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Jim Fitzpatrick: We ran a consultation on the draft regulations on flexible working, which closed on 25 April 2006. We will bring forward the draft regulations towards the end of this year. The new law is due to come into force from April 2007.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when a decision will be taken about the inclusion of questions on knowledge of Irish and Ulster Scots in the 2011 census in Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Hanson: Proposals for the 2011 census, including the topics and questions to be included will be brought forward in a White Paper, currently planned for the autumn of 2008. These proposals will take account of consultation with users, the testing and evaluation of options and the balancing of different requirements. The final content of the census will ultimately be determined through the legislative process in the form of a census order and census regulations, probably around 2010.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has been made of the number of individuals who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related illness in the Province in each of the last 10 years. 
The following table details the number of admissions(1) to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of asbestos-related illness, for each year between 1995 and 2004 (the latest calendar year for which data is available). It should be noted that any individual could have been admitted to hospital more than once over the course of a year or over a number of years and would therefore be counted more than once in the table.
|Hospital AdmissionsNorthern Ireland|
|(1) Discharges and deaths are used as an approximation to admissions. Source: Hospital Inpatients System DHSS and PS|
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people have been diagnosed with cancer in Northern Ireland in the last three years; what estimate he has made of how many of them have experienced a consequent loss of income; what the estimated average loss of income experienced by cancer patients was in the same period; what financial support is available to cancer patients; and what steps his Department has taken to inform cancer patients of the support available to them. 
The following table details the incidence of all cancers (ICD-10 COO-D48) in
Northern Ireland for 2001-03, the most recent three year period for which data are available.
|All cancers||All cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer( 1) )|
|(1) Non-melanoma skin cancers which have an excellent prognosis and are rarely fatal, are frequently excluded when quoting incidence statistics|
The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has made no estimate of the number of cancer patients experiencing a loss of income following their diagnosis or the average loss of income. Many people find that a diagnosis of cancer affects them financially and, depending on their individual circumstances, they may be entitled to financial assistance in the form of state benefits. Current practice in the HPSS is for nursing staff to discuss these issues with cancer patients and, where appropriate, to refer them to social work staff who will provide advice on social security benefits and sources of information.
The Social Security Agencys Disability and Carers Service contact centre assists with applications for disability living allowance (DLA), attendance allowance (AA) and carers allowance. People affected by cancer can also avail of the special rules scheme within DLA and AA which enables terminally ill patients to have their applications fast-tracked. An award of either benefit under special rules will mean the patient will receive the highest rate payable for help with personal care.
The Social Security Agency has worked, in conjunction with Macmillan Cancer Support, to identify and address the barriers facing cancer patients when they need to access benefits. This work has resulted in enhanced cancer awareness training for Agency staff; an information booklet for patients and carers Help with the Cost of Cancer was launched in March 2005; and an outreach service of Specialist Benefit Advisers for those with cancer has been piloted.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will estimate the total cost (a) of screening for cervical cancer, (b) arising from management of those with abnormal cervical findings and (c) of treating patients with cervical cancer in the Province in 2005-06. 
Information is not readily available on the costs of managing those with abnormal cervical findings or for treating those patients with cervical cancer. These would have been included in the £40.4 million planned expenditure for all types of cancer.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make provision for docetaxel to be made available on the NHS to those with late stage prostate cancer in Northern Ireland. 
Paul Goggins: Additional funding of £21 million has been allocated for specialist drugs in 2006-07 and 2007-08. Of this sum, £6 million has been earmarked for cancer drugs. It is for health and social services boards, as commissioners of services, to prioritise how funding is used, taking into account the competing demands and pressures in their areas and the strategic objectives and priorities of my Department. Health and social services boards' investment plans for 2006-07 include proposals to fund the introduction of docetaxel for the treatment of late stage prostate cancer at a projected cost of £195,000 per annum.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the recruitment process for the new Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland; and on what date (a) the post was advertised, (b) the post was offered to the successful candidate and (c) the appointment was approved by him. 
Mr. Hanson: The recruitment of the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland was by a full and open competition. The appointment was based on merit and applicants both at the sift stage and at the interviews had to satisfy the essential competences required for the post.
It is not Government practice to disclose information relating to when appointment decisions were taken and when successful candidates were notified as the disclosure of such information could inhibit the frankness and candour of future internal discussions.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many candidates (a) applied and (b) were shortlisted for the post of Northern Ireland Chief Electoral Officer; and how many of those candidates were (i) women and (ii) from an ethnic minority community. 
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the plans are for the expenditure of the funds allocated for (a) Child and Adolescent Crisis Response Teams under Theme 5: Child Protection and (b) Rapid Response Child Protection Teams under Theme 6: Children with Special Needs and Disabilities in 2006-07; and what the timetable is for the expenditure in each case. 
Paul Goggins: An outline structure for Rapid Response Child Protection Teams under Theme 5 of the Children and Young People Funding Package has now been developed through a cross health and social services board and trust working group led by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. An approach to implementation of this revised structure is currently being agreed with a view to immediate rollout. An investment of £1.85 million has been allocated to establish teams and expenditure will begin to be incurred following agreement to the implementation strategy in September 2006.
Health and social services boards are developing proposals on the allocation of £0.5 million in 2006-07 and £1.0 million in 2007-08 to establish Child and Adolescent Crisis Response Teams under Theme 6 of the Children and Young People Funding Package. The Department expects to receive the final proposals within the next few weeks to allow the recruitment process in each board area to begin in the autumn.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent on advertising by (a) each Department in Northern Ireland and (b) the Northern Ireland Office in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Hanson [pursuant to the reply, 17 May 2006, Official Report, c. 1009W]: I should inform the hon. Gentleman that the figures provided for four Northern Ireland Departments were incorrect. The figures for DOE, DFP and DHSSPS were transposedthe amounts stated were correct but attributed to the wrong Departments. In the case of DSD, an incorrect figure was given. I apologise to the hon. Gentleman for this error.
The following amounts were spent on advertising in each of the Northern Ireland Departments and the Northern Ireland Office, in (A) 2003-04 and (B) 2004-05:
|Department||(A) 2003-04||(B) 2004-05|
Mr. Hanson: The revaluation of domestic properties in Northern Ireland in the form of discrete capital values is not in itself about increasing revenues, rather it is about redistributing the rating burden among households in a fairer way. Domestic rate increases usually apply every year in line with Budget plans, however, in the year of revaluation, 2007-08, the Government have set a 6 per cent. increase for the regional rate, which is significantly below the recent trend increases. District rate increases are a matter for the individual district councils.
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