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Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what proposals he has to amend the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme to include those who have been affected by vaccination but who are over the age of 21; 
Mr. Bayley: The Vaccine Damage Payments (VDP) scheme is principally aimed at those vaccinated as part of the Department of Health-recommended childhood vaccination programme, although exceptions are made in cases such as polio and rubella where such vaccinations are more routinely given into adulthood. Given this basis those claiming a VDP must generally have been vaccinated before their 18 birthday.
As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 27 June 2000, we propose to amend the time limit for claiming a VDP so that a claim must be made on or before the date on which a vaccinated person attains the age of 21, or within six years of the date of the vaccination to which the claim relates, whichever is the later. We have no further plans to amend age limit provisions.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if individuals who claim disablement as a result of participating in experiments at the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down are entitled to receive the case notes of their application for an award from the War Pension Agency. 
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Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will calculate the outstanding liability to the state second pension for each of the next 40 years, in current price terms, and if all workers turning 25 years were from 2002 automatically contracted out of the state second pension at the standard occupational pension rate. 
1. Figures are expressed in 2001-02 price terms.
2. Costs allow for the introduction of stakeholder pensions and assume State Second Pension becomes a flat-rate scheme in 2006-07.
3. There is no additional benefit expenditure for these years if all employed earners turning 25 years contract out of the State scheme from 2002.
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Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security on how many occasions between 31 March 2000 and 31 March 2001 (a) departmental and (b) non- departmental special advisers have travelled abroad in an official capacity. 
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate is provided by his Department's Family Resources Survey of the number of couples, married or unmarried, with at least one dependent child where both partners are in paid employment or self-employment, each earning less than £34,000 per annum and whose combined income is in excess of (a) £38,000, (b) £40,000, (c) £45,000 and (d) £50,000. 
|Combined earnings in excess of: (£ per annum)||Number of couples (Million)|
1. Earnings are defined as gross payment for full-time, part-time employment and/or self-employment. The estimates of the number of couples are cumulatively above the specified earnings level and therefore should not be summed.
2. All figures are estimates and are derived from the FRS. The FRS does not include Northern Ireland, and 1998-99 is the latest year for which data are available.
3. The estimates are sample counts, which have been adjusted for non-response using multipurpose grossing factors that control for region, Council Tax band and a number of other demographic variables. Estimates are subject to both sampling error and to variability in non-response. All numbers are rounded to the nearest 100,000.
Family Resources Survey (FRS) 1998-99
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security which categories of civil servants will not be offered stakeholder pensions; for what reasons; and how many people will be affected. 
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not eligible for membership of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme. Access will therefore be mainly provided for some 12,000 casual employees.
Additionally, access to the designated stakeholder arrangement will be available to those members of the PCSPS, earning below £30,000, who wish to use this route as an alternative or supplement to the scheme's additional voluntary contribution arrangements.
Work is also being taken forward on a new pension scheme for the civil service. This will provide new entrants with a choice between improved defined benefit arrangements and a new defined contribution plan. The defined contribution plan will be delivered through stakeholder pension products. Existing members of the PCSPS will be given the choice of remaining with the current benefit structure or of paying the higher employee contributions associated with the new defined benefit arrangement. The intention is to launch the new pension scheme from 1 October 2002.
Mr. Hope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish the results achieved by the Prison Service on each of its key performance indicators in 2001-01; and if he will make a statement. 
The results are extremely encouraging. The improvement in security is impressive--especially the reduction in escapes from prison establishments. There were 11 last year, compared with 30 in 1999-2000 and 232 as recently as 1992-93. The downward trend in drug misuse has continued and performance is well ahead of the Public Service Agreement (PSA) target. The level of drug abuse has fallen by 49 per cent. since 1996-97. The Service met the overall target for the number of prisoners completing accredited offending behaviour programmes and increased the overall number of completions by 30 per cent. on the previous year and by more than 93 per cent. on the number achieved in 1998-99. The purposeful activity target would have been met but for a sharp rise in the prisoner population since December, and I believe, could have been met despite the increase in population had governors not responded to encouragement to concentrate investment in education and offending behaviour courses which provide high quality activity but for small numbers of prisoners.
The Director General of the Prison Service has introduced new arrangements for dealing with the high levels of staff sickness in the Service and although the basic skills targets were not met, it is very encouraging to note that prisoners achieved more than 50,000 separate certificates last year, 12,500 of them at basic skills level 2.
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|Category A prisoner escapes||0||0|
|Total escapes, as a percentage of the average prison population||0.05 per cent.||0.03 per cent.|
|Contractor escapes, as a ratio per 20,000 prisoners handled||1:20,000||1:21,649|
|Proven adjudications of assault, as a percentage of the average prisoner population||9 per cent.||9.9 per cent.|
|Rate of positive random drug tests||16||12.4|
|Number of voluntary drug testing compacts||28,000||77,861|
|Percentage of the population held two to a cell designed for one (doubling)||18 per cent.||17.2 per cent.|
|Average weekly purposeful hours per prisoner||24 hours||23.8 hours|
|The proportion of prisoners discharged with basic skills in literacy below level 2||52.8 per cent.||76.6 per cent.|
|The proportion of prisoners discharged with basic skills in numeracy below level 2||61.9 per cent.||67.6 per cent.|
|Accredited offending behaviour programme completions||5,000||6,041|
|Accredited sex offender treatment programme completions||1,020||848|
|Cost per uncrowded prison place||£27,031||£27,022|
|Cost per prisoner||£26,118||£27,566|
|Average staff sickness days||11.25 days||13.6 days|
|Public correspondence replied within 20 days||95 per cent.||95 per cent.|
|Average telephone response time (Headquarters only)||12 seconds||12 seconds|
|Percentage abandoned telephone calls (Headquarters only)||5 per cent.||7.2 per cent.|
10 May 2001 : Column: 325W
10 May 2001 : Column: 325W
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