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5 Jun 2008 : Column WA69



5 Jun 2008 : Column WA69

Written Answers

Thursday 5 June 2008

Animal Welfare: Wild Birds

Lord Moran asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The purpose of the project was to develop fluorescent multiplexes for the golden eagle, goshawk, gyr falcon, merlin, peregrine falcon and saker falcon. The development and implementation of a fluorescent multiplex system would allow the construction of databases and allow comparisons between any sampled individuals, avoiding the need to retest them. The system should facilitate compliance checking and assist enforcement efforts.

The species were chosen to ensure that they were the most appropriate for the project, based on previous research into DNA forensic techniques involving birds of prey. The conservation status of these species was only one of the factors taken into account when considering the selection criteria for this project. The factors taken into account were:

conservation status and level of wild population within the UK and Europe;level of captive population within the UK, taking account of the project need to be able to obtain a significant number of samples;commercial value of individual specimens, coupled with the trend in demand for specimens;ease or otherwise of captive propagation of the species, including the project need to obtain a number of samples from family groups; andhistory of persecution and laundering of illegal birds into the captive system.

Benefits: Overseas Recipients

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton):The following data are of actual payments made. The information requested is not available in the format requested for the last full year because of a

5 Jun 2008 : Column WA70

system fault in July. The information is for the last full business year for which data are available, 2006-07. Such information as is available is in the table.

State pension (SP)Incapacity benefit (IB), severe disablement allowance (SDA), bereavement benefit (BB) and widow’s benefit (WB)Number of customers aged 90 and aboveProportion of customers in each country aged 90 and above

Australia

£391 million

£2 million

8,500

4%

Spain

£267 million

£17.5 million

800

1%

USA

£243 million

£3 million

3,080

2%

Ireland

£241 million

£17.5 million

2,340

2%

Canada

£237 million

£1.5 million

4,660

3%

France

£121 million

£9 million

560

2%

New Zealand

£78 million

£0.5 million

1,940

4%

Jamaica

£78 million

£1.5 million

820

4%

South Africa

£72 million

£1 million

1,060

3%

Italy

£57 million

£2 million

480

1%

Cyprus

£44 million

£2.5 million

160

1%

Germany

£43 million

£3.5 million

480

2%

Portugal

£21 million

£1.5 million

100

1%

Barbados

£17 million

£0.1 million

100

2%

Jersey

£16 million

£0.5 million

300

4%

Malta

£13 million

£l million

80

2%

Netherlands

£12 million

£1 million

120

2%

Guernsey

£12 million

£0.25 million

200

4%

Greece

£11 million

£l million

40

1%

Israel

£10 million

£0.1 million

220

6%

Data Source: Scan of overseas customers taken from benefit systems or International Pension Centre.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McKenzie of Luton: The current measures used by the International Pension Centre (IPC) to detect unreported death on a customer base of 1.1 million are a programme of data matching, where available, and life certification where data matching is unavailable or impractical.

IPC is currently data matching with death indexes from the USA and New Zealand. These offer data on all the deaths in those countries but are the only two identified at this time. IPC is also starting to exchange data with equivalent authorities such as Centrelink in Australia and Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB) in the Netherlands. It is expected that IPC will exchange data with the Department for Social and Family Affairs in Ireland in the foreseeable future. Data matching with the authorities in a number of other countries where there are high numbers of UK beneficiaries is also being progressed.



5 Jun 2008 : Column WA71

Data matching with the equivalent authorities in other countries is not always possible or practical because of, for example, the absence of a suitably robust registration system. Therefore, life certificates are used to verify the life of customers who are not covered by data matching. Life certificates require customers to present themselves to the foreign authority, UK diplomatic or consular service, solicitor or barrister, magistrate or justice of the peace, or police to have their certificate signed. The customer must also present photographic evidence—for example, a passport.

Although life certificates have been in use in the IPC for some years, the programme has recently been expanded to include annual certification of all customers not covered by data matching aged 85 and above and annual certification of other customers in high-risk cohorts, which are currently being identified.


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