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War Pensioners: Payment for Palliative Care

Lord Cullen of Ashbourne asked Her Majesty's Government: Whether it is the case that the War Pensions Agency pays for palliative skilled nursing care for severely disabled war pensioners in recognised nursing homes; and whether they will pay for similar care in the home, particularly when to do so will avoid the separation of husband and wife.

The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish): Article 26 of the Naval, Military and Air Forces etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 1983 and Article 25B of the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme 1983 provide that nursing expenses in respect of medical, surgical or rehabilitative treatment may be defrayed by the Secretary of State. This discretionary power is normally used to meet the cost of providing skilled nursing care for severely disabled war pensioners in private nursing homes. Only in exceptional circumstances would consideration be given to meeting the cost of providing such care in the war pensioner's own home. Avoiding the separation of husband and wife would not of itself be regarded as constituting exceptional circumstances.

Mr. Kevin Taylor: Costs of Action

Lord Dean of Beswick asked Her Majesty's Government: How much public money the case of Kevin Taylor against the Greater Manchester Police and its former Chief Constable, Sir James Anderton, has cost.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): I understand that Mr. Kevin Taylor has been granted legal aid in respect of his action and that £369,000 has been paid on account to date.

The costs incurred by the Greater Manchester Police and its former Chief Constable are a matter for the Greater Manchester Police Authority.

14 Feb 1995 : Column WA34

Bosnian Refugees: Policy

Lord Ashley of Stoke asked Her Majesty's Government: What their policy is towards the acceptance of further refugees from Bosnia.

Baroness Blatch: Applications for refugee status from nationals of Bosnia-Herzegovina are considered in the normal way in accordance with the United Kingdom's obligations under the 1951 UN Convention relating to Refugees. Where there are compelling compassionate circumstances nationals of former Yugoslavia who do not qualify for refugee status may be allowed to remain exceptionally until the situation stabilises; and no one is returned to areas of active conflict. In 1992, the Government agreed to accept up to 1,000 nationals of the former Yugoslavia and their dependants considered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to be vulnerable and in need of evacuation. By 8 February, 884 principals had arrived.

Bosnian Refugees in EU Countries

Lord Ashley of Stoke asked Her Majesty's Government: How many refugees from Bosnia are in the United Kingdom; and how many in each other country of the European Union.

Baroness Blatch: The available information on asylum applications from nationals of the former Yugoslavia, and on decisions made for the period 1 January 1992 to 31 December 1994, is given in Table 1; data for Bosnians are not separately identifiable in the statistics. The large majority of applications made in the period are under consideration and the applicants are being allowed to remain in the meantime.

In addition to consideration of asylum applications, the Government have, under arrangements announced in November 1992 and June 1993, stated their willingness to accept up to 1,000 individuals from the former Yugoslavia along with their immediate dependants judged by UNHCR to be particularly vulnerable and in need of evacuation. As at 8 February 1995, 844 particularly vulnerable individuals and 1,148 dependants had arrived under these arrangements. Prior to this, 68 sick and wounded ex-detainees from Bosnia arrived in September 1992.

Information on the number of Bosnian refugees in each EU country is not readily available. The available information is of UNHCR estimates of the number of former Yugoslavs who have sought asylum in EU member countries up to April 1994 and is given in Table 2.

14 Feb 1995 : Column WA35

Table 1 Decisions(70095.8") on applications (70095.8") received for asylum from nationals of the former Yugoslavia in the United Kingdom, excluding dependants, 1992 to 1994
Number of principal applicants

1992 1993 1994
Asylum applications(70095.9") 5,635 1,830 1,385
Decisions(70095.9")(70095.10") 130 175 1,765
— Recognised as a refugee and granted asylum * 25
— Not recognised as a refugee but granted exceptional leave to remain(70095.11") * 55 1,265
— Refused asylum and ELR—after full consideration 10 375
— Refused under para 180F(70095.12") 65 80 75
— Refused on safe third country grounds(70095.13") 60 30 25

(1095.8") Provisional figures rounded to the nearest 5, with '*'= 1 or 2.

(2095.9") Figures exclude information on applications made overseas.

(3095.10") Decisions do not necessarily relate to applications made in the same year.

(4095.11") Usually granted for a year in the first instance, subject then to further review.

(5095.12") For failure to provide evidence to support the asylum claim within a reasonable period, including failure to respond to invitation to interview to establish identity (para. 101 prior to 26 July 1993.)

(6095.13") Refused on the grounds that the applicant had arrived from a safe third country.

14 Feb 1995 : Column WA36

Table 2 UNHCR's estimate of the number(76095.14") of former Yugoslavs who have sought asylum or have been given temporary protection/resettlement in EU member countries.

Asylum seekers (76095.15")(July 1991 —April 1994) Number given temporary protection/resettlement (October 1992–July 1994)
principal applicants dependants
Austria 55,000 208 204
Belgium 4,900 55 124
Denmark 20,100 1,747 3,451
Finland 3,000 74 304
France 15,900 301 619
Germany 309,400 1,416 1,590
Greece 170
Ireland 20 6 3
Italy 33,900 55 105
Luxembourg 2,500 10
Netherlands 42,300 222 267
Portugal 150 1
Spain 3,700 227 384
Sweden 76,200 892 1,537
Total 567,300 4,914 8,588

Source UNHCR.

(7095.14") Figures include dependants and rounded to the nearest 100.

(8095.15") Estimated number who have sought asylum since the conflict began in the former Yugoslavia (July 1991 in Croatia, and April 1992 in Bosnia).

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