Previous Section Index Home Page

17 Sep 2007 : Column 2323W—continued

Social Security Benefits: Lone Parents

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many single (a) women and (b) men with children had their benefits withdrawn in each of the last five years. [148304]

Mr. Plaskitt: The information is not available.


17 Sep 2007 : Column 2324W

State Retirement Pensions: Overseas Residence

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many UK state pensions were paid to people residing in each country outside the European Economic Area with which the UK does not have a reciprocal social security arrangement covering uprating of UK state pensions in each year since 1997, broken down by country. [152709]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The information is lengthy and detailed and therefore has been placed in the Library.

Unemployment Benefits

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research his Department has undertaken into the merits of time-limited unemployment benefits. [149483]

Mr. Plaskitt: The Department has not carried out any recent research into the merits of time-limiting unemployment benefits.

Unemployment Benefits: East Sussex

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was spent on benefits for unemployed people in (a) Eastbourne and (b) East Sussex in (i) April 1997 and (ii) in the most recent month for which figures are available, broken down by type of benefit. [151412]

Mr. Plaskitt: The information available is in the following table.

Spend on benefits for unemployed people in (a) Eastbourne and (b) East Sussex in (i) 1997-98 and (ii) 2006-07
£ million (2007-08 prices)
1997-98 2006-07

Eastbourne Local Authority District

Jobseeker’s Allowance (Income-based)

5.2

3.8

Jobseeker’s Allowance (Contribution-based)

0.9

0.3

East Sussex County

Jobseeker’s Allowance (Income-based)

27.6

15.5

Jobseeker’s Allowance (Contribution-based)

4.1

2.3

Notes:
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest £100,000.
2. Figures are consistent with Budget 2007 published expenditure.
3. Figures cover the financial years 1997-98, and 2006-07; monthly figures are not comparable due to seasonality of unemployment.
4. Figures for 2006-07 are estimates, including partially forecast information.
5. Expenditure at this level is estimated using 5 per cent. samples and figures are therefore subject to sampling variation.
6. Jobseeker’s allowance (income-based) figures include claimants in receipt of income-based jobseeker’s allowance who would also be entitled to the contributory element.
7. Jobseeker’s allowance (contribution-based) figures include claimants in receipt of income-based jobseeker’s allowance who would also be entitled to the contributory element. Only the amount of income-based award above the level of contribution-based award is included in this.
8. A significant proportion of jobseeker’s allowance recipients also receive housing benefit and council tax benefit. Information on expenditure on these benefits is not available at this level.
9. East Sussex county does not include Brighton and Hove unitary authority.
Source:
DWP Expenditure tables and Information Directorate, 5 per cent. samples.

17 Sep 2007 : Column 2325W

Unemployment Benefits: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the cost of benefits paid to people who were unemployed and seeking work in the City of York in (a) 1996 and (b) 2006-07, at 2006-07 prices. [155276]

Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 12 September 2007]: The cost of benefits paid to people who were unemployed and seeking work in the City of York constituency was £9.9 million in 1996-97 in 2006-07 prices, and is estimated to be £4.3 million in 2006-07.

Unemployment: Social Rented Housing

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the incidence of unemployment and economic inactivity in social housing tenants. [152593]

Mr. Plaskitt: DWP provided a significant amount of analysis for Professor John Hills, who carried out an assessment of the role of social housing in the 21 century.

The Department has commissioned the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam university to undertake research into the links between social housing and worklessness. The research is expected to report towards the end of this year.

The Department is also currently carrying out analysis to quantify how much worklessness in the social rented sector is explained by characteristics of social tenants.

Vacancies: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many unfilled job vacancies there were at York Jobcentre at (a) 1 January and (b) 1 July in each year since 2000. [152209]

Caroline Flint: The available information is in the following table.


17 Sep 2007 : Column 2326W
Number of unfilled vacancies at York Jobcentre

July 2004

4,510

January 2005

3,650

July 2005

3,180

January 2006

2,650

July 2006

1,580

January 2007

1,190

Notes:
1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Information is only available at parliamentary constituency level and below from April 2004.
3. Figures are not fully comparable over time and may not indicate developments in the labour market.
There are two Jobcentres in York; Stonebow House and Monkgate. Figures are for York vacancies which are registered at Stonebow House but available to the public at both offices.
Source:
DWP Information Directorate Jobcentre Plus Labour Market System.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Charter of Fundamental Rights (EU)

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will list the representations made to him on the justiciability of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the United Kingdom, under the auspices of the draft EU treaty on constitutional arrangements; [155583]

(2) what (a) political and (b) legal agreements were made at the EU Foreign Ministers meeting of 7 and 8 September in relation to the draft EU treaty on constitutional arrangements; and if he will make a statement; [155584]

(3) whether the Government requested changes to the wording of the draft EU treaty on constitutional arrangements in relation to the Charter of Fundamental Rights at the EU Foreign Ministers meeting of 7 and 8 September; [155585]

(4) whether he has had any discussions with representatives of the trade unions on the justiciability of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the UK under the auspices of the draft EU treaty on constitutional arrangements; [155586]

(5) whether the United Kingdom has an opt out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights appended to the draft EU treaty on constitutional arrangements. [155587]

Mr. Jim Murphy: There has never been a draft EU Treaty on constitutional arrangements. The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, on which the Government proposed a referendum, is now defunct. The mandate for a Reform Treaty agreed by the European Council states clearly:

China: Hacking

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information the Government have collected on the hacking into of (a) Government, (b) Parliament and (c) UK commerce and industry computers and databases from China; and what action he has taken with the Chinese Government to halt such activity. [155536]


17 Sep 2007 : Column 2327W

Mr. Jim Murphy: It is the long-standing policy of the Government not to comment on national security issues.

Attacks on computer systems are an increasing world-wide phenomenon, and the need to manage the consequent risks to information held on these systems is taken very seriously by the Government. Both the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure and Communications Electronic Security Group (part of Government Communications Headquarters) play a key role in providing IT security advice to UK Government and industry, and a framework of measures is in place to protect vital systems from attacks.

Departments: Minister for Women

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) ministerial committees and (b) permanent groups involving senior civil servants have been set up by his Department to liaise with the Ministers for Women. [155433]

Mr. Jim Murphy: No ministerial committees or permanent groups involving senior civil servants have been set up by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for liaison with the Ministers for Women. As with all cross-cutting issues, FCO Ministers and officials liaise with the Ministers for Women when relevant.

Iraq: Entry Clearances

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in reviewing the applications of Iraqi interpreters who have worked for British forces in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. [155059]

David Miliband: [holding answer 10 September 2007]: As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said on 8 August, we are extremely grateful for the service of locally employed staff in Iraq and recognise that there are concerns about their safety. Interested Departments, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Department for International Development and the Home Office are reviewing, as a matter of urgency, the assistance we provide to Iraqis who work, or have worked, for the Government.

Kosovo

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) action the UK Government has taken and (b) discussions it has had since 1 July on the future status of Kosovo; and if he will make a statement. [155535]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The UK has been working with our partners in the Contact Group and with other members of the Security Council to resolve Kosovo's final status. Following Russian opposition to a Security Council resolution implementing UN Special Envoy Ahtisaari’s proposals, the Contact Group agreed to establish a further period of discussions between Belgrade and Pristina, facilitated by an EU-US-Russia Troika. The Contact Group will report back to the UN Secretary-General on those discussions by 10 December.


17 Sep 2007 : Column 2328W

The UK has engaged extensively on the Kosovo issue. The UK has participated in numerous Contact Group discussions with the Troika. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has also discussed Kosovo with EU Troika representative Ambassador Ischinger, with UN Special Envoy Ahtisaari, in EU Foreign Ministers’ meetings and in bilateral discussions with EU colleagues. We have also remained in close touch with Belgrade and Pristina, encouraging them to engage constructively in the process. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary will be chairing a ministerial meeting of the Contact Group, along with the Troika, in New York on 27 September.

Sudan: Peace Negotiations

Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the implementation of the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement; whether the deadlines in Appendix A of the agreement have been met; and if he will make a statement. [151031]

Meg Munn: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Drew) on 3 September 2007, Official Report, columns 1587-88W.

Turkey: Kurds

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the killing of Kurdish civilians in Turkey by Turkish armed forces and law enforcement agencies over the last three months; and if he will make a statement. [155534]

Mr. Jim Murphy: We are aware of a number of Kurds having been killed in Turkey over the last three months. The Turkish authorities report that all those killed by the armed forces were terrorists directly involved in combat operations in the ongoing Kurdish separatist struggle in the south-east. We are also aware of a number of Turkish army personnel having been killed in the region, both in security operations and in periodic attacks by separatists on Turkish army targets.

The overall socio-economic situation in the south-east remains difficult and we continue to press the Turkish government to pursue a comprehensive strategy of reforms to resolve outstanding issues.

Zimbabwe: Diplomatic Relations

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions British ambassadors, high commissioners or other diplomatic staff have met (a) Robert Mugabe and (b) other members of the Zimbabwean Government in the last three years, broken down by (i) date and (ii) place of meeting. [155567]

Mr. Jim Murphy: In the last three years, there have been two formal meetings with President Mugabe when our former and current ambassadors presented credentials at State House. These were in July 2004 and February 2006. Over the same period, a broad range of contacts have taken place between British diplomats and members of the Government of Zimbabwe as well as other Zimbabweans. These have included both formal meetings on issues of interest/concern and
17 Sep 2007 : Column 2329W
informal encounters at various events where views have been exchanged. A fully comprehensive record of all such meetings and encounters is not maintained.


Next Section Index Home Page