Previous Section Index Home Page

13 Feb 2006 : Column 1657W—continued

WEEE Directive

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what date the draft regulations in respect of the waste electronic and electrical equipment directive will be published; and for what reason publication has not yet taken place. [50811]

13 Feb 2006 : Column 1658W

Malcolm Wicks: As I announced on 14 December 2005, we are currently reviewing progress on implementation of the WEEE directive. We expect to be able to publish new draft regulation for public consultation in the spring once the review has concluded.

Working Time Legislation

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list those categories of personnel exempted from European working time legislation as not being classified as workers. [50539]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The following categories of people are not regarded as workers" under the European Working Time Directive (and the Working Time Regulations 1998 which implement the directive)—holders of political and elected office, voluntary workers and the self-employed. Domestic servants are also expressly excluded.



Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to ensure that consultees are able to respond fully to (a) the consultation on the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and (b) the Health and Safety Executive's newly commissioned research; and what the time scales are for the consultations. [47013]

Mrs. McGuire: The consultation on proposed amendments to the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 was widely publicised and the Consultative Document was distributed to the Health and Safety Executive's list of stakeholders and partners at the start of the consultation period. The document was available on the Health and Safety Executive's website, and responses were accepted by email. I am informed by HSC that key stakeholders have submitted their views.

When agreeing to the publication of the Consultative Document the HSC questioned whether the research into work with textured decorative coatings reflected the way this work is actually carried out. In response to this the Health and Safety Executive has arranged for the work to be peer reviewed and commissioned a piece of further research. The Health and Safety Executive will announce the results of this research when these become available. They will discuss this with stakeholders or their representatives as part of the consultation analysis. This, with the original responses to the consultation, will inform any recommendations the Health and Safety Executive makes to the Health and Safety Commission for new regulations.

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the timescale for removing asbestos from buildings; what assessment he has made of where in the country is worst affected by asbestos; what penalties are in place for those who disregard the new asbestos regulations; and where the safe disposal of asbestos will take place. [48680]

13 Feb 2006 : Column 1659W

Mrs. McGuire: The information requested is as follows:

(a) A Risk Assessment provided as Annex D(A) of the Consultative Document on Proposals for Revised Asbestos Regulations and an approved Code of Practice" (CD205) contains an estimate that about one third of installed asbestos has already been removed and the remaining asbestos material would be removed over a 50-year period. This is an overall estimate and the amount removed will vary for particular products.

(b) Asbestos is present in buildings widespread throughout Great Britain. Figures are not available on the worst affected areas.

(c) The penalties for breach of the proposed new asbestos regulations are as follows:

In the case of licensing offences the penalty may be imprisonment for up to two years.

There is also the possibility of prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work Act and the penalties are as follows:

For breach of an improvement or prohibition notice, similar penalties are available with the addition of imprisonment for up to six months on summary conviction or two years on conviction on indictment.

(d) Asbestos waste goes to landfill. Regulation 16 of the 2004 Landfill Regulations sets out the criteria for land filling of asbestos waste and construction materials containing asbestos.

Benefit Fraud

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the savings from detected benefit fraud for (a) his Department and (b) local authorities were in each of the last six years. [42548]

Mr. Plaskitt: The information is not available for local authorities as data is not collated centrally.

The available information for DWP is in the table.
Monetary Value Adjustments (MVA)(39) by DWP

MVA (£)

(39) Previously Weekly Benefit Savings.
The MVA scheme was introduced from 1 April 1999. MVA is the difference between the weekly amount of benefit that would have been paid or would have continued to be paid, and the benefit paid following the decision maker's decision on the information gathered. It includes both increases and decreases.
Fraud Information by Sector (FIBS) and General Matching Service (QMS).

13 Feb 2006 : Column 1660W

The overall figures for MVA have reduced each year. This is due to a reduction in the amount of Instrument of Payment (IOP) fraud detected over this period. Non IOP related MVA has remained stable at around £6 million. Detected IOP frauds have fallen because of the Department's success in reducing the prevalence of this type of fraud through detection and, more recently, changes to the methods of payment that prevent this type of fraud. As at April 2005, 98 per cent. of pensioners and 95 per cent. of working age customers were paid by Direct Payment.

The MVA figures do not relate to the published fraud and error overpayment figures used for the PSA target. This is because the published fraud and error figures use a sampling system to estimate how much has been overpaid or underpaid in fraud and error. This includes overpayment that has not been uncovered and identified but is estimated to exist. MVAs only relate to adjustments made to a claim after a fraud investigation and so will not include any figures for error, or any estimates of fraud that has not been uncovered and investigated.

Benefit Payments

Mr. McFall: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will make a statement on delays in payment of new benefit claims in (a) West Dumbartonshire and (b) the UK for (i) jobseeker's allowance, (ii) income support and (iii) incapacity benefit in the last 12 months; [46638]

(2) what his Department is doing to reduce the backlog of claimants waiting for their correct entitlement of (a) jobseeker's allowance, (b) income support and (c) incapacity benefit. [46639]

Margaret Hodge: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Lesley Strathie:

13 Feb 2006 : Column 1661W

Next Section Index Home Page