Previous Section Index Home Page

Disability Living Allowance

Ms Dari Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many disability living allowance claimants in the area of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council or the related DSS offices are presently in receipt of life-time awards of disability living allowance. [40200]

Mr. Denham: The administration of Disability Living Allowance is a matter for Mr. Peter Mathison, Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Peter Mathison to Ms Dari Taylor, dated 7 May 1998:

    There are an estimated 5,000 DLA claimants in receipt of life time awards in the area covered by the Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. Source: Analytical Services Division, based on a five per cent sample.

    I hope that this is helpful.

Benefits Agency (Jarrow)

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she will make a statement on the future of the Benefits Agency office in Jarrow. [39846]

Mr. Keith Bradley: The administration of the Benefits Agency is a matter for its Chief Executive, Peter Mathison. He will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Peter Mathison to Mr. Stephen Hepburn, dated 7 May 1998:

    The original proposal to withdraw BA services from Jarrow has been reviewed as a result of the move towards building an Active Modern Service, the wider consultation process, public concern and the issues raised by yourself and other interested parties.

    Ministers will be considering a revised proposal which will ensure that there will be no change in benefit service delivery to the Jarrow community. The proposal is to maintain a full Public Caller Office with full payment facilities located in the Viking Precinct, adjacent to the existing office. Amongst other things this will improve facilities for disabled people as the new site will have ground floor access. BA facilities are currently located on the first floor at Viking House. This move will allow the BA's Tyne Tees Area Director to manage the wider operational needs of the Area more effectively. The final decision on the proposal, subject to Ministerial approval, will involve full consultation with staff, Trade Union representatives, local MPs and any other interested parties. I can assure you that the BA is committed to maintaining an office in Jarrow.

8 May 1998 : Column: 531

    I should explain that the BA is currently examining the way that all its services are provided to ensure that an equitable service is available to all our customers. We must ensure that there is a balance between the need for customers to have face to face contact with BA officers and the improved quality and increased cost effectiveness and quality improvements that come from concentrating staff in larger sites. Whilst the BA remains fully committed to providing a high standard of customer service, the service provided has to be affordable.

    The current review of our business processes gives the BA the opportunity to provide better quality services, increased security and greater value for taxpayers' money. All proposed changes to service delivery within the BA are now being measured against the following criteria:

    Wider access to our services for customers.

    Improved accuracy, quality and security of service.

    Achieving a fair balance between the needs of staff, policy and operational needs.

    Increased efficiency and reduced costs.

    I hope that this is helpful.

National Insurance

Ms Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proportion of completed national insurance annual returns are rejected; and if she will provide a breakdown of the reasons given for rejection and the number of returns rejected by size of company. [39982]

Mr. Denham: The administration of National Insurance contribution records is a matter for George Bertram, the Chief Executive of the Contributions Agency. He will write to my hon. Friend with further details.

Letter from George Bertram to Ms Gisela Stuart:

    During the 1997-98 year a total of 46,753,630 National Insurance contribution (NIC) items were accepted onto the National Insurance Recording system (NIRS) of which 2.6 per cent. were rejected for further clerical investigation.

    There are many individual reasons why a contribution item is rejected, however the Contributions Agency records each rejected item under the following categories:

    Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)/Maximum pay output--21,649 items rejected 1997/98

    These items were rejected because the maximum annual SSP payment had been exceeded.

    Employers Contracted Out Numbers and scheme Contracted out numbers--21,326 items rejected

    These items omitted, or contained incorrect details of pension scheme identification numbers.

    Ratio Check failures--239,994 items rejected

    NIRS undertakes a number of checks to validate the financial information contained on annual returns. The items rejected under this category failed the criteria for acceptance by the system, for example:

    The NICs recorded are not in the correct ratio and do not agree with the amounts and category letter used.

    Compatibility Reports--126,311 items rejected

    This is where the category letter entered on the End of year Return does not match the existing liability recorded on the NI account.

8 May 1998 : Column: 532

    Excess Reports--179,275 items rejected

    These items are rejected because the NICs exceed the annual maximum.

    Non Matching items--657,564 items rejected

    These items are rejected because the personal details and NI number details shown on the P14 do not match those held on the NI account.

    Turning to the final part of your question I am afraid that I am unable to provide information relating to the number of returns rejected by size of company. There is no tracking system on NIRS to identify rejected individual annual returns against employers scheme details.


Review Panels

Mr. Woolas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to change the procedures of the Health Service independent review panels in respect of access by complainants to the defendant's evidence. [34235]

Mr. Milburn: We will be commissioning an independent evaluation of the National Health Service complaints procedures later this year. Discussions on possible changes to the procedures will be taken in the light of the outcome of the evaluation.


Mr. Nicholls: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average pay for (a) physiotherapists, (b) consultants and (c) GPs. [34543]

Mr. Milburn: Physiotherapists' pay is dependent on a wide range of factors such as grade and length of service. From December 1998, the Senior I salary scale recommended by the Review Body for Nursing Staff, Midwives, Health Visitors and Professions Allied to Medicine runs from £18,755 to £21,485. Details of other physiotherapy grades are in the Review Body's 1998 Report. Consultant salaries effective from December 1998 run from £45,740 to £59,040, with discretionary points up to £70,850. The average intended net income for general practitioners is £49,450 from December 1998. Earnings from achieving higher childhood immunisation and cervical screening targets, estimated by the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration at £3,500 for the average GP, are extra.

Committee on the Toxicity of Chemicals in Food,

Consumer Products and the Environment

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list (a) the members and (b) the proportion of members of the Committee on the Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment who provide research support or consultancy services to pharmaceutical companies. [39374]

8 May 1998 : Column: 533

Ms Jowell: Members of the Committee on the Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) are appointed by the Chief Medical Officer. A number of new appointments were made recently and these came into effect on 1 April. A full list

8 May 1998 : Column: 534

of the current membership with their declared interests is given in the table. The previous committee members, and their declared interests, can be found in the 1996 COT Annual Report, copies of which have been placed in the Library.

8 May 1998 : Column: 533

Committee on the Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment
Membership and declaration of interests--as of 1 April 1998

Personal interest Non personal interest
Prof. H. F. Woods (Chairman) Head of Department of Medicine Pharmacology and Therapeutics University of SheffieldHalifax BankSharesWide range of national and international food and chemical companies.Has extensive activity in teaching and research in nutrition and toxicology and in topics related to and supported by many companies in the food and chemical industry. Trustee of Hallamshire Therapeutic Research Trust Ltd, Harry Bottom Charitable Trust and Special Trustees for the former United Sheffield Hospitals.
Prof. P. J. Aggett Vice Chairman, Head of Lancashire Postgraduate School of Medicine and HealthNoneNoneNutricia Milupa SMA Nutrition Unilever NestleResearch Support Research Support Research Support Institute intellectual agreement Meeting Support
Dr. N. A. Brown Senior Scientist, Medical Research Council Experimental Embryology and Teratology Unit and Honorary Senior Lecturer, Department of Child Health, St. George's Hospital, University of London Glaxo Shook, Hardy and Bacon Styrene Information Research Control Du PontConsultancy Consultancy Consultancy ConsultancyEC (DGXII) Glaxo Wellcome Trust US EPAResearch Support Research Support Fellowship and research support Research Support
Dr. P. Carthew Unit Pathologist at Medical Research Council Toxicology UnitCortecs Cambridge Antibody TechnologyShare holder ConsultancyNoneNone
Dr. J. K. Chipman Senior Lecturer at the School of Biochemistry, University of Birmingham BootsConsultancyAstra Glaxo--Wellcome STD Pharmaceutical Ltd Water Research Centre Zeneca, Safety of Medicine Zeneca, Central Toxicology LaboratoryMRC Collaborative Research Award Research Support Research Support Research Support CASE research award MRC Collaborative Research Award
Dr. M. Joffe Senior Lecturer in Public Health, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, St. Mary's Hospital Medical School Ilzro Woolwich Abbey NationalResearch grant Share holder Share holderNoneNone
Dr. I. Kimber Research Manager, Cell and Molecular and Immunology, ZENECA Toxicology LaboratoryBritish Airways British Petroleum ICI ICI Zeneca ZenecaShare holder Share holder Share holder Consultant Share holder EmployeeUnilever plcGrant for Research
Prof. A. G. Renwich Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology, University of SouthamptonInternational Sweeteners AssociationConsultantHoffmann-La Roche Unilever SmithKline BeechamResearch Support Research Support Research Support
Prof. P. A. Routledge Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Head of Division of Anaesthetics and Pharmacology, University of Wales College of MedicineHealth Care Services EdinburghFeeParacetamol Information CentreMember of Advisory Group
Prof. I. R. Rowland Professor of Human Nutrition, Northern Ireland Centre for Diet and Health, University of Ulster NoneNoneCoca Cola Unilever Biscuit Coca Chocolate Confectionery Alliance Kelloggs St. Ivel Kirin Brewery Scotia Lipioteknik/Scotia Pharmaceuticals Medici PharmaceuticalsResearch support Fellowship/Research Support Research Support Research Support Research Support Research Support Research Support Research Support Research Support
Dr. L. Rushton Head of Epidemiology and Modelling Group, Institute of Environment and Health, University of Leicester Institute of Petroleum Transport and General Workers UnionConsultancy, contracts and grants, now lapsed ConsultancyConcawe European UnionContract to Institute for Environment and Health Contract to Institute for Environment and Health
Ms J. Salfield Public Health Nutritionist, School of Leisure and Food Management, Sheffield Hallam UniversityNoneNoneNoneNone
Dr. A. Smith Head of Section of Molecular Toxicology, Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, University of LeicesterBritish TelecomShare holderRhone PoulenceResearch Support
Prof. S. Strobel Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Head of Division of Anaesthetics and Pharmacology, University of Wales College of MedicineNoneNoneNoneNone
Dr. A. Thomas Consultant Physician with special responsibility for the elderly, Plymouth Hospital NHS TrustNoneNoneNoneNone
Prof. J. A. Timbrell Professor of Biochemical Toxicology, Department of Pharmacy, King's College, London Shook, Hardy and Bacon (Law firm) Sorex LtdOccasional fee Occasional feeGlaxo Wellcome Taisho Pharmaceutical CoResearch Support Research Support
Dr. M. Tucker IndependentZenecaPensionNoneNone

8 May 1998 : Column: 535

8 May 1998 : Column: 535

Next Section Index Home Page