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12 Jul 2005 : Column 1006W—continued


Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much has been spent by the Government on reconstruction in Iraq, in each month since January. [8434]

Hilary Benn: Monthly expenditure by DFID on reconstruction assistance to Iraq since January 2005 has been as follows:

The March expenditure figure is substantially higher than that for other months due to a £10 million payment to the International Committee of the Red Cross for its 2005 Iraq Appeal. Variations in expenditure from month to month also reflect when invoices were received for completed work on different projects.

In addition, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has continued expenditure in Iraq under its £30 million programme of quick impact projects (of which about £27 million has been spent since April 2003); and the
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office has made disbursements under the joint FCO/MoD/DFID financed Global Conflict Prevention Pool for Iraq (on which over £23 million has been spent since April 2003). Monthly breakdowns of this spending are not available.


Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid the Government have given to (a) Tanzania and (b) Gambia in each year since 1997. [11008]

Hilary Benn: The following table provides a breakdown of the UK's bilateral aid and imputed multilateral shares to Tanzania and Gambia since 1997. Figures are taken from the published statistics on International Development 1997/98–2003/04 and the DAC online database.
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£ thousand
Bilateral aidTotal DFID programme

Statistics on International Development

£ million

Imputed multilateral shares
ECOtherUNWorld BankTotal
ECOtherUNWorld BankTotal

Imputed Multilateral Share/DAC online website

Tsunami (Sri Lanka)

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions his Department has had with the Government of Sri Lanka regarding its decision to impose customs duty on vehicles brought into the country to assist tsunami aid work; and if he will make a statement. [7365]

Mr. Thomas: I refer the hon. Member to my response given to the hon. Member for Vale of York (Miss McIntosh) on 6 July 2005, Official Report, column. 469W.

Work-related Stress

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many cases of work-related stress have been reported in his Department in each of the last three years; how much compensation was paid to employees in each year; how many work days were lost due to work-related stress in each year; at what cost; what procedures have been put in place to reduce work-related stress; at what cost; and if he will make a statement. [7866]

Mr. Thomas: The number of reported cases of work-related stress in DFID over the last three years was as follows:

The figures quoted were those reported to DFID's Staff Welfare and Counselling Services, but because of the confidentiality guarantees given to staff, we cannot ascertain whether all of those who reported that they were suffering from work-related stress (or sought advice on their condition) were absent from work as a result.

No compensatory payments have been made to any members of DFID's staff over the three year period.

DFID's electronic attendance management system does not differentiate between work-related stress and stress induced illnesses that may have been caused by other factors. Information on the number of working days lost as consequence of work-related stress could be made available only by incurring a disproportionate cost.

DFID recognises work-related stress as an occupational health and safety issue and is currently putting the Health and Safety Executive's Management
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Standards for handling work-related stress into practice. A comprehensive risk assessment was carried out in 2004 and we are currently working towards implementing an improved Stress Prevention Strategy.

The overall pattern of results is positive. For the organisation as a whole, commitment has been assessed as high; stress levels are considered low or normal in most areas, and reported risks to physical and psychological health are within the normal range.

DFID has a Stress Management Policy and a number of measures have been put in place to deal with work-related stress, including stress management training; an Employee Assistance Programme; a Counselling Service; flexible working arrangements and an Occupational Healthcare Scheme. The cost of the work undertaken to date is estimated at approximately £25,000.


Academies (Admissions)

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what powers she has in relation to the admission arrangements of academies, with particular reference to Thomas Deacon Academy in Peterborough. [9674]

Jacqui Smith: Admissions arrangements for academies are agreed with the Secretary of State as a condition for the Funding Agreement, following local consultation. They are consistent with the School Admissions code of Practice and have to be fair, open and transparent. Academies also take part in local admissions forums and are also required by law to cater for children of all abilities.

Adult Illiteracy

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the extent of adult illiteracy in England is; what criteria she uses to assess illiteracy; and if she will make a statement. [10583]

Bill Rammell: The Skills for Life Survey: A national needs and impact survey of literacy, numeracy and ICT skills" (DfES, October 2003) provides the latest estimates of literacy levels across England. The survey assessed the literacy, numeracy and ICT skills of around 8,000 adults aged 16 and above in England.

The survey findings are shown in the following tables. The assessment levels correspond to the literacy and numeracy national standards: these were introduced in 2002 to provide a framework for all adult screening tests, diagnostic tools, programmes of study and qualifications. Learners are assessed for levels of literacy from entry level 1 to level 2. Level 2 is broadly equivalent to a higher grade GCSE (A*-C).

Overall around 16 per cent. of adults had literacy skills below level 1 and 47 per cent. had numeracy skills below this level.
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Overall literacyBase: all respondents with literacy level (7874)

16 to 65-year-olds
PercentageNumber (million)
Entry level 1 or below31.1
Entry level 220.6
Entry level 3113.5
(All entry level or below)(16)(5.2)
Level 14012.6
Level 2 or above4414.1

Source for population figures:
Census 01
Skills for Life survey, 2003

Overall numeracyBase: all respondents with numeracy level (8040)

16 to 65-year-olds
PercentageNumber (million)
Entry level 1 or below51.7
Entry level 2165.1
Entry level 3258.1
(All entry level or below)(47)(15.0)
Level 1288.8
Level 2 or above258.1

Source for population figures:
Census 01
Skills for Life survey, 2003

A copy of the survey report is in the House of Commons Library and on the DfES website

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