevor Skeet: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) when he proposes to revise the fees available for retirement pensioners in residential homes to meet the actual costs of the accommodation and services provided;
(2) if he will identify his expectations of the liability of the state for retirement pensioners living in residential homes after their assets had run out in each year up to 2002;
(3) if he will estimate the additional cost to public funds at current rates, if his Department matched the real costs met by retirement pensioners in residential homes.
Mr. Roger Evans: I infer that these questions are about the higher levels of income support, which are available to people living in residential care and nursing homes on 31 March 1993 with preserved rights. These range between £194 and £262 for residential care homes and £290 and £325 for nursing homes with higher amounts available in London.
All income support limits are reviewed each year taking account of a variety of available information as well as representations from interested parties. Any extra help is targeted within available resources at specific groups where the need is greatest. All the limits will be increased in April. It has never been the intention to meet all fees, however high they may be set. That would be an unrealistic commitment.
We will continue to look carefully at these amounts each year as part of the uprating exercise. Any increases which result from that uprating will apply equally to people living in registered residential care homes on 31 March 1993 who were self-supporting at that time but who need to claim income support at a later date when their assets run out. Forecasts about the state's liability are not appropriate in these circumstances.
The estimated additional cost to public funds if the Department were the meet the full costs charged to people above pension age in residential care homes would be £56 million and for those in nursing homes £79 million. These figures are based on the February 1994 income support quarterly statistical inquiry, and reflect the limits in payment at that time. The figures assume that homeowners do not make further increases in charges.
Mr. Roger Evans: The estimated annual expenditure for those in residential care and nursing homes in receipt of income support including other social security pensions and benefits taken into account, for 1992-93 was £3.05 billion.
Income Support Statistics Annual Enquiry, May 1992.
Mr. Nicholls: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the cost of his Department's expenditure on water and sewerage in (a) the current year and (b) each of the three previous years.
Period |Departmental costs ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 April 1991 to 31 March 1992 |2,788,734 1 April 1992 to 31 March 1993 |3,081,113 1 April 1993 to 31 March 1994 |2,852,609 1 April 1994 to 31 January 1995 |2,409,267
Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Secuirty if he will make a statement on the entitlement to benefits of Pakistani mullahs who have been issued visas to preach in mosques in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Roger Evans: Visiting mullahs are admitted to the United Kingdom under the immigration rules for up to six months as a visitor on the understanding that they do not become a charge on public funds. They are not entitled to income support, housing benefit or council tax benefit. They would not be entitled to contributory benefits because they would not have paid British national insurance contributions.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what would be the cost and how many individuals would be successful in claims of (a) unemployment benefit, (b) sickness benefit and (c) invalidity benefit through qualification of sickness benefit if the pre-1988 contribution rules were re-established.
Table 1: Effects of restoration of pre-1988 National Insurance contribution conditions on claims to and cost of unemployment benefit ---------------------------------------------------------- Gross cost (£million) |115 Net cost (£million) |20 Increase in unemployment benefit recipients |45,000 Notes: The following assumptions have been made: 1. Costs have been rounded to the nearest £5 million and caseloads to the nearest 5,000. 2. Calculations are based on an unemployment benefit caseload of 500,000. 3. Calculations have been based on data taken from the 1992-93 National Insurance Recording System data-base, the 1993 Annual Statistical Enquiry and the 1990/91/92 Family Expenditure Surveys, updated to 1994-95 prices and benefit levels. 4. Some people who would satisfy revised contribution conditions may be disallowed, or disqualified for, unemployment benefit on other grounds (eg leaving work voluntarily, misconduct, compensation from an employer). 5. The figures are an under-estimate as no allowance can be made for people who sign as unemployed for the first time as s result of the change in contribution conditions.
Table 2: Effects of restoration of pre-1988 National Insurance contribution conditions on claims to and cost of incapacity benefit ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Long-run gross cost (£ million) |500 Long-run net cost (£ million) |100 Estimated number of successful new Short-term (lower rate) Incapacity Benefit claims (per annum) |50,000 Long run increase in number of longer term Incapacity Benefit recipients |100,000 Notes: 1. "Longer term incapacity benefit" means those receiving short-term ( higher rate) and long-term incapacity benefit. The following assumptions have been made: 1. Costs have been rounded to the nearest £50 million and caseloads to the nearest 50,000. 2. Calculations have been based on data taken from the 1992-93 National Insurance Recording System data-base, and the 1993 Annual Statistical Enquiry, uprated to 1994-95 prices and benefit levels. 3. New entitlements come from either the current severe disablement allowance caseload or from those, registering as sick, who are less than 80 per cent. disabled and who currently have insufficient contributions. 4. Allowance has been made of the effect of the incapacity benefit changes and the expected effect of the new medical test on the long-term Incapacity Benefit caseload. 5. The new contribution conditions for the lower rate of short-term incapacity benefit are assumed to apply to long-term incapacity benefit. This means that all those who get lower rate of short-term incapacity benefit will move onto long-term incapacity benefit as long as their incapacity continues. 6. The figures are an under-estimate as no allowance can be made for people registering as sick for the first time as a result of the change in the contribution conditions. 7. These estimates are highly uncertain and should be treated with extreme caution.
Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the net value after repayment of loans of the social fund budget for 1994 95; and what percentage this was of the net value of the social fund budget for 1988 89.
Mr. Roger Evans: The net value of the social fund discretionary budget in 1994 95 was £140 million. This is equivalent to 112 per cent. of the net social fund discretionary budget of £125 million for 1988 89.
The improved recovery of loans means that over this period the gross discretionary budget increased from £203 million to £368 million, an increase of over 81 per cent. The recycling of loans has allowed more people to get more help while protecting the public purse.
Column 697by Miss Ann Chant, the chief executive on 7 March 1995, Official Report, column 165.
Mr. Lilley: The current chairman of the social security advisory committee, Mr. Michael Bett, will be giving up his post following his appointment as First Civil Service Commissioner. He has agreed to continue as chairman until a suitable successor is found. I shall be advertising the post nationally.
Mr. Hague: For trainees who have employed status and are paid wages by their employer while on youth training, entitlement to statutory sick pay is assessed on the same basis as for any other employee employed under a contract of service. The remaining trainees, who have non-employed or self-employed status and receive a training allowance, are excluded from entitlement to SSP.
Mr. Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many claimants received sums for income support for mortgage interest under the deserted partners rule allowing interest on normally ineligible loans to be paid to the remaining partner, in 1994 95 and in each of the five preceeding years;
(2) what was the average expenditure on income support for mortgage interest for each claimant who received a payment of income support for mortgage interest under the deserted partner rule in 1994 95 and in each year of the five preceeding years;
(3) what was the total expenditure on income support for mortgage interest under the deserted partner rule in 1994 95 and in each of the five preceeding years; and what percentage of total expenditure on income support for mortgage interest it represented in each of these years.
Mr. Roger Evans: The information collected on income support mortgage interest paid to claimants does not differentiate the amounts paid for otherwise ineligible loans. The information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the methods by which his Department is monitoring the outcomes of the appeals made by British nationals who are refused income support because they have failed to satisfy the habitual residence test.
Mr. Roger Evans: The back-to-work bonus will be treated as capital for the purposes of claims to income-related benefits. Bonus payments made to people who move from jobseeker's allowance or income support into work and claim family credit and housing benefit will be disregarded as capital for 52 weeks from date of receipt. Where a claimant returns to income-based jobseekers allowance or income support after claiming the bonus, the payment will be taken fully into account in assessing the claimant's capital resources. Any person qualifying for these benefits will continue to be entitled to maximum help with rent as now.
Mr. Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish a table showing the total cost to each local authority in England and Wales of making payments to housing benefit claimants under regulation 11 to the Housing Benefit General Regulations and in each year since 1988 89.
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, including instrument of payment fraud and benefit fraud where the member of staff was involved in fraudulent benefit claims by others, since 1 April 1994. There were 34 such prosecutions.
Column 699Security, expenditure on water and sewerage was not separately recorded from expenditure on other utilities. Information for 1991 92 is therefore not available. Expenditure by the Department in subsequent years is shown in the table. The figures include expenditure by the Department's agencies with the exception of the NHS Estates agency. The landlord of the building occupied by NHS Estates levies a single, fixed service charge, and does not separately bill the agency for water and sewerage.
1992 93: £334,920
1993 94: £102,233
1994 95 : £66,120
This figure included overpayment in respect of the London estate, as a result of which expenditure in subsequent years has been reduced.
Year to date.
Mr. Malone: The latest information available about numbers of complaints about the national health service are shown in the tables. The rise can be attributed to the increase of patient awareness and confidence due to the patients charter.
Family Health Services: Number of complaints investigated formally :
Hospital Complaints :
1990 91: 37,350
1991 92: 51,130
1992 93: 58,443 Notes:
1. Information for 1994 for family health services will be available in the autumn, and will be contained in "Health and Personal Social Services Statistics", copies of which are routinely placed in the Library.
2. Information on hospital complaints for 1993 94 will be available shortly.
Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on any aspects of NHS administration that arise from the necessity to transfer an accident victim in Orpington to Leeds Royal infirmary.
Mr. Sackville: Responsibility for identifying health care needs rests with the local health authorities who, together with local providers, should ensure there is sufficient provision. The South Thames region of the national health service executive is conducting a full investigation.
Column 700waiting lists patients referred by GPs for non-urgent operations on the basis that this would extend the waiting lists beyond Government guidelines of acceptability.
Mr. Malone: Barnet General and Edgware General hospitals are both managed by the Wellhouse national health service trust. At 30 September 1994, there were 5,671 patients waiting for in-patient or day case treatment at the trust, of whom none were waiting more than 18 months. I expect further progress to be made in reducing waiting times at the trust.
Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many deaths were caused by solvent abuse (a) in Lancashire, (b) in the north-west and (c) in the United Kingdom in respect of those aged (i) under 16, (ii) 16 to 24 and (iii) 25 years and over for the years 1990 to 1995.
Age |1990|1991|1992 ----------------------------------- Lancashire Under 16 |2 |0 |2 16-24 |3 |1 |1 25 + over |0 |0 |0 North West Under 16 |6 |2 |5 16-24 |9 |8 |8 25 + over |1 |3 |1 United Kingdom Under 16 |47 |44 |19 16-24 |98 |55 |45 25 + over |6 |22 |15 Total |151 |121 |79
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what price increase the London ambulance service is imposing for its emergency service; how much extra each London district health authority will have to pay; what choice they have about paying it; what considerations have caused the Government not to pay directly to rectify any problems in the emergency service in respect of the London ambulance service; and if she will make a statement.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many finished consultant episodes there were on private patients in NHS facilities in each of the last four years (a) in total, (b) by region and (c) by district health authority.
Mr. Sackville: The information requested in total and by region is published in "Hospital Episodes Statistics, Volume 1"; copies for the four latest years of published data to 1992 93 are available in the Library. The corresponding information by district health authority is not available centrally.
Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the income from private patient activity in each NHS trust and directly managed unit for the last year for which figures are available.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 24 February, Official Report , columns 355-56 , if she will list the health statistics in the categories in the answer for the top five district health authorities or family health service authorities as appropriate .
a) the five district health authorities with the highest crude birth rates in 1993 were:
= |Crude birth rate<1> ------------------------------------------------------------- East London and City |19.3 West Birmingham |18.2 East Birmingham |17.9 North Manchester |17.3 South East London |16.7 England |13.1 <1> Number of births per 1,000 population of all ages.
b) The five local authority areas in England with the highest number of notifications of tuberculosis in 1993 were: