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Mrs. McGuire: Every effort is made to handle all correspondence effectively and efficiently. All correspondence from hon. Members and Peers is handled in accordance with the principles set out in 'Handling Correspondence from Members of Parliament, Members of the House of Lords, MEPs and Members of Devolved Assemblies: Guidance for Departments'. The same principles apply when handling correspondence from members of the public.
Information relating to the performance of departments in replying to Members/Peers correspondence is published on an annual basis. The report for 2004 was published on 6 April 2005, Official Report, columns. 13740WS.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list formal consultations being sponsored by his Department and its agencies; and what the (a) commencement date and (b) deadline for responses is in each case. 
Title of consultation
|Deadline for responses|
|Pensions: disclosure of information consultation on draft regulationsthe Occupational Pensions Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2006||9 September 2005||2 December 2005|
|British Coal Staff and Mineworkers' Pensions (The Occupational Pensions Schemes (Transfer values, Pension Credit Benefit and Pension Sharing Valuation) (Amendment) Regulations 2005)||13 October 2005||25 November 2005|
|The Occupational Pension Schemes (Modification of Subsisting Rights) Regulations 2006||19 October 2005||16 December 2005|
|The Occupational Pension Schemes (Exemption) Regulations 2006||26 October 2005||16 December 2005|
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in the Kettering constituency (a) applied for and (b) received the disability living allowance in each year since 1997. 
Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 28 October 2005]: The administration of disability living allowance and attendance allowance is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Disability and Carers Service, Mr Terry Moran. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me, as Chief Executive of the Disability and Carers Service, to reply to your question concerning how many people in the Kettering constituency have (a) applied for and (b) received the Disability Living Allowance in each year since 1997.
|Cases in Kettering Parliamentary Constituency|
Roger Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people under the age of 60 years were receiving (a) the middle rate of the care component, (b) higher rate of the care component and (c) the higher rate of the mobility component of disability living allowance stopped receiving these benefits due to death in each month of the last five years. 
Disability living allowance: number of awards in Great Britain which included a higher rate care component, or a middle rate care component, or a higher rate mobility component in which payment was terminated by the death of recipients under 60 years of age at the time of their death in the 12 month periods ending on 31 May in each year from 2001 to 2005.
|Number of awards (thousands) terminated by the death of recipients under 60 years of age|
|Disability living allowance component||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005|
|Higher rate care and higher rate mobility||2.9||3.3||2.8||3.7||3.7|
|Higher rate care and lower rate mobility||(10)0.1||(10)0.1||(10)0.1||(10)0.1||(10)0.2|
|Higher rate care only||(10)0.2||(10)0.2||(10)0.1||(10)0.1||(10)0.2|
|Middle rate care and higher rate mobility||(10)0.5||(10)0.4||0.7||(10)0.5||(10)0.5|
|Middle rate care and lower rate mobility||(10)0.3||(10)0.1||(10)0.2||(10)0.3||(10)0.3|
|Middle rate care only|||||||||||
|Lower rate care and higher rate mobility||(10)0.3||(10)0.2||(10)0.2||(10)0.3||(10)0.2|
|Higher rate mobility only||(10)0.3||(10)0.3||(10)0.2||(10)0.2||(10)0.3|
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his policy is on the use of the word spouse in official documents; if he will encourage the use of the term spouse/partner; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department currently applies the word 'spouse' or 'partner' according to the existing eligibility criteria for the benefit in question. From 5 December 2005, the Civil Partnership Act comes into force and terminology used in documentation will be expanded where appropriate. The existing use of 'spouse' and 'partner' will continue, but the definition of partner will be expanded to include reference to 'civil partner'.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many meetings of the (a) EU Committee of senior labour inspectors, (b) EU Scientific Committee for Occupational Exposure Limits to chemical agents, (c) EU Confidentiality of Statistics Committee and (d) EU Committee on the harmonisation of the compilation of gross national product at market prices are planned for the UK presidency of the EU; who will be presiding over each meeting; what other UK representatives will be present; what provision is in place for representation of the devolved Governments; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Senior Labour Inspectors Committee will be meeting once during the UK presidency of the European Union between 9 and 10 November 2005. A senior official from the European Commission's Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities will be presiding over the meeting. Senior operational officials from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will attend the meeting. Health and safety is a matter for central UK Government and is not a devolved responsibility.
The European Commission's Scientific Committee for Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) has held one meeting during the period 1 July to 31 December 2005, on 21 and 22 September. A second meeting, originally planned for December, has been postponed to late January 2006. The Chair of SCOEL is chosen from among the membership and does not reflect the presidency. The current chair is Professor Vito Foá, who is Italian. SCOEL members act as independent scientific experts, not as representatives of national Governments. HSE currently nominates two members to SCOEL on behalf of the UK Government. The current UK nominees are a senior toxicologist at the Medical Research Council Institute for Environment and Health, and the head of the Health and Safety Executive's Industrial Chemicals Unit. There is no provision for representation of devolved Governments on SCOEL.
The Commission (EUROSTAT) presides over both the Committee on Statistical Confidentiality (CSC) and the Committee on the harmonisation of the compilation of gross national product (GNI). During the term of the UK presidency of the Council of the European Union the CSC plans to meet on 2 December 2005. The GNI met on 56 July 2005 and plans to meet again on
11 Nov 2005 : Column 796W
27 October 2005. Meetings will be attended by appropriate UK officials who will consult with Devolved Administrations as appropriate.
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