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24 Mar 2005 : Column 1026W—continued

RAF Recruits (Ethnic Monitoring)

Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of recruits to the Royal Air Force were (a) Asian, (b) black, (c) white and (d) from other ethnic groups in each year since 1997. [222200]

Mr. Caplin: The following table shows the proportional RAF airmen intake from civil life by ethnic origin for financial years 1998–99 to 2004–05. Reliable data are not available prior to this.

Ethnicity data have been collected on joining the armed forces using categories based on population census definitions. The definitions used in the population census were changed in 2001. Table 1 is based on 1991 census codes and table 2 is based on 2001 census codes.

It should be noted that no intake data are shown for 2001–02 as the only data available are based on a mixture of new and old codes.

Figures for 2002–03 onwards are not directly comparable with previous years' figures as the 2001 population census codes included a mixed category. This explains the increase in proportion of the 'other' category.
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Table 1

Ethnic origin1998–991999–20002000–01
Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi0.30.30.4
Black Caribbean, African, other0.40.50.8
Not known2.21.40.3

Table 2

Ethnic origin2002–032003–042004–05(32)
Asian Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, other0.30.20.3
Black Caribbean, African, other0.60.40.7
Not known0.40.72.2

(32) Figures for 2004–05 cover the year up to 31 December 2004.

Figures are for UK regular forces, both trained and untrained. They therefore exclude full time reserve service personnel and mobilised reservists.

Figures for RAF officers are not available due to low coverage of ethnic origin classification.

Removals Costs

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost of UK to UK removals was in the financial year ended (a) 4 April 1994 and (b) 4 April 2004; and how many moves took place in each case. [218006]

Mr. Caplin [holding answer 24 February 2005]: There were some 12,527 UK Service removals during financial year 2003–04 at a cost of £18.850 million. These figures are subject to final audit. Records are no longer held regarding removals which took place during financial year 1993–94.



Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many accidents occurred at his departmental premises in each of the last five years involving (a) members of his Department's staff and (b) members of the public; [222574]

(2) whether he publishes data for the number of accidents at work involving employees of his Department; and if he will make a statement. [222584]

Jane Kennedy: Available data on accidents is provided in the following table. Data prior to the periods covered is not available.
Accidents involving:200220032004
Members of the Department's staff4,4884,0344,577
Members of the public5872135

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Data for 2004 includes, for the first time, former Employment Service work places and therefore reflects additional estate, staffing and customer levels. This accounts for the increase in the number of accidents reported against the previous year.

We are currently in the process of developing a health and safety annual report for the business year 2005–06. This will be published after April 2006. The report will cover a range of health and safety performance data, including data on accidents to departmental staff and customers.

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what arrangements for monitoring accidents at work involving members of staff of his Department are in place; and if he will make a statement. [222636]

Jane Kennedy: Accidents are systematically monitored to identify their immediate and underlying causes and any trends. Lessons learnt are fed back into the operation of the Department's business. Monitoring takes place at a local level to identify ways to minimise recurrence. Monitoring is also regularly discussed at local, regional and national health and safety committee meetings involving managers and trades union representatives.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department has spent on each type of benefit paid to asylum seekers in each year since 1992 in (a) cash and (b) real terms; and if he will make a statement. [223490]

Mr. Pond: The available information is in the tables.
Asylum seeker spending by benefit since 1994— cash terms

£ million
Housing benefitCouncil tax benefitIncome supportTotal

Asylum seeker spending by benefit since 1994—real terms(33)

£ million
Housing benefitCouncil tax benefitIncome supportTotal

(33) 2005–06 prices.
1. From April 1999 DWP expenditure on payments to asylum seekers were reimbursed by the National Asylum Support Service (MASS).
2. From April 2000 responsibility for supporting asylum seekers passed to the NASS.
3. Numbers of asylum seekers entitled to DWP benefits are declining as the stock of asylum seekers with decisions outstanding at April 2000 reduces.
4. Information on benefit expenditure is estimated using administrative data supplied by local benefit offices (IS) and local authorities (HB and CTB).
5. Information on benefit payments to asylum seekers not available prior to 1994–95.
6. Expenditure is rounded to the nearest £5 million.
7. Real terms figures are provided in 2005–06 prices—using HMTs GDP deflator (updated by ONS 16 March 2005).

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Benefit Sanctions

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which employment schemes and pilot schemes may impose benefit sanctions for non-compliance with their conditions; and how many participants on each scheme have received such sanctions during the previous 12 months. [223472]

Jane Kennedy: Jobseeker's allowance is paid to people between jobs to provide the safety net of a secure level of income. Payment of benefit can be withheld for a specific period when jobseekers unreasonably cause or prolong their unemployment, by, for example, refusing to participate in or take up offers of support available through a range of employment and training programmes. Decisions on benefit sanctions are taken by Jobcentre Plus Decisions Makers and there is a right of appeal against such decisions.

The employment and training programmes, including pilot programmes, for which customers can have benefit sanctions applied for non-compliance are: New Deal for Young People; New Deal 25 plus; the mandatory Gateway to Work pilots and mandatory Intensive Activity Period for 50 to 59-year-olds currently operating within New Deal 25 plus; Employment Zones; StepUP, and the mandatory Basic Skills Training pilots.

In the period April 2004 to January 2005, 872 people received a benefit sanction through the Basic Skills Training pilots. 56 people have appealed against the decision to apply a sanction and the result of the appeals are outstanding.

Information on benefit sanctions in relation to the other programmes is only available broken down by the total number of sanctions imposed on participants on New Deal for Young People and the total number of sanctions imposed on participants of the remaining programmes, rather than the number of individuals who have had a benefit sanction imposed.

In the 12-month period to the end of March 2004 (latest available figures) 12,816 jobseeker's allowance sanctions were imposed in relation to the New Deal for Young People programme, and 29,654 jobseeker's allowance sanctions were imposed for other programmes. Information broken down by programme other than New Deal for Young People is not available.
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