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Beverley Hughes: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary made a statement to the House on 3 July, announcing the publication of a consultation paper on Entitlement Cards and Identity Fraud. The consultation period will last until 10 January 2003. The Government has made it clear that the introduction of an entitlement card would be a major step and that it would not proceed without consulting widely and considering all the views expressed very carefully.
The paper includes a number of estimates of what a scheme would cost, depending on the sophistication of the card. A reasonable estimate would be that a scheme would cost around £1.5 billion over a 13 year period covering the three years it would take to set up the necessary Information Technology systems and the 10 year period for which the first cards would be valid.
This estimate does not include any savings to Government through more efficient administration and reductions in fraud. The paper also sets out how the costs might be recovered through increases in fees for driving licences and passports and charging a fee for entitlement cards issued to those who did not qualify for or who did not want to apply for a card in the form of a photocard
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list for 199798 and for each subsequent financial year, including the current year to date, the amount spent by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies on (i) food and (ii) alcohol, indicating how much was spent on guests, and how much in respect of (A) Ministers and (B) staff, broken down to show how much was provided directly by his Department and how much reclaimed. 
Beverley Hughes: The detailed information required is not available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. The available information relating to expenditure on hospitality and entertainment by the department, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies is shown in the table:
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the overseas trips on departmental business that have been undertaken in each of the last five years by officials in his Department; and what the (a) cost, (b) purpose and (c) result was in each case. 
|Core Home Office||Forensic Science Service||Passport Agency||Prison Service|
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Beverley Hughes: Staff from the different business areas of the Department, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) have contributed to the Home Office input to the Spending Review but it is not possible to quantify the amount of their time spent on this work. No central record has been kept.
Beverley Hughes: The Department recognises that the development of the skills, knowledge and experience of our staff is crucial to the delivery of business objectives and to helping staff achieve their career aspirations. The Department is, therefore, committed to ensuring that effective and affordable learning opportunities are available to staff. We have achieved the Investors in People Standard and are committed to ensuring that training and development are effectively focused on achieving our aims.
The following information is an estimate of the total amount spent on training and development in the Home Office and its executive agencies; it does not include the cost of many informal learning activities since such costs often go unrecorded:
199899: £25.1 million
19992000: £27.3 million
200001: £28.1 million
200102: £35.2 million.
Beverley Hughes: Since the inception of the Castle awards on 8 March 2002, the Home Office and its related agencies have not applied for such an award. The Department is in the process of conducting Equal Pay audits and when these have been completed, it is possible they may apply.
Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many claims for work-related illness were settled by his Department in the last year for which records are available; and what the cost in compensation was. 
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the incidence rate of cases of work-related ill health by 20 per cent. by 2010; and
achieving half the improvement under each target by 2004.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who his Department's Green Minister is; when they (a) have attended and (b) plan to attend meetings of the Green Ministers' Committee; what the outcomes of meetings were for his Department's activities; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: The Home Office Green Minister is my noble Friend Lord Filkin who was appointed to the ENV(G) Committee in June 2002. Having only recently been appointed he has yet to attend any of the Committee's meetings but intends to do so in the future.
Beverley Hughes: The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill presently before Parliament contains provision for language and citizenship education for people seeking naturalisation. A group of experts is to be formed to advise my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, on how these proposals might be implemented in practice. Among other things, the group will be asked to advise on the practicality of a national voluntary scheme for mentors to assist naturalisation applicants in making contacts in their local community.
In addition, a European refugee fund grant has been secured in respect of a mentoring project for refugees in London, Birmingham and Glasgow. The project, "Time to Belong", is organised by TimeBank, a registered charity, and aims to provide mentors and coaches for 150 refugees.
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