Previous Section Index Home Page


Jobseeker's Allowance

Mrs. Fyfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what will be the minimum possible Income Support paid per week under the proposals for welfare reform to a single adult aged over 18 years, with no dependants, who has no savings or other income, and (a) who is not eligible for JSA because the severity of his disability makes him unable to do any work and (b) is eligible for JSA but is unable to find work; and what is the proposed minimum level of Disability Income Guarantee. [85939]

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 306

Angela Eagle: Disabled people with a low income may be eligible to claim Income Support or income based Jobseeker's Allowance. The overall weekly amount of benefit payable will depend on the individual's circumstances, such as their age, the severity of their disability and other factors. If they satisfy all the conditions for entitlement to the full IS/JSA personal allowance, a single person aged 18 to 24 would currently receive a personal allowance of £40.70. A single person aged 25 or over would receive a personal allowance of £51.40. If they qualified for the disability premium they would receive a further £21.90. The same rates of benefit apply to both Income Support and Jobseeker's Allowance.

Our proposals on welfare reform for disabled people were set out in our consultation document "A new contract for welfare: SUPPORT FOR DISABLED PEOPLE" published last October. Under the proposals, a new Disability Income Guarantee will be introduced in April 2001 and will provide extra help and security for those with the highest care needs. It will provide help through the income-related benefits to severely disabled adults and families with disabled children who get the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance. The overall amount of benefit will depend on individual circumstances. The increase in support builds on the help that is already available because of disability. This extra support will be paid through a new higher rate of disability premium. At April 1998 rates, it will be worth an extra £5.75 for a single adult or child, and £8.30 for a couple.

Benefits Agency (Computerisation)

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security to which companies the Government have made payments for consultancy regarding the computerisation of the Benefits Agency in the last three years; how much was paid to each company; what the current status of the project is; and if he will make a statement. [85437]

Angela Eagle: The information is in the table.

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 305

Companies the Government has made payments for consultancy regarding the computerisation of
the Benefits Agency in the last three years

ProjectContract datesContract award valueSuccessful companyCurrent status
Programme Accounting Group (PAG) Consultancy Support12 November 1996 to 31 December 1996£36,450KPMGFinished
Programme Accounting Group/Programme Accounting Computer System (PACS) Consultancy Support21 October 1996 to 21 December 1996£63,508SEMAFinished
Consultancy Support21 October 1996 to 31 December 1996£138,300KPMG
Programme Design Authority (PDA). Implementation Group Support--£135,000AndersensFinished
Card Access Payment System (CAPS). Programme and Card Payment Delivery Review11 November 1996 to 28 February 1997£122,800Ernst and YoungFinished
Card Access Payment System (CAPS) Migration Conformance Manager1 April 1997£78,000PA ConsultingFinished
Programme Accounting Group (PAG). IT Consultant1 April 1997 to 30 June 1997£31,500Pricewaterhouse CoopersFinished
Card Access Payment System (CAPS)9 June 1997 to 8 June 1999£91,767,220AndersensOngoing
Consultancy Support--£613,662A.S.E.Ongoing
Financial and Management Information System (FAMIS) Study of Private Sector Partnership potential20 May 1997 to 27 June 1997£34,900KPMGFinished
Card Access Payment System (CAPS) Migration Strategy3 February 1997 to 31 March 1997£263,221AndersensFinished
Programme Accounting Group12 February 1997 to 28 March 1997£29,750KPMGFinished
Audit Trail Analysis System (ATAS). Tool Development17 March 1997 to 11 April 1997£30,000ICLFinished
Programme Accounting Group (PAG) Consultancy Support14 July 1997 to 31 January 1998£63,000KPMGFinished
Programme Accounting Group (PAG) Technical Architect15 September 1997 to 30 April 1998£135,240A.S.E.Finished
Banking and Accountancy Branch (BAB) Implimentation Management3 February 1998 to 31 March 1998£76,150SEMAFinished
Review of BA IS/IT Strategy11 August 1998 to 4 September 1998£16,500PA ConsultingFinished
Card Access Payment System (CAPS) Review of Change Management2 February 1999 to 8 March 1999£18,800AdmiralFinished
Banking and Accountancy Branch (BAB) IT Consultant15 February 1999 to 26 March 1999£29,023PA ConsultingFinished
BA Decision Making and Appeals Implementation Programme8 June 1998 to 30 November 1999£360,000Andersen ConsultingOngoing

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 307

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 307

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Pakistan and India

Mr. Rowe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps Her Majesty's Government are taking to support an improvement in relations between India and Pakistan; and if he will make a statement. [85304]

Mr. Hoon: We welcomed the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan and applaud the joint commitment made by the two Prime Ministers in Lahore in February. We hope that the next Indian government will continue the trend towards improved dialogue with Pakistan.

Sudan

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on relations with Sudan. [85532]

Mr. Hoon: The Sudanese demand last August that we remove both the Ambassador and his Deputy from Khartoum made it impossible for us to sustain a fully operational Embassy. The Foreign Secretary therefore ordered the temporary withdrawal of all British staff from Khartoum on 27 August.

Since that time, we have been in regular contact with the Sudanese with the objective of normalising relations. I am hopeful that we shall soon have British staff back in Khartoum on a permanent basis so that we can pursue the important work that is to be done there.

GCHQ (Pension Rights)

Mr. Maples: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will estimate the total

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 308

cost of the compensation for loss of pension rights which his Department has agreed to pay to former employees of GCHQ. [85508]

Mr. Robin Cook: GCHQ officials and the Council of Civil Service Unions are continuing to hold discussions about the detailed circumstances of the 14 individuals and the basis for calculating the amount of compensation to be paid to each of them. They are aiming to conclude the process as soon as possible, but until these facts are established I am not in a position to estimate the total cost.

Angola

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to promote trade with Angola. [85329]

Mr. Wilson: I have been asked to reply.

British Trade International is responsible for trade promotion and investment around the world. British Trade International activities in relation to Angola are focused primarily on the support for good UK projects in the off-shore oil and related support and service sectors.

Libya

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the extent of the involvement of Colonel Gadaffi in terrorist incidents since 1988. [85760]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: The United Kingdom has no proof of recent Libyan government involvement in recent terrorist incidents. Recent progress in the Lockerbie (1988) and UTA (1989) cases has led to the suspension of United Nations sanctions against Libya under the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The United Nations Secretary-General is required to report on Libya's

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 309

compliance with all the requirements of those resolutions, including renunciation of terrorism, before UN sanctions can be lifted.

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what extent he has taken into account his Department's assessment of the alleged role of Colonel Gadaffi in terrorist incidents since 1988 in deciding to seek to normalise relations between the UK and Libya. [85759]

Mr. Hoon: The United Kingdom has no evidence of recent Libyan government involvement in recent terrorist incidents.

Following the handover of the Lockerbie suspects and subsequent suspension of the UN and related EU sanctions against Libya, we have been in contact with the Libyans to discuss other outstanding bilateral issues.

We hope that these can be resolved quickly and to our satisfaction. The extent to which we can develop more normal relations with Libya depends on the progress we make.


Next Section Index Home Page