28 Jun 1999 : Column: 1

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 28 June 1999


Disability Living Allowance

Mr. Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many applications for Disability Living Allowance have been allowed (a) at the appeal stage and (b) after an initial refusal, in each of the last three years; and how many applications have been allowed in total. [88229]

Mr. Timms: The administration of Disability Living Allowance is a matter for Mr. Peter Mathison, Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Peter Mathison to Mr. Brian Cotter, dated 25 June 1999:

    The information you have requested is as follows:

DLA claims allowed at appeal by ITS13,34612,71016,261
DLA claims allowed on review44,78444,28831,629
Number of DLA claims awarded239,669211,249175,597
Total number of claims awarded 1996-99----626,515


Independent Tribunal Service

I hope you find this reply helpful.

Gay Relationships

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will assess the advantages and disadvantages to the social security system of recognising gay relationships. [87348]

Angela Eagle: In the contributory benefits system, all rights to contributory benefits derived from another person's contributions are based on the concept of a legal marriage.

In income-related benefits, a couple is treated as a single unit, and benefit is calculated on the basis of the couple's combined needs and resources. A couple means either a married couple, or a man and a woman who are living together as husband and wife. In this country, current legislation permits a contract of marriage between members of the opposite sex only. Income-related benefits rules, which define an unmarried couple as comprising a man and a woman, follow this principle.

Currently, we have no plans to carry out an assessment of the Social Security system as proposed. However, we do keep the system under review and aim to build a modern Social Security system which reflects today's changed society.

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Millennium Compliance

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what independent assessment he plans to make of the Year 2000 compliance of his Department's business-critical information technology systems. [88402]

Angela Eagle: Aspects of the Department's Year 2000 Programme as well as the Programme overall have already been subject to more than 20 independent assessments since work commenced in 1995. The latest one was conducted by IMPACT consultancy in May. This assessment was undertaken to fulfil our part in Action 2000's Independent Assessment Project of essential sectors of the national infrastructure. Findings will be disclosed at the National Infrastructure Forum on 13 July.

The Department will be commissioning a further round of independent assessments of all delivery organisations later in the year and the results will be made available as part of the National Infrastructure Project monitoring phase.


Territorial Army

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will list the TA units due to be disbanded within the next six months; [88378]

Mr. Doug Henderson: In accordance with the announcement on the restructuring of the Territorial Army made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 17 November 1998, Official Report, columns 749-71, the following battalion and company units are due to disband by 1 July 1999:

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    Infantry 1

    Lowland Volunteers

    3rd Battalion Royal Highland Fusiliers

    3rd Battalion The Black Watch

    3rd Battalion The Highlanders

    7th/8th Battalion The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

    5th Battalion Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

    6th/7th Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

    The London Regiment

    5th Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

    6th Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

    6th Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment

    7th Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment

    4th Battalion The Kings Own Royal Border Regiment

    5th/8th Kings Regiment

    3rd Battalion The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment

    4th/5th Green Howards

    4th Battalion The Queen's Lancashire Regiment

    3rd Battalion The Duke of Wellington's Regiment

    4th Battalion Devonshire and Dorset Regiment

    3rd Battalion The Cheshire Regiment

    3rd Battalion The Royal Welch Fusiliers

    2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Wales

    2nd Battalion Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment

    3rd Battalion the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment

    The Staffordshire Regiment

    5th Battalion The Light Infantry

    6th Battalion The Light Infantry

    7th Battalion The Light Infantry

    4th Battalion Royal Green Jackets

    5th Battalion Royal Green Jackets

    4th/5th Battalion The Royal Irish Rangers

    4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment

    10th Battalion The Parachute Regiment

    Royal Logistic Corps

    562 Transport Squadron, 151 Transport Regiment Royal Logistic Corps

    67 Stores Squadron Royal Logistic Corps

    166 Logistic Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps

    143 Stores Squadron Royal Logistic Corps

    209 Printing Troop

    241 General Support Squadron Royal Logistic Corps

    280 and 281 Movement Control Squadrons Royal Logistic Corps

    65 Petroleum Squadron Royal Logistic Corps

    68 Vehicle Squadron Royal Logistic Corps

    HQ 86 Postal and Courier Regiment Royal Logistic Corps

    Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron Royal Logistic Corps

    Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

    202 Port and Reclamation Company 105 Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

    207 Workshop Company 105 Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

    HQ Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Pool of Officers

    TA Specialist Increment REME

28 Jun 1999 : Column: 4

    Adjutant General's Corps (Royal Military Police)

    152, 163, 164, 165, 251 and 254 Provost Companies Royal Military Police


    Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Band

    South Nottinghamshire Hussars (Yeomanry) Royal Horse Artillery Band

    Royal Signals Band

    Royal Highland Fusiliers (Territorial) Band

    Warwickshire Band Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

    Yorkshire (Volunteers) Band

    Berkshire and Hampshire Band

    Light Infantry Burma Band

    Army Medical Services (Territorial Army) Band

No further units other than those affected by SDR and listed above are due to disband between 1 July and 31 December 1999.

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many TA soldiers have left the service since November 1998 (a) voluntarily and (b) compulsorily. [88364]

Mr. Doug Henderson: In the period of 1 November 1998 to 30 April 1999, 7,980 soldiers left the Territorial Army and 3,690 joined. Of those leaving, 7,271 left on completion of their engagement, 194 left voluntarily before their term of engagement was complete and 515 were compulsorily discharged for reasons including failure to complete training, misconduct, inefficiency or poor health.

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