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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) replaced income support for the unemployed on 7 October 1996. We are collecting a range of statistical data on the numbers affected by the sanction rules in JSA. Understanding the impact of sanctions will also form part of our wider programme of monitoring and evaluation to ensure that JSA is contributing to our welfare to work objectives, which are to provide work incentives, to reduce poverty and welfare dependency, and to strike a new balance between rights and responsibilities.
As part of the evaluation of JSA, the DSS/BA and DfEE/ES have jointly commissioned a major national survey of unemployed claimants before and after the introduction of JSA. A first report on the pre-JSA survey has been published (DSS Research Series No. 62, Unemployment and Jobseeking). A second report is due to be published in the autumn. Both reports provide information about claimants who were disqualified or disallowed benefit.
In addition, these quantitative surveys are being supplemented to qualitative research, again before and after the introduction of JSA. One strand of this work specifically investigates claimants' understanding of and attitudes towards disallowances and sanctions and the impact on behaviour among jobseekers who have experienced sanctions. We expect to publish the pre-JSA research shortly.
Baroness Hollis of Heigham: A key aim of the department's review of the social security system will be to develop a strategy by which we will modernise the structure and delivery of social security to encourage independence, social cohesion and well-being. The present system broadly aims to treat unmarried couples no more advantageously than couples who are married. In the income-related benefits, an unmarried couple living together like a husband and wife is treated in exactly the same way as a married couple. Entitlement is assessed on
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): Detention should be used sparingly, and only in cases where it is felt that the person might otherwise abscond. Most detainees under Immigration Act powers have the right to apply for bail to an independent adjudicator. This includes those who may at some stage have sought asylum. However, a wide ranging review covering all aspects of detention policy, including the opportunities to apply for bail, is currently being undertaken. The results are likely to be available in the Autumn.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The previous Government's spending plans for the probation service, as set out in the Home Office Annual Report 1997, envisaged expenditure of £428 million in the present financial year, falling to £425 million next year and £417 million in 1999-2000. We shall maintain central government support at the planned level this financial year, and consider what level of funding the probation service needs in future years, in order to provide punishment in the community which is effective and commands public confidence, as part of the comprehensive spending review which is now getting under way.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): There will be one coherent review of defence. The strategic defence review will be the Ministry of Defence's contribution to the comprehensive spending review. It is envisaged that work on the strategic defence review will be completed around the turn of the year.
|A comprehensive spending review||This will be completed in the next 12 months. Estimates of the cost of the comprehensive spending review are not held centrally. But the costs will be absorbed within departments' running costs limits set in the Budget on November 1996.|
|A strategic defence review||Work on the strategic defence review is envisaged to be completed around the turn of the year. Maximum use will be made of existing structures to conduct the review. Additional costs will be incurred, including the process of consultation with outside experts and interests. It is too early to predict the total additional cost.|
|A review of the bureaucratic burden on teachers||The final report on this review is planned for spring 1998. Costs are expected to be met from planned departmental running costs.|
|A review of the detailed criteria used in considering licence applications for the export of conventional weapons||This review will be completed, and the new criteria will be made available to the House, as soon as possible. Costs are expected to be met within planned departmental running costs.|
|A review of the law relating to surrogacy||The review team has not yet met but it is expected to report later this year or early next year. The costs cannot be estimated reliably at this stage.|
|A review of the law relating to silicone breast implants||This aims to report to the chief medical officer in late 1997. Completion date for the review will, however, depend on the amount of work that the group considers necessary to fulfil its remit. It is too early to say what the costs will be as it will depend on the amount of work that the group considers necessary.|
|A review of proposed NHS private finance initiative schemes||This is an ongoing review looking at the process and product of PFI in the NHS. This review will take into account the findings of Malcolm Bates's review of PFI in all government departments. Costs will be met from planned departmental running costs.|
|A review of the breast cancer screening service in Devon and implications for the breast screening programme as a whole||This is expected to be completed in mid July 1997. The estimated cost is £2,000 for travel and subsistence, apart from normal departmental and NHS running costs.|
|A review of London health services||The independent advisory panel conducting the review has been asked to complete the main elements of its work by October 1997. It is not yet possible to estimate the cost.|
|A review of the arrangements for celebrating the Millennium||The review has been completed. The review was conducted by the Department of National Heritage, and the Millennium Commission as part of their normal activities, and no additional costs were incurred by the department.|
|A review of the National Lottery, leading to the publication of a White Paper||A White Paper will be published in July, initiating a consultation period prior to the introduction of legislation in late November/ early December. Costs will be met from planned departmental running costs.|
|A review of film policy||The review is expected to conclude in spring 1998. Expenses are being paid to the members of the review group. No decisions on further expenditure have yet been made. Any such expenditure would be met from within the existing departmental budget for consultancies.|
|A review of compulsory competitive tendering regulations which will improve the existing regime pending its replacement by a duty of best value||The review is expected to be completed by early July. Costs will be met from planned departmental running costs.|
|A fundamental review of transport policy leading to the publication of a White Paper on our long term strategy for an integrated transport policy A review of the roads programme A bus review||The aim is to publish a White Paper on integrated transport policy in the spring of next year taking account of the outcome of the review of transport policy, the review of the roads programme and the review of bus policy. Costs will be met from planned departmental running costs.|
|A review of the arrangements for enforcing the rules on the welfare of animals exported live to the continent||The intention is to introduce changes which are shown to be necessary as soon as practicable. Costs will be met from planned departmental running costs.|
|A review of the case for inoculation as a substitute for rabies quarantine||No date for the completion of this review has yet been set. Scope and costs are not yet finalised.|
|A review of the Milk Development Council||This review is expected to be completed later this year. Costs will be met from planned departmental running costs.|
|A review of international development policy leading to publication of White Paper||The work will not involve any extra costs. Publication costs will be recovered.|
|A review of economic regeneration in Wales||The aim is to complete this review by September. Precise costings cannot be given at this stage, but any costs additional to normal departmental running are expected to be minimal.|
|A review of existing proposals for reform of civil litigation and legal aid||The Lord Chancellor has asked Sir Peter Middleton for a preliminary report by the end of September on whether these proposals are the best way to reduce costs and delay in litigation and improve the control over the cost of legal aid. Any further work will depend on the terms of the preliminary report. The review is expected to cost around £75,000 to the end of September for civil service and other support and publication costs. The majority of running costs will be internal running costs met from the planned departmental running cost budget.|
|A review of the Crown Prosecution Service||This is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Costs cannot be determined at this stage.|
|A review of private finance machinery||This was completed on 13 June. No costs were incurred outside normal departmental running costs.|
|A review of the tax benefits system||This is expected to report in around a year. Costs are expected to be met from planned departmental running costs.|
|A review of the Post Office||It is too soon to say when the review will be completed. No external costs are yet committed.|
|An audit of the foresight programme which is a programme to bring together business, Government and academia to identify market and technology opportunities for the future. The audit aims to catalogue individual Foresight initiatives taken by government departments and to consider ways to improve the co-ordination of the programme.||This will report to Ministers by the summer Recess. Costs will be met from within planned departmental running costs.|
|An Export Forum to review the effectiveness of current official export promotion programmes and to make recommendations for a new export initiative.||This will report to Ministers by the autumn. Costs will be met from planned departmental running costs.|
|A review of steps which might be taken to strengthen democratic control of the three public water authorities in Scotland||This review is expected to be completed in November. External costs are expected to be £20,000.|
|Scottish enterprise review||The completion date is not yet known. Costs will be met from planned departmental running costs.|
|A review of the way in which social rented housing is supported in Scotland||Expected to be completed in March 1998. Costs will be met from planned departmental running costs.|
|A review of the Skye Bridge tolling arrangements||The completion date is not yet known. Costs will be met from planned departmental running costs.|
|A fundamental review of transport policy in Scotland leading to the publication of a White Paper on our long term strategy for an integrated transport policy||The review is expected to be completed in spring 1998. Scope and costs are not yet finalised.|
|A review of the Scottish roads programme||The review is expected to be completed in summer 1998. Scope and costs are not yet finalised.|
|A review of the existing code of practice on access to government information.||This has been completed. There were no costs outside normal departmental running costs.|
|The preparation of the White paper on better government will include reviews of ministerial accountability and non- departmental public bodies, including the full implementation of the Nolan recommendations and their extension to all public bodies.||This review process will be undertaken within existing resources and results will be published in the White Paper in the autumn.|
|The Department of Social Security is committed to modernising the structure and delivery of social security in order to encourage independence, social cohesion and well being; to develop an active welfare system which supports work, savings and honesty; and to help tackle effectively unjustifiable social and economic inequalities. To that end we will be examining the major components of the system. We will consult on specific issues in due course.|
|A review of policy on admission charging by national museums.||This review is being conducted as part of the department's normal activities, with no additional costs. It is expected to be concluded by autumn 1997.|