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Textile Industry

Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to meet representatives of the textile sector to discuss job losses in the industry. [101058]

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Mr. Alan Johnson: I met the Textiles and Clothing Strategy Group, which includes representatives of textiles and clothing manufacturers, trade associations, unions, retailers and academia, to discuss issues affecting the industry on 13 October. Other DTI ministers are planning to meet representatives of the industry to discuss these issues further before Christmas

Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received from the (a) Knitting Industry Federation and (b) National Union of Knitwear, Footwear and Apparel Trades about the textile industry; and if he will make a statement. [101057]

Mr. Alan Johnson: The Department has received a number of representations about the textiles industry, including representations from the National Union of Knitwear, Footwear and Apparel Trades.

I appreciate the widespread concern in the industry about the number and rate of job losses in the sector and I am keeping a close eye on developments. In particular, I am looking forward to seeing the report from the industry-led Textiles and Clothing Strategy Group, which will contain recommendations for action to address a number of the issues currently affecting the industry.

Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what (a) capital and (b) revenue financial assistance he has given to the textile sector in (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98, (c) 1998-99 and (d) 1999-2000. [101059]

Mr. Alan Johnson: The Government offer support for capital investment under the Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) scheme. RSA offered to the textiles and clothing industry in Great Britain in recent years was as follows:

Year£
1996-9712,505,000
1997-985,863,000
1998-994,175,000

In addition to capital support, the textiles and clothing industries have benefited from a wide range of government assistance in areas such as trade promotion, training, research and technical development, supply chain development, spreading best practice and support for design.

Post Office

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the extent to which first class mail is delivered the next day by the Post Office. [100927]

Mr. Alan Johnson: The latest statistics published by the Post Office show that nationally, for the July-September quarter 1999, 92.1 per cent. of first class mail was delivered on the next working day following posting against a target of 92.5 per cent.

Arms Exports (Channel Islands)

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what end-user undertakings were given with regard to arms exports to the Channel Islands between 1 January and 31 December 1998 regarding the

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permanent OIELs issued under summary classifications 14 and 333 and the SIELs issued under classifications ML1, ML2, ML3 and ML4; and if he will make a statement. [100112]

Dr. Howells: In almost all circumstances, applications for a Standard Individual Export Licence (SIEL) must be supported by an appropriate end-user undertaking. Where the intended consignee is a Government body, and the application is not for a licence to export chemicals listed in Schedule 2 or 3 to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to a state which has not ratified the CWC, a copy of the official purchase order or a copy of the relevant part of the contract covering the order is normally sufficient.

An Open Individual Export Licence (OIEL) is specific to an individual exporter and covers multiple shipments of specified goods to specified destinations and/or, in some cases, specified consignees. The exporter must obtain from each consignee an appropriate end-user undertaking for each export before the export takes place, or not later than one month after the date of exportation.

Under arrangements between the DTI's Export Control Organisation (ECO) and Jersey and Guernsey Customs and Excise Departments, the latter send ECO all applications for a licence to export arms or other goods controlled for strategic reasons from the Channel Islands. ECO then circulates these applications to OGDs for advice in line with their policy requirements as determined by them, before giving advice to the relevant Channel Islands licensing authority. Copies of licences issued for the export of such goods to the Channel Islands are sent to the Channel Islands authorities.

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on arms exports to the Channel Islands, with specific reference to Clauses 5(a), 11(a) and 11(d) of the criteria used in considering conventional arms export licence applications. [100114]

Dr. Howells: All applications for a licence to export to the Channel Islands any goods subject to control by being listed in Part III of Schedule 1 to the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994, as amended (commonly known as the Military List), are considered against the criteria announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 28 July 1997, Official Report, columns 26-29, and the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports. Copies of licences issued for the export of such goods to the Channel Islands are sent to the Channel Islands authorities.

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on how many occasions since 1 May 1997 the export licensing authorities of the Channel Islands have consulted his Department with regard to the re-export of arms originally exported to the Channel Islands under licence from his Department; what the outcome was of these consultations; and if he will make a statement. [100115]

Dr. Howells: Under arrangements between the DTI's Export Control Organisation (ECO) and Jersey and Guernsey Customs and Excise Departments, the latter send ECO all applications for a licence to export arms or other goods controlled for strategic reasons from the Channel Islands. ECO then circulates these applications to OGDs for advice in line with their policy requirements

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as determined by them, before giving advice to the relevant Channel Islands licensing authority. Copies of all licences issued for the export of such goods to the Channel Islands are sent to the Channel Islands authorities.

While ECO do not maintain a central record of the number of times that the Channel Islands authorities have requested advice, I understand that all decisions taken by the latter have been in line with the advice they have been given, whether or not the goods concerned were originally exported to the Channel Islands from the UK.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Milk Tokens

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what recent representations he has received on the provision of milk tokens to (a) pregnant students and (b) all women on a low income. [100037]

Mr. Bayley: We have received no recent representations on these matters.

Carer's Premium

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what would be the cost of allowing pensioners who become carers to receive the carer's premium in income support; how many new claimants he estimates would become eligible each year; and how long their entitlement would last on average. [100042]

Mr. Bayley: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is as follows:



    1. Cash prices. Costs rounded to the nearest £5 million, gainers rounded to the nearest five thousand.


    2. As survey based estimates, the above will be subject to sampling error. The accuracy of the costing is also affected by the limitations of the data available on the time spent caring for a sick or disabled person.


    3. The answer depends on their being underlying or actual entitlement to Invalid Care Allowance (ICA). It is assumed that all other ICA entitlement rules remain in place after the proposed change--including 35 hours spent caring, benefit overlap rules, earnings limits and receipt by the person being cared for of Disability Living Allowance (care) at the middle or higher rate or Attendance Allowance.


    Source:


    Family Resources Survey 1997-98.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people receive the carer's premium in income support; how many of these are pensioners; and at what ages these pensioners first became entitled to the benefit. [99920]

Mr. Bayley: As at August 1999 there were 193,000 Income Support claimants with a carer premium, of which 11,000 were aged 65 or over. The table provides

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information on the age of the claimant when they first became entitled to Income Support. They may have been in receipt of the carer premium then or subsequently.

Income Support claimants aged 65 and over with the carer premium by age at the start of their current claim to Income Support, August 1999

Age of claimantsNumber of claimants
All claimants 11,000
Aged under 593,000
60 to 645,000
65 and over3,000

Notes:

1. Figures are based on a 5 per cent. sample of Income Support claimants as such are subject to a degree of sampling error.

2. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest thousand and may not sum to totals.

Source:

Income Support Quarterly Statistical Enquiry, August 1999.



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