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Brian Cotter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of those businesses providing statutory maternity pay to their employees have made a claim to be reimbursed in each financial year since 1996. 
Dawn Primarolo: All employers are required to pay Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) to eligible employees. Employers do not have to make a claim to have SMP reimbursed; they recover it from the national insurance contributions (NICs) that they are due to pay over to the Inland Revenue each month.
Information is not available in the form requested. Although we have accurate figures of the numbers of employers recovering SMP we do not presently record the number of employers paying SMP. The number of employers who recovered SMP in each year is as follows:
No data are currently available for any later year. A random sample check of employers who pay SMP is carried out each year. Data from this sample check indicate that between 88 per cent. and 90 per cent. of employers do recover all the SMP that they have paid out.
30 Nov 2001 : Column: 1218W
Mr. Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on (a) delays at Liverpool office of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, (b) their cause and (c) production of naturalisation certificates. 
Angela Eagle [holding answer 27 November 2001]: Last month, new computer equipment was installed in the Directorate. It was necessary to stop issuing certificates of citizenship between 17 October and 12 November while the installation of the equipment was successfully completed. Certificates of citizenship are now being issued to successful applicants.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 12 November 2001, Official Report, column 558W, when his officials received an application on behalf of Mrs. Melissa Jane Gryspeerdt of Chippenham, Wiltshire, maiden name Dodd, date of postingAugust 2001; when they expect to process it; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle [holding answer 20 November 2001]: It has not been possible to trace any application in August from Mrs. Melissa Jane Gryspeerdt. But an application from her was received by special delivery post on 17 September. On examination it was found to be invalid because a document specified in the application form had not been provided. It was accordingly returned to Mrs. Gryspeerdt by recorded delivery post on 18 October. The Royal Mail confirmed that the package was delivered in Chippenham on 20 October.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what organisations are being investigated by the Charity Commission for possible (a) terrorist links and (b) money laundering activities. 
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the Question of the hon. Member for Liverpool, Riverside, of 29 October on the publication of his Department's report on support for wrongly convicted prisoners. 
Beverley Hughes: The study has contributed useful material for further development of proposals but it does not stand alone, and was an internal document not designed for wider circulation. The National Association
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Angela Eagle: The target for the current year is to decide 60 per cent. of new substantive asylum claims within two months. We are taking a range of measures, including strengthening asylum decision capacity and streamlining internal casework procedures, to support delivery of the target. It is planned that interim data on performance during the period April-September 2001 will be published during the first half of 2002.
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent consultations he has undertaken with local authorities about proposals for levels of funding for asylum seekers. 
Angela Eagle: Officials from National Asylum Support Service (NASS) met with representatives of the Association of London Government (ALG) and Local Government Association (LGA) on 22 October and 9 November this year. Also present at these meetings were representatives from the Audit Commission and, at the first meeting only, the Rent Service.
Discussions covered arrangements for an interim grant payment to cover costs in the first half of this year, and an agreed letter has been sent to all local authorities. They also covered proposals to increase the information given by local authorities to the Home Office in support of claims. This is to improve communication from the Home Office to local authorities on case status, so that next year's grant can be based on agreed lists of named asylum seekers. Discussion of grant arrangements for 200102 continue and another meeting is planned for early in the new year.
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many local authorities have indicated that their costs of supporting asylum seekers exceed (a) current and (b) proposed grant levels. 
Grant limits for the current year have yet to be confirmed. We are discussing with local authority associations proposals which take into account the recommendations of the Audit Commission report "Halfway Home" and also allow proper scope to recognise the reasons for high costs in some authorities.
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Beverley Hughes [holding answer 26 November 2001]: I understand that the main report is still in draft form. When the recommendations are available the Kainos trustees (who own the report) have agreed that a copy may be placed in the Library, and I will ensure that this is done. The Executive Summary, which has been finalised, has already been placed in the Library.
Beverley Hughes: I understand from information provided by Kainos that the additional cost of the units was of the order of £60,000 a year in each prison. In the course of a year typically 5070 prisoners went through the programme in each prison.
An independent evaluation found no statistical basis for concluding that prisoners who had been through the Kainos programme had re-conviction rates that were any lower than would be expected for similar released prisoners as a whole. It found some modest improvements in prisoners' attitudes and behaviour, and that the programme made a positive contribution to order and control.
|Type of permit||Number issued|
|Business and Commercial||72,550|
|Sports and Entertainments||21,817|
|Training and Work Experience||7,807|
|Number of work permits approved|
|2001 (To date)||36|
30 Nov 2001 : Column: 1221W
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