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18 May 2007 : Column 938W—continued

Financial Assistance Scheme

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the Sifam Limited Retirement Plan is one of the pension schemes to be included in the extension of the Financial Assistance Scheme to solvent employers. [136558]

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James Purnell [holding answer 10 May 2007]: At present the Sifam Limited Retirement Plan does not qualify for the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) as we understand that the sponsoring employer has not undergone an insolvency event. We currently do not have sufficient information to establish whether the scheme will be included in the recently announced extension to include pension schemes with compromise agreements. The FAS Operational Unit wrote to the trustee on 4 May explaining the position and stating that it may be necessary for the scheme to re-apply once changes to Scheme Qualifying Rules have been finalised.

Industrial Health and Safety

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress has been reported to him by the Health and Safety Commission in meeting targets for the reduction of deaths and injuries at work; what the most recent figure is for (a) fatal and (b) non-fatal injuries at work in the United Kingdom; and what the European Union average rates are. [135669]

Mrs. McGuire: The Revitalising Health and Safety target for injury which applies to Great Britain is to reduce the incidence rate of fatal and major injury by 10 per cent. between 1999-2000 and 2009-10; the pro-rata target for 2005-06 is a 6 per cent. reduction. The available sources indicate no clear change since the base year in the rate of fatal and major injury to employees. Since 2000, HSE has concentrated on key priority areas in partnership with industry and others. This has resulted in significant improvements in, for example, falls from height where the number of injuries has reduced. This activity has begun to show through to the overall fatal and major injuries rate.

The Health and Safety Executive has a public service agreement (PSA) target to reduce injuries by 3 per cent. between 2004-05 and 2007-08. In the first year of this agreement, the rate of fatal and major injuries dropped by 6.7 per cent.

There were 212 fatalities to workers reported for the whole year of 2005-06, 223 for 2004-05, and 236 in 2003-04. For the first six months of 2006-07, there were 124 fatal injuries to workers.

There were 28,605 major injuries reported for employees in 2005-06, compared with 30,451 in 2004-05, and 30,689 in 2003-04. For 2005-06, there were also 117,471 other injuries to employees reported causing an absence of over three days.

In 2003 (the most recent year for which data are available across the European Union) the average rate of work-related fatal injury in the European Union, excluding transport accidents, is 2.5 per 100,000 workers. The British rate is 1.1—the lowest across the EU.

EUROSTAT has estimated that there were 3.5 million over three day injuries in the EU, allowing for under-reporting. This translates into a non-fatal rate of 3,334 per 100,000 workers. The British rate is 1,614. The British rate of workplace non-fatal injury in 2003 is the fourth lowest among EU member states.

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Industrial Health and Safety: Construction

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the rate of (a) fatal, (b) major and (c) three day injuries to employees in the construction industry in the UK was in (i) 2006 and (ii) the first quarter of 2007. [135671]

Mrs. McGuire: The information requested is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the following table.

The following rates of injury to employees in the construction industry relate to published injury numbers for the provisional year 2005-06 and the first six months of 2006-07.

Rates of injury to employees in the construction industry, as reported to all enforcing authorities
Fatal injuries Non-fatal major injuries Over three day injuries All reported injuries











n/a = Not available.
(1) Provisional.
(2) Represents a crude annualised rate for the first six months of 2006-07, as it does not take account of any adjustments due to seasonal variation.

Mediation: Pilot Schemes

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the therapeutic mediation pilot being carried out for his Department by Relate will be completed; when he will publish results of the pilot; what criteria are being used to evaluate the pilot; and if he will make a statement. [130518]

Meg Munn [holding answer 29 March 2007]: I have been asked to reply.

The Relate therapeutic mediation pilot will continue until June 2008.

The University of East London has been commissioned to evaluate the pilot. We expect the evaluation report to be produced and published by spring 2008. The evaluation will include the effectiveness of the training offered by Relate, and of the mediation model in preventing homelessness and resolving family conflict.

Pension Credit: Rotherham

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Rotherham are in receipt of pensioners' credit. [137561]

James Purnell [holding answer 16 May 2007]: As at February 2007 4,900 households in Rotherham constituency were receiving pension credit.

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Social Security Benefits

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average weekly amount of benefit was for a (a) single pensioner, (b) married pensioner, (c) single person under pensionable age, (d) married couple under pensionable age and (e) married couple with children (i) in 1997 and (ii) at the latest available date. [128541]

James Purnell: The available information is in the following table.

Average (mean) weekly benefit payments to claimants in Great Britain
1997-98 2005-06

Single pensioner



Married pensioner couple



Single non-pensioner



Married non-pensioner couple



Married non-pensioner couple with children



1.Data for 1997-98 were collected between April 1997 and March 1998 and data for 2005-06 were collected between April 2005 and March 2006.
2.The Family Resources Survey (FRS) is a nationally representative sample of approximately 28,000 households.
3.Pensioner couple is defined as a couple where the head of the benefit unit is over pension age, defined as 60 for women and 65 for men.
4.Married couples include Civil Partnerships in 2005-06.
5.The estimates are based on sample counts that have been adjusted for non-response using multi-purpose grossing factors which align the FRS to Government Office Region populations by age and sex. Estimates are subject to sampling error and remaining non-response error.
6.Figures are mean-averages of weekly benefits received by claimants only (i.e. excluding non-claimants) and have been rounded to the nearest 1. Figures for couples are average weekly benefit amounts per couple.
7.Figures for weekly benefits include both income-related and non-income related benefits but exclude tax credits.
Family Resources Survey: Great Britain 1997-98 and 2005-06.

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Northern Ireland

Prisons: Drugs

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on how many occasions during the past 12 months a passive drug dog was not present during visiting times at each Northern Ireland prison establishment to carry out searches for prohibited substances. [136051]

Paul Goggins: The number of occasions that the prison drugs dog was not deployed by prison establishments over the past 12 months is:








The Northern Ireland Prison Service endeavours to have a passive drug dog operational during all visiting sessions, though due to various factors this is not always possible.

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many members of the Northern Ireland Prison Service were (a) disciplined, (b) suspended and (c) dismissed for supplying drugs or other prohibited items to prisoners in each of the last five years. [136824]

Paul Goggins: None. However, the Northern Ireland Prison Service takes steps to prevent such activities, and has rigorous arrangements in place to investigate any instances it is suspected any inappropriate activities have occurred.

Prisons: Religious Practice

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many chaplains of each religious affiliation are linked to each prison establishment in Northern Ireland; and how many visits chaplains made to Northern Ireland’s prisons in each of the last 12 months. [136055]

Paul Goggins: The Prison Service does not record the number of visits made. Each chaplain is allocated a set number of hours (commensurable with the number of prisoners) within each prison establishment. Chaplains spent 13,704 hours in Northern Ireland’s prisons last year.

The number and location of the chaplains linked to each prison establishment in Northern Ireland is given in the following table.

Establishment Roman Catholic Chaplains Church of Ireland Chaplains Methodist Chaplains Presbyterian Chaplains Free Presbyterian Chaplains













Hydebank Wood






(1) A Presbyterian chaplain has recently been recruited

In addition, arrangements have been made for an Imam to make regular prison visits and more recently, we have contacted a Polish Priest to arrange a visit.

The Northern Ireland Prison Service are currently in discussion with the churches on recommendations from an internal review of the structure of the
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Northern Ireland Prison Chaplaincy Service; this will conclude on 12 June. The review addresses current and future management arrangements and the resources required to meet the diverse needs of the growing prisoner population in line with best practice elsewhere.


Biofuels: Subsidies

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent (a) in the UK and (b) in the EU on subsidies for biofuels in each year since 1997. [137517]

Dr. Ladyman: These totals are not available in the form requested.

However, the UK Government’s support for biofuels has, to date, come mainly in the form of fuel duty incentives. A 20p per litre fuel duty incentive was introduced for biodiesel in 2002 and for bioethanol in 2005. Detailed information on the level of biofuel sales that these duty incentives have supported in each year since 2002 is available via the HM Customs and Revenue website at cfm?task=bulloil The figures in the following table set out the total amount of duty that has been foregone on biofuel sales because of these incentives.

Cost of 20p per litre incentive (£ million)













Other forms of Government support for biofuels (including, for example, support for research and development programmes) are summarised in a series of annual UK reports to the European Commission, available on the Commission website at _states_en.htm This website also contains summary details of the support for biofuels provided by other member states and by the Commission.

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