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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many applications for vehicles were dealt with by Motability and of these how many were (a) for replacement vehicles, (b) successful new applications and (c) unsuccessful new applications; and how long, on average, Motability took to deal with each application in the above categories in each of the last three years. [7866]

Maria Eagle: The information is not available in the format requested. The available information as it relates to the last 2 years is in the table.

Applications for vehicles dealt with by motability

Year(4)Total dealt withFor a replacement vehicleFrom a new customerTotal declined(5)

(4) Figures relate to year ending 31 December

(5) Includes both new and renewal cases where a customer has been declined or chosen not to proceed

Motability operates within a three day Customer Charter for processing all successfully completed applications and achieved this deadline in the years shown.

Preserved Rights (Residential Homes)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many residents in care homes are covered by preserved rights; and what estimates his Department has made of the number there will be on 1 April 2002. [7394]

Mr. McCartney: It is estimated there are currently 67,200 residents in independent residential/nursing care homes who have preserved rights. It has been forecast there will be approximately 60,400 people in this position on 1 April 2002.

Pension Fund Surpluses

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to reform the regulatory

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and legislative framework regarding the distribution of pension fund surpluses; and if he will make a statement. [7144]

Mr. McCartney: The recently published Myners Report recommends that the Law Commission should be asked to review whether the objective of maximum clarity over ownership of the surplus can be achieved through legal change. The Chancellor's and my officials are currently exploring the matter with the Law Commission.


Public Service Agreements

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) of 10 July 2001, Official Report, column 501W on public service agreements, what the (a) percentage and (b) absolute savings from PFI projects would have been if all projects examined up until June had been examined by the NAO; and if he will make a statement. [4614]

Mr. Andrew Smith: Information of this nature, which would require judgments to be made about the potential savings and VFM improvements available from very different types of projects across government, is not held centrally. However, a great deal of central guidance and support are available to Departments contemplating the use of PFI—from the Treasury, the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and Partnerships UK (PUK). This draws upon reports by the National Audit Office and Parliamentary Select Committees.

As with other elements of their business, it remains the responsibility of individual Departments and agencies to ensure that value for money for the taxpayer is demonstrated before any PFI deal is signed. In carrying out investment and option appraisals, Departments are required to follow Treasury guidance contained in the Green Book "Appraisal and Evaluation in Central Government". For PFI deals, Departments are also required to construct a Public Sector Comparator (PSC), which is a costed estimate based on the assumption that the required service would be acquired through conventional funding. Guidance on PCSs is contained in Policy Statement No.2: Public Sector Comparators and Value for Money, and Technical Note 5: How to construct a Public Sector Comparator. The latter notes that the PSC should not be regarded as a pass/fail test, but as a quantitative way of informing judgment. These documents and a list of signed PFI deals are available in the Library of the House and are accessible on the website of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC)

By June 2001 some 450 PFI deals had been signed by central, regional and local government authorities in the United Kingdom. To date the NAO has published 20 value for money reports on PPP/PFI deals. A list of these reports is available on the NAO website

As evidence is gained of projects' progression through the OGC gateway process, which is designed to assist central civil departments in the successful delivery of projects (whether PFI or not), this will increasingly inform

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central data collection, analysis and guidance. The OGC will also draw upon UK's work to increase central knowledge of PFI and other PPP projects.

Independent Insurance Company

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what plans he has to assist those companies who were policyholders of the Independent Insurance Company and who face liquidation as a result of the losses sustained by the collapse of the Independent Insurance Company; [4491]

Ruth Kelly: The Serious Fraud Office is investigating the events at the Independent Insurance Company, following a referral by the Financial Services Authority 18 June. The Government will not pre-judge the outcome of this investigation.

The Government are sympathetic to all policyholders who face potential hardship as a result of the provisional liquidation of Independent Insurance. I understand that the provisional liquidators are continuing to go through the process of identifying all policyholders and agreeing claims where appropriate. Many of those claims will be covered by the Policyholders Protection Board. Claims by businesses, except for claims under compulsory insurance policies, will generally rank with other creditors of the company to be paid in due course by the provisional liquidator to the extent that funds are available.

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the potential conflict of interests faced by Herbert Smith Solicitors in their capacities as solicitors to the (a) Independent Insurance Company, (b) Policyholders Protection Board and (c) provisional liquidators of the Independent Insurance Company. [4490]

Ruth Kelly: Any potential conflict of interest faced by solicitors in this case would be a matter for the firm of solicitors involved and their clients. If a solicitor has acted where there is a conflict of interest, any complaint that might arise should be referred to the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors, a separate organisation set up by the Law Society for that purpose.

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the FSA were informed that Independent Insurance Company's reinsurance contract of £278 million with Ireco was partially reinsured by Independent's wholly- owned subsidiary Novi Re. [6554]

Ruth Kelly: The discussions between the FSA, the Independent Insurance Company and other individual companies that it regulates are kept confidential between the parties concerned.

Child Trust Fund

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when details of the proposed Child Trust Fund and Saving Gateway will be published; and what consultation has been undertaken in respect of this. [6092]

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Ruth Kelly: As announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the launch of the consultation on proposals for the Child Trust Fund and Saving Gateway in April, results of the consultation will be released at the time of the pre-Budget report this autumn, with further consultation to follow on more detailed proposals.

A wide range of financial services providers, academics, charitable organisations and trade bodies have taken part in the consultation exercise to date, both in submitting views and in discussion. Further consultation will provide additional opportunity for these organisations and others to inform the development of the proposals.

Individual Savings Accounts

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what increase there has been in the number of ISA holders who are (a) standard rate taxpayers and (b) higher rate taxpayers, over personal equity plan holders, since the introduction of ISAs. [6368]

Ruth Kelly: The table compares the number of ISA accounts of all kinds subscribed to in each of the first two years with the number of PEP plans taken out in their final year, 1998–99:

PEP General Plans taken out3,860
PEP Single Company Plans taken out760
Mini ISAs Stocks and Shares1,278
Life Insurance116
Maxi ISAs3,293
Mini ISAs Stocks and Shares1,623
Life Insurance218
Maxi ISAs3,401

The information on number of holders analysed by marginal rate is not yet available. However, from the account numbers detailed it can be deduced that at most 4.6 million people subscribed to PEPs in 1998–99 and at least 9.4 million people subscribed to an ISA of some kind in 2000–01.

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