9. Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent assessment he has made of the death rate attributable to asbestos-related cancer in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Goggins: The number of asbestos-related cancers cannot be assessed directly, since asbestos-related lung cancers are clinically indistinguishable from other lung cancers. However figures are available on the cancer mesothelioma, which is almost always caused by asbestos exposure.
In 2004, the last year for which validated figures are available, 51 deaths were registered in Northern Ireland where the underlying cause was recorded as mesothelioma. This represents a death rate of 3.0 per 100,000 population.
10. Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to improve education provision and support for looked-after children and vulnerable adults in Northern Ireland. 
11. Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the likely effectiveness of continuing to pay salaries and expenses as an inducement to encourage members of
the Northern Ireland Assembly to rejoin power-sharing initiatives. 
Mr. Hanson: The Independent Monitoring Commission 10th report published on 26 April, states that PIRA has taken a strategic decision to follow a political path and that it does not in its view present a terrorist threat. This is consistent with the chief constable's assessment.
determined that the IRA had met its commitment to put all its arms beyond use in a manner called for by the legislation.
14. Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what co-operation there is between local authorities, the Police Service of Northern Ireland and housing authorities in respect of implementing an antisocial behaviour strategy in Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Hanson: Tackling antisocial behaviour is part of the broader community safety strategy for Northern Ireland. The Police Service of Northern Ireland, local councils and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive work together on all 26 Community Safety Partnerships to deal with the community safety matters, including antisocial behaviour, which have been identified as priorities in their local community safety strategies and action plans.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much has been allocated to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in each year since 1997; and how much this represents per head of population in Northern Ireland. 
|Government grants to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland since 1999|
|Per capita expenditure since 1999|
|Membership of the Arts Council|
|Currently in post|
|Date of appointment/member||Years||Months|
|(1) Resigned June 2005. (2) Resigned March 2004.|
Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the evaluation of classroom assistants jobs in Northern Ireland commenced; and if he will make a statement on the evaluation. 
Maria Eagle: Classroom assistants are part of the Education and Library Boards overall Job Evaluation exercise that commenced in 1995. Since that time, Boards have been conducting a range of job evaluations for some 25,000 staff in total. It was acknowledged at the start that this would be a complex exercise that would take a considerable amount of time. It was therefore agreed that the effective date of any re-grading would be 1 January 1995 so that no member of staff would be disadvantaged by having to wait for the evaluation of their post.
Classroom assistants are the last major group of staff (some 7,000) for which Job Evaluation agreement remains outstanding and I am told that negotiations between the Education and Library Boards and the trade union side on the job evaluation process for classroom assistants are at an advanced stage. A total of £25.7 million has already been made available to cover costs resulting from the evaluation exercise. My Department has made clear to the Boards, as employers, the importance of reaching a speedy settlement that is affordable within those sizeable resources already provided and awaits further details from them as to how this objective will be delivered.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the change in credit card fraud in Northern Ireland since the introduction of the Chip and PIN technology. 
Paul Goggins: Chip and PIN has had a phased introduction into Northern Ireland, with some outlets offering the facility prior to 14 February. After that date, the use of PIN became mandatory with some exceptions, including cases where cardholders had not received upgraded cards or where outlets had not yet introduced the appropriate technology. It is therefore early to make a sound estimate of the impact of Chip and PIN.
The PSNI have provided the figures which are an estimate of criminal benefit obtained as a result of credit card fraud, from 2002 to date in the table. These figures are based on incidents reported to the PSNI for investigation; however it is accepted that the true figure could be significantly higher, as many incidents are reported directly to financial institutions that in turn may not make a report to police.
|Investigation files||Criminal Benefit|
There are many types of plastic card fraud and while early indications suggest that chip and PIN has made an impact on Card Present Fraud where a PIN is required, there could be a migration to other forms of card fraud such as CNP (Card Not Present). An example of CNP fraud is internet, mail order type transactions where a PIN is not required.
In 2005, Plastic losses (including ATM fraud such as skimming, account/identity takeover, fraudulent application fraud and compromised card use) amounted to approximately £532,000; the level of cheque crime for 2005 was estimated to be £4,128,000.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff in (a) each Northern Ireland Department and (b) the Northern Ireland Office, have had (i) five or more, (ii) four, (iii) three and (iv) two periods of sick leave of less than five days in each of the last three years. 
|Number of staff with periods of sick leave of less than five days by Department: 2004-05|
|Department||Five or more occasions||Four occasions||Three occasions||Two occasions|
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