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Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to extend home responsibilities protection to all foster carers to cover the period over which they have fostered children. 
Mr. McCartney: Foster carers whose allowance contains a reward element may be liable for national insurance contributions on a self-employed basis. Where there is no liability, they may choose to pay voluntary contributions to assist in qualifying for state retirement pension. Foster carers who receive child benefit for their own children aged under 16 will be eligible for home responsibilities protection. We will keep these arrangements under review as we do with all rules relating to benefits.
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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which of the agencies and NDPBs sponsored by his Department have a regional organisation; and if he will list the counties and unitary authorities in each region in (a) 1997 and (b) 2002. 
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the (a) date, (b) location and (c) purpose was of visits by Ministers in his Department to Wales since 1997; and when he next intends to visit Wales. 
Mr. McCartney [holding answer 17 June 2002]: Since 1999 this Government have published an annual list of all visits undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. This Government have also published, on an annual basis, the cost of all Ministers' visits overseas. Information in respect of UK travel is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
However my right hon. Friend the former Secretary of State (Alistair Darling) visited Swansea and Bridgend on the 12 February 2002, where he visited one of our new Pension Centres and a Jobcentreplus Office. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State (Andrew Smith) has no immediate plans to visit Wales, however my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Malcolm Wicks) is planning to visit Wales in the next month.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what has been the cost of (a) unemployment benefit and (b) pensions as a percentage of the total services budget, in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: Information is not held in the precise form requested. The Department accounts for its administrative and programme expenditure in accordance with its key objectives, which are published in the Department's Public Service Agreement (PSA), and the individual Requests for Resources (RfRs), which are published in the Main Estimate. Details of the total consumption of resources from 199899 onwards by areas now included within the Department for Work and Pensions, and of the amounts specific to people of working age and pensioners, are published in Table 1 of the DWP Departmental Report 200203 to 200304 (Cm 5424) which is available in the Library. Directly comparable figures for 199798 are not available.
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The Government believe that people should be able to make an informed choice when they plan their retirement, so that they have accumulated sufficient pension savings to provide the income they wish to receive. Our pension forecasting programme will help to achieve this by showing savers how much they can expect on retirement at state pension age.
The Government are also committed to active ageing. We are tackling age discrimination in employment, not least so that older people have increased opportunities to retain or find work, and are not forced into early retirement. Our Age Positive campaign promotes to employers the business benefits of an age-diverse work force, including the recruitment and retention of older workers. We are encouraging employers to adopt more flexible approaches to retirement for the benefits it can offer businesses and the increased choice and opportunities it offers individuals for a later more active retirement. The report 'Flexible Retirementa snapshot of large employers' initiatives', published on 17 June, showed that some larger companies are indeed adopting more flexible retirement policies. There are also signs nationally that approaches to early retirement have been changing, as each year for the last four years the employment rate of people aged 50 to state pension age has increased faster than the overall employment rate.
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if the Government accept the recommendations made by the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission in their report on Third PartiesRights Against Insurers. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government have carefully considered this report, and accept the Law Commissions' recommendations. A consultation paper will be issued shortly on implementing the proposals by way of a Regulatory Reform Order.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Land Registration Act 2002 will be brought into force on Monday 13 October 2003. This will allow sufficient time to consult on and make the necessary secondary legislation; to develop new office procedures to accommodate the new legislation and to carry out a thorough programme of education and training both within the Land Registry and across the wider conveyancing community.
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to Li Ruihuan, Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, during Chairman Li's recent visit to the UK; and what response he received. 
I hosted a large reception and banquet for Mr. Li, attended mainly by representatives of Scottish universities and businesses to celebrate their links with their counterparts in China. This occasion did not lend itself to exploring detailed issues of our diplomatic relations. I have raised Tibet many times with representatives of the Chinese Government and it figures prominently in the bilateral dialogue between our two Governments on human rights. In May the UK side visited a Tibetan community in Gansu Province, expressed concern at repression of monastic communities and raised the cases of 52 prisoners including Tibetans.
Mr. Beith: To ask the President of the Council what recent assessment he has made of the performance of Government Departments in providing timely answers to written parliamentary questions; and if he will make a statement. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the 1993 Memorandum of Understanding, if he will list the categories of taxation where (a) the treatment of the monarch is indistinguishable from that of other citizens, (b) the monarch is exempt and (c) the monarch is exempt but chooses to make voluntary contributions. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the implications for Civil List annuity payments of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether requirement procedures for notification of the death of recipients of Civil List annuity payments upon the death of those recipients are the same as those for recipients of state pension payments. 
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