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Mr. O'Hara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to support the UNESCO Convention on the protection of the underwater cultural heritage at the 31 session from 15 October to 3 November. 
Peter Hain: Her Majesty's Government are still considering the text of the draft UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage which as been submitted by an expert working group to the UNESCO General Conference later this month.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his practice to notify hon. Members of visits to their constituencies by Ministers of overseas Governments when those visits are accompanied by Government officials. 
Mr. MacShane: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is rightly proud of the large number of visits to the UK by overseas Ministers. The degree of Foreign and Commonwealth Office involvement is determined by the nature of the visit and the programme content. Unfortunately, Foreign and Commonwealth Office resource constraints dictate that it is not possible to undertake to notify hon. Members every time an overseas Minister visits their constituency. I am unable to answer for the practice of other Government Departments.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the visits made by Ministers of the New Zealand Government to the United Kingdom since 7 June, listing in each case the constituencies visited. 
Mr. MacShane: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to offer a warm welcome to the many ministerial visitors from New Zealand who visit the UK in both an official and private capacity. The degree of official Foreign and Commonwealth Office involvement and contact is determined by the nature of the visit and the programme content. Since 7 June we are aware of four visits to the UK by Ministers of the New Zealand
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Government: Ms Margaret Wilson, Attorney General and Minister of Labour; Mr. Trevor Mallard, the Minister of Education; Mr. Phil Goff, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and Mr. Michael Cullen, the Minister of Finance. All four visit programmes were not arranged by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and I am unable to confirm all of the constituencies they might have visited.
Mr. MacShane: The UK is a popular destination for overseas Ministers. Many visit frequently on official business and in a private capacity. The degree of Foreign and Commonwealth Office involvement is determined by the nature of the visit and the programme content. Since 7 June we are only aware of the visit to the Isle of Wight by Mr. Trevor Mallard, the Minister of Education of New Zealand, which was not organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will review the new time-limited permitted work rules for people with learning disabilities who combine incapacity benefit with therapeutic work and whose condition is unlikely to improve over time; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: We have listened to concerns expressed by disability organisations during our consultation over the new permitted work rules. We are now proposing that people who work in the community with ongoing support or supervision from a professional caseworker (employed or engaged by a public body or voluntary organisation) will not be subject to the new time limits. This will ensure that people, such as those with learning disabilities, whose condition is unlikely to improve over time will continue to be able to combine some work while receiving their incapacity benefits. Regulations to implement this will be laid at the end of the year.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people entitled to a £100 winter fuel payment in winter 2000 who actually received £200; and how many of these overpayments have been recovered. 
Mr. McCartney: The amount paid to individuals depends on their household circumstances. Provisions in regulations allow for the automatic payment of a Winter Fuel Payment based on records held by the Department. If departmental records need updating, or the customer has failed to report a change in circumstances affecting the payment, the Department can accept the return of payments. Reasons are not specified for returned payments received from District Offices.
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Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what changes he is proposing in regulations for Disability Living Allowance in connection with people who are fearful of walking outdoors in unfamiliar places without assistance; what representations he has received on them; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: Proposed regulations to clarify the conditions of entitlement to the lower rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance in these circumstances are being considered by the Social Security Advisory Committee. The Committee recently consulted publicly and asked for comments on the draft regulations by 14 September. The Committee is considering the responses it has received and I await its report.
The proposed regulations do not alter the basic qualifying criteria for the lower rate mobility component. People with severe physical and mental disabilities will still be able to qualify on the basis of those disabilities alone.
The intention of the proposed regulations is to ensure that people who experience fear or anxiety when walking out of doors on unfamiliar routes without supervision or guidance are entitled to lower rate mobility component only if their ability to walk independently is directly affected by a severe mental disability. This is to ensure that the scope of the lower rate mobility component remains within the parameters set out when the component was first introduced.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on his Department's policy on (a) local exchange trading schemes and (b) time banks, with specific reference to benefit claimants. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will make a statement on his Department's policy on the impact on employers when deductions of earnings are made at source as a result of the intervention of the Child Support Agency; 
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Malcolm Wicks: We are concerned about burdens on business and aim to ensure that regulations are necessary, give effective protection, balance cost and risk, are fair and command public confidence. It is a general principle that both parents, whether they live together or apart, are primarily responsible for supporting their childrennot the taxpayer. Deductions from earnings orders (DEOs) are sometimes the only effective method of collecting child maintenance from non-resident parents who otherwise fail to meet their responsibilities. Employers can take an additional £1 from non-resident parents' wages towards their administration costs each time a deduction is made.
The CSA, in partnership with the Inland Revenue, is in close consultation with a group of employers and their representatives (including representatives of payroll professionals) about arrangements flowing from the child support scheme. This has led to changes to DEO procedures. Local CSA managers also liaise with employers and employer organisations in their area about child support issues.
Mr. Darling: The Government are committed to sustaining a national network of post offices. One of the initiatives that is being put in place to deliver this is Universal Banking Services. I am co-ordinating the work to modernise the payment of pensions, benefits and Tax Credits along with the introduction of banking services through post offices.
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