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Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many family visit visa applications were (a) received, (b) determined and (c) refused in each month since 1 January. [117345]

Mr. Rammell: The information requested is as follows:

Family visitor applications receivedFamily visitor applications determinedFamily visitor applications refused
The table shows the number of family visitor applications received, determined and refused at our visa issuing posts world wide for the period January to March 2003. The figures for April and May are currently being collated and are not yet available. Those family visitor applications which have been 'determined' are those which have been resolved, either refused or granted entry clearance.

My hon. Friend may find apparent discrepancies in the figures—for example in February 16,972 applications were received but 18,207 applications were resolved. This can be caused by a variety of reasons. Applications can be carried forward from one year to another before being resolved. Applications may be withdrawn during processing (but still count as an application received). Posts are also required to count all applications received (a mother and three children on one passport may count as four applications but only one entry clearance may be issued).


Child Poverty

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether statistics on child poverty include the children of asylum seekers. [117375]

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Malcolm Wicks: Poverty and social exclusion are complex and multi-dimensional issues, affecting many aspects of people's lives. The fourth annual "Opportunity for all" report (Cm 5598), published in September 2002, sets out the Government's strategy for tackling poverty and social exclusion and presents information on the range of indicators used to measure progress against this strategy.

The indicators used to monitor progress for children and young people cover a variety of domains. Whether statistics of child poverty include the children of asylum seekers depends on the source of the statistics. Statistics relating to income, housing, post-16 education and (parents') employment will include the children of asylum seekers if they are living in private households and have responded to the relevant survey. Similarly, statistics on smoking during pregnancy and among children aged 11 to 15 include all those who responded to the relevant surveys. Those relating to compulsory education include all children who attend a mainstream school with over ten pupils. Those relating to Sure Start areas, births, deaths and injuries relate to all children. Figures relating to local authority care and the Child Protection Register will cover all children affected.

In summary, the indicators for children and young people monitored in "Opportunity for all" do include the children of asylum seekers where possible. However the ability to specify results for these children is limited by a number of factors: asylum seekers are not normally identified separately in such surveys; their characteristics may mean that they are less likely to be sampled or to respond to surveys; and they will in most statistical instruments represent too small a population to provide robust estimates.

"Opportunity for all" is available in the Library.

Incapacity Benefit

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people are on incapacity benefit in (a) Bassetlaw constituency and (b) England. [116614]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The information is in the table.

People receiving Incapacity Benefit in England and the parliamentary constituency of Bassetlaw at 3CT November 2002

People claiming Incapacity Benefit

Notes:1. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.2. Figures exclude people receiving National Insurance credits only.Source:

5 per cent. sample of the Incapacity Benefit computer system, which excludes a small number of cases held clerically.

Council Tax Benefit

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Scotland are in receipt of council tax benefit, broken down by local authority. [118463]

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Malcolm Wicks: The available information is in the table.

Council Tax Benefit recipients in Scotland by local authority—November 2002

Local AuthorityCouncil Tax Benefit Recipients
Argyll and Bute7,780
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar2,970
Dumfries and Galloway12,400
East Ayrshire13,640
East Dunbartonshire5,720
East Lothian7,190
East Renfrewshire4,790
North Ayrshire15,090
North Lanarkshire39,940
Perth and Kinross8,490
Scottish Borders8,240
South Ayrshire10,500
South Lanarkshire36,040
West Dunbartonshire14,150
West Lothian14,730


1. The data refer to households claiming Council Tax Benefit which may be a single person, a couple or a family. More than one benefit household can live in one property, for example two or more adults in a flat or house share arrangement.

2. Local authority figures are rounded to the nearest 10; the total for Scotland is rounded to the nearest thousand. Figures do not sum due to rounding.

3. The totals include estimates for local authorities that have not responded. These estimates are based on historical and regional data. This type of estimate is standard practice in reporting totals where there have been non-respondents.

4. Figures exclude any Second Adult Rebate cases.


Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System Quarterly statistical enquiry, November 2002.

Crown Immunity

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he intends to bring forward legislation to remove Crown immunity in respect of health and safety offences committed by Government Departments. [118566]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The Government stand by their commitment to remove Crown immunity from statutory health and safety enforcement and will seek a legislative opportunity, when parliamentary time allows.

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In the meantime the Health and Safety Executive continues to enforce health and safety requirements in Crown bodies and applies the Crown censure procedure, where but for Crown immunity, prosecution would have been justified.

Disabled People

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he plans to make public funds available to assist disabled people taking up public appointments (a) through the Access to Work Scheme and (b) through other mechanisms. [110742]

Maria Eagle: Our first priority is to help those without jobs into paid work. Jobcentre Plus has a wide range of support that would be available to disabled people who wish to take up paid employment, whether full or part time, including some public appointments. Access to Work, for example, helps disabled people who require extra support to overcome work-related obstacles resulting from disability. For public appointments which are not paid employment, help from Jobcentre Plus would not be appropriate.

We recognise the benefits that diversity brings to public appointments, and the Commissioner for Public Appointments provides guidance which states that care must be taken when making appointments not to discriminate on the grounds of disability and to ensure that positive action is taken wherever possible to attract suitable candidates. In addition, the Disability Rights Commission, which is sponsored by this Department, will continue to work closely with the relevant unit in the Cabinet Office, and disabled people, with the aim of increasing the proportion of public appointments held by disabled people.

Identity Fraud

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many national insurance accounts the (a) National Insurance Integrity Programme and (b) National Insurance Work Programme identified as inactive, broken down by category, in each year since they were established. [116728]

Malcolm Wicks: The National Insurance Integrity Programme was superseded in mid-2000 by Personal Account Security, now known as the National Insurance Number (NINO) Allocation Project. The NINO Allocation Project has responsibility for taking forward the Departmental for Work and Pensions National Insurance Work Programme.

The overall stock of NINOs is 71.5 million; 49 million of these accounts are active. The NINO Allocation Project has identified a total of 14 million accounts as deceased records. Of the remaining 8.5 million records, analysis has taken place and we have concluded that 6.7 million of these records are not being used because either they are deceased records or the customers have gone abroad. The remaining cases have all been dormant for over 3 years and we are currently looking at ways to police these accounts in future.

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