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Means-tested Benefits

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what (i) percentage and (ii) number of households in the UK claim one or more (a) in-work and (b) means-tested benefits. [102246]

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Angela Eagle: The information is in the table.

Percentage and number of households in Great Britain claiming one or more in-work and means-tested benefit

Number of households (millions)Percentage of private households (Great Britain)
In-work benefits1.04
Means-tested benefits6.829


1. Figures are given at a point in time. For In-work benefits this is May 1998, for estimates for means-tested benefits this is 1997-98 which is the latest information that is available.

2. Means-tested benefits are Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Family Credit, Disability Working Allowance, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, Social Fund and Back to Work Bonus.

3. In-work benefits are Family Credit, Disability Working Allowance, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. Claimants aged 60 or over are only included where the claimant and or partner have earnings (either part-time or full-time) recorded.

4. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred thousand. Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.

5. Where benefits overlap, only one benefit has been taken into account.

6. In-work benefit data includes second adult rebate cases.

7. Estimates from the FRS are based on sample counts, which have been adjusted for non response using multipurpose grossing factors that control for region, Council Tax and a number of demographic variables. Estimates are subject to sampling error and to variability in non response.

8. All data relate to Great Britain rather than the United Kingdom as FRS data Cover GB.


1. Family Credit 5 per cent. sample of awards

2. Disability Working Allowance 100 per cent. count of claims

3. Housing Benefit Management Information system annual 1 per cent. sample May 1998

4. Income Support and Jobseeker's Allowance Family Resources Survey 1997-98

Terminal Illness

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to provide financial support for partners and close relatives of terminally ill people. [102537]

Mr. Bayley: A person who is diagnosed as terminally ill can be awarded, among other benefits, the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance or the higher rate of Attendance Allowance. This award may entitle someone caring for that person, including a partner or close relative, to Invalid Care Allowance and, if appropriate the carer premium of Income Support.

The National Carers strategy commits us to keeping financial support for carers under review, which we are doing.



Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what is the total value of overseas aid; to what projects such aid is allocated in Pakistan; and if she will make a statement. [102406]

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Clare Short: DFID spent £2,354 million on overseas development assistance in the 1998-99 UK Financial year, of which £25.18 million was for Pakistan.

Our bilateral programme to Pakistan targets poverty reduction and improved access by the poor to basic services, such as elementary education and primary health care. Following the military coup on 12 October, I announced a freeze on all direct development assistance to the Government. Our support is continuing through non-governmental channels. These include the Aga Khan Development Network and the Save the Children Fund.

The projects which we are continuing to support include rural development and health programmes for poor communities in Chitral and Northern Areas, and measures to reduce child labour in Sialkot. We have recently allocated £800,000 through a local non- governmental organisation to provide 'micro-credit' for poor women in and around Lahore to improve their income earning opportunities. The full list of projects is as follows:

    Family Planning Association of Pakistan: 'Doorsteps' Community Based Family Planning;

    Marketing of Hormonal Contraceptives through the Private Sector (Futures Group);

    Social Marketing of Condoms (Population Services International);

    Family Planning Association of Pakistan: Audio Visual Vans to inform Communities in remote areas;

    Pakistan Association for Voluntary Health and Nutrition (PAVHNA): Reproductive Health in Sindh and Punjab;

    Protecting the Rights of Working Children in Sialkot, Punjab Province;

    Lachi Poverty Reduction Project, North West Frontier Province;

    Kashf Foundation: Micro-Credit for Poor Women (Lahore);

    Sindh Education Foundation: Community Primary Schools in Sindh Province;

    Frontier Education Foundation: Community Primary Schools in North West Frontier Province;

    Small Grants Scheme: Miscellaneous small grants to non-government organisations engaged in poverty reduction and human rights.

Departmental Employees (Disabled People)

Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what percentage of the total workforce in her Department is registered as disabled; and what steps she is taking to encourage the employment of disabled people in her Department. [102045]

Clare Short: At present, 1.8 per cent. of staff in my Department have declared a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

Our recruitment adverts say that we are committed to a policy of equal opportunities and encourage applicants from all sectors of the community. At the recruitment stage applicants are invited to tell us if they have a disability for which they need reasonable adjustment made during the selection process. We have met all requests so far. We also make adjustments for staff who develop disabilities during the course of their employment with us.

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Southern Africa

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations she has made to her European counterparts concerning the development of a regional action programme on small arms in Southern Africa. [101929]

Clare Short: DFID funded a seminar last year organised by Saferworld and the South African Institute for Security Studies to consider how to tackle the proliferation of small arms in Southern Africa. The conference was attended by representatives from a number of EU countries and Governments from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region, plus other Governments and organisations interested in small arms proliferation.

Participants identified a number of practical ways in which countries in Southern Africa could co-operate and how the EU might help. Participants agreed an EU/SADC regional action programme which set out four main elements for action, namely measures to combat illicit trafficking including strengthening laws and operational capacity, strengthening regulations on accumulation and transfer of arms, promoting collection and destruction of surplus arms, and enhancing transparency and information exchange on arms issues. The Programme was subsequently endorsed by EU/SADC Ministers in Vienna in November 1998.

I discussed the issue of small arms proliferation with other Development Ministers in the European Council in May this year. The Council subsequently adopted a Resolution on small arms.

Target Strategy Papers

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when she will release for consultation the target strategy papers currently being drafted. [102203]

Clare Short: We shall be releasing the Target Strategy Papers individually for external consultation as they become ready. The first paper has just been sent out for consultation and the other will be issued over the next few months.

Civil Society Strengthening

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will set out her Department's strategy on strengthening civil society following the consultation process earlier this year. [102202]

Clare Short: A report on the civil society consultation process was published in February this year.

This led on to the announcement of the launch of The Civil Society Challenge Fund and partnership Programme Agreements. I refer to the answer I gave to the hon. Member on 26 July 1999, Official Report, columns 12-13W, which set out the objectives of these mechanisms.

The Guidelines on the Civil Society Challenge Fund were published in September. In my forward I set out the reasons why a strong civil society is a crucial element in the fight against poverty and the importance we attach to strengthening civil society, in both poor and transition countries.

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Drugs Control Programme

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how she plans to evaluate the effectiveness of the UN International Drugs Control Programme's drug reduction programme in drug- producing regions. [102494]

Clare Short: My Department routinely monitors and periodically reviews all the major projects we fund to assess their effectiveness, including those managed by the UN International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP). Monitoring and review is systematically undertaken in order to assess DFID-assisted interventions in terms of their relevance, effectiveness and efficiency and, as far as possible, their impact and sustainability. We also subject a small proportion of our projects and programmes to rigorous ex-post evaluation. We have also welcomed UNDCP's plans to strengthen their own evaluation and monitoring procedures.

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