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Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on what date he expects to publish the next edition of (a) "Households Below Average Income", (b) "Opportunity for All", the Government's annual report on poverty and (c) "Income-related benefits--estimates of take-up". [355]

Malcolm Wicks: "Households Below Average Income 1994-95 to 1999-2000" will be published on 13 July 2001. The next edition of "Opportunity for All" will be published in Autumn 2001. A date for publication of take-up estimates has not yet been determined.


Work Permits

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what basis (a) Mr. Hector Sam and (b) Mr. Carlos Edwards were granted work permits; and what assessment has been made of the extent to which conditions attaching to their work permits have been fulfilled. [1044]

Angela Eagle: The work permit applications for Hector Sam and Carlos Edwards were approved after Wrexham Football Club submitted a sworn affidavit from a Trinidad and Tobago Football Association medical official stating that Carlos Edwards and Hector Sam were injured and unavailable for selection in some of the games used to calculate their playing records in the previous two years.

In line with the policy relating to injuries, set out in the published criteria, those games were excluded from the calculations and the players subsequently met the criterion of playing in at least 75 per cent. of competitive international matches in the previous two years prior to the applications being lodged with the Department.

Work permits are issued to employers to employ an overseas national in a specific post based on the information contained in work permit application form. Where doubt is cast subsequently on that information, the Department investigates this. No concerns have been raised with the Department about Carlos Edwards and Hector Sam.


Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to enable police and local authorities to prevent the occupation of parks, sports grounds and public open spaces by travellers and for their immediate eviction; and if he will make a statement. [734]

Mr. Denham: Both the police and local authorities have powers under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to direct travellers or other trespassers to leave land when the appropriate statutory requirements are met. We have no plans to amend this legislation at present although its effectiveness is kept under review.

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Immigration and Nationality Directorate

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many items of correspondence from hon. and right hon. Members are currently being processed by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate; what the average length of time is in dealing with such cases; what action he proposes to take to assist IND in dealing with the backlog of cases; and if he will make a statement; [9]

Angela Eagle: Figures on the number of items of correspondence from Members of Parliament dealt with by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) and IND's staffing levels in the last three years are set out in the following table:

Number of letters from MPs received by IND(1)8,51810,09210,566
Number of staff in IND at end of calendar year5,2295,8348,538

(1) Excludes cases from MPs addressed directly to IND, for which corresponding figures are unavailable

In May 2001, IND dealt with 698 items of such correspondence with an average turnaround time of 38 days. At the end of May 2001 the number of letters from MPs to Ministers awaiting a reply was 1,634, and the number of letters from MPs addressed directly to IND awaiting a reply on 21 June was 2,564. Priority is being given, with the use of overtime, to reducing the backlog of outstanding correspondence. IND also operates a MPs Hotline which provides MPs with a dedicated telephone inquiry point and is intended to reduce the need to correspond on immigration and nationality-related matters. Further significant improvements are being sought to the service, so that the time taken to reply to correspondence continues to be reduced.

European Police Force

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the plans for a European Police Force; and how many officers are to be seconded to it from UK police forces. [149]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 25 June 2001]: There are no plans for a European Police Force. A concrete target for European Union policing capabilities in the context of civilian crisis management was agreed at last year's Feira European Council. In the event of the European Union carrying out a civilian policing operation, the United Kingdom would not be obliged to contribute any police officers, but would decide in the light of circumstances whether it was appropriate for the United Kingdom to contribute to the operation, and, if so, at what level of numbers.

Departmental Transfers

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department has spent on administration associated with the transfer of functions to and from other Departments since 8 June. [241]

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Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 25 June 2001]: The information requested is not available.

Sex Offences

Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library the responses to his Department's consultation on reform of the law on sex offences, "Setting the Boundaries". [192]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 25 June 2001]: We received over 650 responses to "Setting the Boundaries". We are currently assessing the responses and now considering how best to summarise them.

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Police Pensions

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the proportion of expenditure on pensions for each police force in England and Wales for each of the last five years for which figures are available and his estimates for each of the next five years. [157]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 25 June 2001]: The proportion of each police force net expenditure attributable to net pension costs for the last five years is given in the table.

Projections by police authorities of future pension costs were taken fully into account in provisions made in Spending Review 2000.

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Police authority net pension costs as a percentage of net expenditure, 1996-97 to 2000-01

Proportion of expenditure on pensions
Police authority1996-971997-981998-991999-20002000-01
Avon and Somerset14.515.614.114.816.2
City of London11.612.718.114.215.4
Devon and Cornwall12.613.514.014.314.0
Dyfed Powys12.312.013.012.913.2
Greater Manchester13.916.515.615.915.2
Metropolitan police10.111.412.711.713.3
North Wales12.713.614.513.714.7
North Yorkshire14.114.513.816.516.3
South Wales13.817.615.214.315.3
South Yorkshire8.512.19.410.710.6
Thames Valley8.
West Mercia10.211.012.412.213.3
West Midlands10.212.211.511.311.9
West Yorkshire11.513.
Total England and Wales11.312.712.712.713.3


CIPFA Actuals 1996-97 to 1999-2000 and Estimates 2000-01

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