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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many vets were employed by the Government Veterinary Service on 1 May (a) 1995, (b) 1997, (c) 1999 and (d) 2001. 
Mr. Morley: The number of veterinary surgeons (full-time equivalents) employed by the State Veterinary Service (SVS) since January 1995 are shown in the table (figures for May are not readily accessible, other than those for 2001 which are given). The Veterinary Investigation Service became part of the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) on 1 October 1995 and is not included in these figures from that date. In 2000, there were 99 veterinarians employed by the VLA. Much of the information presented here previously appeared on 27 February 1997, Official Report, columns 32324W.
Of the 286 full-time equivalent veterinarians employed by the State Veterinary Service in 2001 as a whole, 220 veterinarians are employed as field veterinary officers. The work of these officers is supplemented by about 100 Temporary Veterinary Inspectors (TVIs) from the private sector in normal times.
|Year as at 1 January||Number of vets|
As at 1 May 2001 the total number of vets working in the State Veterinary Service was 1,718. The permanent veterinary staff were supplemented by TVIs, foreign Government vets on loan to the SVS, vets from the MAFF agencies and those on loan from other Government Departments.
17 Jul 2001 : Column: 173W
Mr. Morley: Following consultation with the industry my Department carried out the June Census on 1 June 2001 as originally planned. The decision to proceed was carefully considered. There is a need to be sensitive to the pressures the farming community is facing as a result of the Foot and Mouth outbreak, yet gather good information to help underpin policies for recovery.
Regarding alteration of the questions, the need for continuity of the statistical series and our legal obligations to collect certain details meant there were no changes to the census form. Consideration is currently being given to the collection of supplementary information relating to the wider impact of the outbreak upon farmers and the short, medium and longer term effects.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proposals she has to amend the Forestry Commission Departmental Expenditure Limits for (a) 200102, (b) 200203 and (c) 200304. 
Mr. Morley: The National Assembly for Wales has now taken over responsibility for funding the Forestry Commission's activities in Wales, in accordance with the devolution arrangements, and so £5,256,000 will be
17 Jul 2001 : Column: 174W
transferred to the National Assembly from the Forestry Commission's Departmental Expenditure Limit in 200102 and in each of the following two years.
In addition, in order to allow the Forestry Commission to smooth out the effects on net expenditure of the current difficulties in achieving planned levels of income, the Departmental Expenditure Limit for 200102 will be increased by bringing £1,000,000 forward from the Departmental Expenditure Limits for both 200203 and 200304 (giving a total increase in 200102 of £2,000,000).
Subject to Parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimate, the Departmental Expenditure Limit will also be increased in 200102 by £1,000. This token Supplementary Estimate is required to bring the ambit of the Summary Request for Supply presented to Parliament into line with the Departmental Supply Estimate.
The net effect of these changes is that the Forestry Commission's total budget over the last three years is increased by £1,000. However, following the transfer of responsibility for funding the Commission's activities in Wales, the Commission's Departmental Expenditure Limit for expenditure funded directly by Parliament will be reduced in 200102 by £3,255,000, from £70,592,000 to £67,337,000, and in each of the following two years by £6,256,000 from £75,052,000 to £68,796,000.
Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 11 July 2001, Official Report, column 573W, on ministerial replies, if he will list by Department, the number of letters from members of the public not replied to since May 1997. 
Mr. Leslie: The information is not held centrally in the form requested. I will later this week be placing in the Libraries of the House information on the percentage of letters answered by the main Departments and agencies within their correspondence target.
Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the reservation taken by the UK to article 22 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. 
The United Kingdom ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991. The reservation in respect of article 22 in no way inhibits the discharge of our obligations under the Convention. It is there to safeguard the right of the United Kingdom to determine its own immigration and nationality laws.
17 Jul 2001 : Column: 175W
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 9 July 2001]: Improvements in a person's work capability will vary from case to case according to their condition. This is not predictable and will also depend on the opportunities and support available. Research shows that around a third of disabled people not in work want to work. That is why we are committed to providing the right support for those who may be able to return to employment.
Malcolm Wicks: I refer the hon. Member to the answer my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions gave the hon. Members for Daventry (Mr. Boswell) and for Northavon (Mr. Webb), and my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Lynne Jones) on 11 July 2001, Official Report, columns 56567W.
17 Jul 2001 : Column: 176W
Malcolm Wicks: The average duration of claims to Incapacity Benefit current on 31 March 2000, the latest date for which the information is available, was 2,278 days. This figure is based on a 1 per cent. sample of claims and excludes cases where the person claiming was receiving National Insurance credits only.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in receipt of Incapacity Benefit have been subjected to a new capability for work test as a result of (a) section 61 of the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999 and (b) the Social Security (Incapacity for Work) Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 1999. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 10 July 2001]: Between the introduction of the Personal Capability Assessment in April 2000 and the end of May 2001 (the latest date for which figures are available), 825,017 assessments were carried out.
|Claimants without any diagnosis code on the system||4.2|
|Certain infectious and parasitic diseases (A00-B99)||11.2|
|Diseases of the blood and blood forming organs and certain diseases involving the immune mechanism (D50-D89)||2.3|
|Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (E00-E90)||25.0|
|Mental and behavioural disorders (F00-F99)||392.0|
|Diseases of the nervous system (G00-G99)||83.7|
|Diseases of the eye and adnexa (H00-H59)||10.3|
|Diseases of the ear and mastoid process (H60-H95)||6.8|
|Diseases of the circulatory system (I00-I99)||155.4|
|Diseases of the respiratory system (J00-J99)||49.8|
|Diseases of the digestive system (K00-K93)||26.1|
|Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous system (L00-L99)||10.6|
|Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue (M00-M99)||400.8|
|Diseases of the genitourinary system (Noo-N99)||12.2|
|Pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium (O00-O99)||1.3|
|Certain conditions originating in the Perinatal period (P00-P96)|||
|Congenital malformations, deformations and chromasomal abnormalities (Q00-Q99)||1.4|
|Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00-R99)||184.5|
|Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes (S00-U22)||97.1|
|Factors influencing health status and contact with health services (Z00-Z99)||16.8|
1. All diagnoses are coded using the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD10), published by the World Health Organisation. The codes in brackets following each heading show the ICD10 codes in each group.
2. The figures are based on a 5 per cent. sample of the benefit computer system and will exclude a small number of clerically held cases. They are expressed in thousands, rounded to the nearest hundred. Those marked with "" denote nil or negligible.
3. If a person has more than one medical condition only the primary diagnosis is recorded.
4. Figures exclude cases where a claimant receives National Insurance credits only.
17 Jul 2001 : Column: 177W
|1 January to 31 December 2000||379,806|
|1 January to 30 June 2001||183,233|
1. Figures are taken from a 100 per cent. count of the computer system and exclude a small number of cases held clerically
Malcolm Wicks: The information is available in statistical tables showing breakdowns of historical and forecast benefit expenditure which are in the Library. It is also available on the Department's internet site.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what evidence he has collated on the numbers of claimants of Incapacity Benefit who are capable of (a) full-time work on a sustained basis and (b) other kinds of work; 
Malcolm Wicks: Incapacity Benefit is a benefit for people who are not working because of sickness and disability, but this does not mean that they will never be capable of work. We know about one third of Incapacity Benefit recipients want to work. We believe it right to help them to achieve these ambitions.
A national survey has been carried out which gathered information on the skills and qualifications of people who were in receipt of incapacity-related benefits for 28 weeks or more, including Incapacity Benefit. We plan to publish detailed findings from the survey later this year. A copy of the report will be placed in the Library.
|Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus||(21)0.4|
|Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus||(21)0.3|
|Unspecified Diabetes Mellitus||20.3|
(21) Figures based on a very few sample cases and are therefore subject to a high degree of sampling error and should be used as a guide to the current situation only
1. Figures given do not include Credits Only cases
2. Owing to the rounding method used the individual figures do not sum to the total
3. The table shows the numbers of Incapacity Benefit recipients whose first or only diagnosis is shown to be diabetes. They exclude numbers claiming Incapacity Benefit where another diagnosis is the primary cause of incapacity
4. The figures are based on a 5 per cent. sample of the benefit computer system and will exclude a small number of clerically held cases
5. They are expressed in thousands, rounded to the nearest hundred
17 Jul 2001 : Column: 178W
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will set out the most recent figures for the review periods set for Incapacity Benefit, indicating how many recipients fall into each category (a) less than three months, (b) three to nine months, (c) nine to 18 months, (d) 18 months to 36 months, (e) three to five years, (f) more than five years and (g) indefinite. 
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