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Ring-fenced Funds

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what funds allocated by (a) his Department and (b) its executive agencies are ring-fenced for specific purposes; and if he will list the allocations of funds involved. [22953]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: In the 2000 Spending Review, and in subsequent discussions with HM Treasury, it was agreed that the following expenditure areas should be ring-fenced in respect of the current financial year:

£ million
Welfare Modernisation Fund404
Employment Opportunities Fund1,055
European Social Fund608
European Regional Development Fund27
Invest to Save24

With the formation of the Department for Work and Pensions the Chief Secretary to the Treasury decided to review the EOF arrangements, mainly on the grounds that as the overwhelming majority of the fund fell within DWP it presented the perfect opportunity to simplify arrangements. The EOF has now been transferred into the Department's DEL and the unallocated element transferred into a new Employment Development Fund, within the DWP's DEL.

Independent Living Fund

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the report of the Quinquennial Review of the Independent Living Fund will be published. [24544]

Maria Eagle: My right hon. Friend has received the report of the Quinquennial Review of the Independent Living Fund and I am pleased to announce that we are accepting all the recommendations made. In addition to the removal of the earnings rule and the increased capital limit announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 28 November, the report contains a number of other recommendations which we believe represent a significant improvement in ILF provision for severely disabled people. Along with the revised earnings and capital rules, the other recommended changes will be introduced in April 2002. Copies of the report have been placed in the Library.

18 Dec 2001 : Column: 183W

NORTHERN IRELAND

Criminal Justice Review

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the Government intend to publish a Bill to implement the recommendations of the report of the Criminal Justice Review of Northern Ireland, published in March 2000; and if he will make a statement. [22459]

Mr. Browne: A Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill to implement most of the recommendations of the Criminal Justice Review Group in its report, "Review of the Criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland", is receiving its First Reading today and will be published tomorrow.

Paramilitary Attacks (Hospital Treatment)

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list (a) the number of patients treated at hospitals in Northern Ireland as a result of paramilitary attacks, broken down by type of injuries and (b) the number and type of operations carried out on patients whose injuries have been received as a result of paramilitary attacks in each of the past five years, indicating the cost of treating such patients. [24101]

Dr. John Reid: Responsibility for this matter has been devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly and is therefore no longer a matter for the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

WALES

Child Poverty

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the level of child poverty in (a) Wales and (b) the United Kingdom. [23982]

Mr. Paul Murphy: Child poverty and social exclusion are complex and multi-dimensional concepts, affecting many aspects of children's lives—including their living standards, health, housing, the quality of the environment, and opportunities to learn. The Government are committed to ending child poverty within 20 years. The Government's strategy for tackling child poverty and social exclusion is set out in the annual "Opportunity for all" reports. The third "Opportunity for all" report (Cm 5260) presents the latest information on the indicators used to monitor progress against this strategy.

The National Assembly is seeking to complement UK measures with a range of policies and programmes designed to meet the specific circumstances and priorities of Wales.

Health Consultation Document

Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish an analysis of the responses to the consultation document, "Improving Health in Wales—Structural Change in the NHS in Wales". [22962]

Mr. Touhig: No. That is a matter for the National Assembly for Wales. I understand that the assembly has prepared a summary of responses and deposited a copy in the Library of the House.

18 Dec 2001 : Column: 184W

Government of Wales Act

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received from the First Secretary of the National Assembly for Wales in respect of section 1 Part 1(1) of the Government of Wales Act 1998. [22826]

Mr. Paul Murphy: None.

Public Bodies

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will list those public bodies which are the responsibility of his Department and which are not listed in Public Bodies 2000; [17616]

Mr. Paul Murphy: "Public Bodies 2000" sets out information on non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), certain public corporations (including nationalised industries) and NHS bodies. There are four types of NDPB—executive NDPBs, advisory NDPBs, tribunal NDPBs, and boards of visitors to penal establishments. The next edition will be published around the end of the year. Information about task forces, annual reports and ad hoc advisory groups is set out in an annual report, published by Cabinet Office. Copies of "Public Bodies 2000" are in the Library of the House. It can also be accessed via the Cabinet Office website (http://www.official-documents.co.uk/ document/caboff/pb00/pb00.htm). Copies of the annual report on task forces and similar bodies have also been placed in the Library of the House and it is being made available on the Cabinet Office website.

I make appointments to the following public bodies which are not listed in "Public Bodies 2000":


My Department does not have sponsorship responsibility for any public bodies.

Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many appointments he has made to public bodies since 7 June; and how many are in his gift. [15488]

Mr. Paul Murphy: Information about numbers of ministerial appointments to public bodies is included in the Cabinet Office's annual report, "Public Bodies". Copies are placed in the Library of the House and the report is published on the Cabinet Office website. The next edition, which will include numbers of appointments at 31 March 2001, will be published around the end of the year.

While there is no central record of appointments falling to me, the total is thought to be around 20. I have made no such appointments since 7 June.

Objective 1 Funding

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of whether the distribution of grants is proceeding at a sufficient rate to ensure that

18 Dec 2001 : Column: 185W

all objective 1 money allocated to west Wales and Valleys will stay in Wales and will not have to be returned to the EU structural fund under the conditions of the mid-term target review in 2003. [22173]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I meet the Assembly Finance Ministers regularly and discuss progress on the objective 1 programme. I am told there is no question of money having to be returned to the European Commission. The Assembly expects to exceed the target of drawing down £176 million from the Commission by the first decommitment date of 31 December 2002.

In addition, the Assembly has recently put in place new monitoring procedures to ensure that projects' sponsors claim their grant as quickly as possible after receiving approval. This will speed up the rate of programme spend.

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what recent discussions he has had with the First Secretary on which projects in the Cynon Valley have been funded by west Wales and Valleys objective 1 funding since October 2000. [22174]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The administration of structural fund programmes in Wales and individual project approvals under those programmes are matters for the National Assembly for Wales and its executive agency, the Welsh European Funding Office.

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with the First Secretary as to whether sufficient match funding can be allocated to enable the full use of objective 1 funding to west Wales and the Valleys over the project period 2000 to 2006. [22176]

Mr. Paul Murphy: It is a condition of structural fund programmes that grant recipients meet a proportion of their project costs, in addition to the grant provided by the European Commission. This "match funding" does not all come from the Assembly budget but can be found from a wide range of different sources, for example, local authorities, voluntary organisations, lottery funding, colleges and training organisations and other public and private sector bodies.

Nevertheless, the Government have allocated an additional £1.4 billion to the Assembly budget over the three year spending review period from 2001–04 to ensure that the Assembly has sufficient funds to provide match funding for the portion of objective 1 projects which require Assembly support. It is for the Assembly to decide how this additional funding is allocated among its programmes, but the First Minister has assured me on numerous occasions that no other Assembly budget has suffered to provide match funding for the objective 1

18 Dec 2001 : Column: 186W

programme. The Assembly's budget for 2002–03 makes specific provision for match funding across a number of policy areas.


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